General Motors is said to be considering adding a compact electric pickup to its lineup, as one of several models that might be priced at less than $30,000.
That’s according to a report Thursday from Automotive News, which claims to have seen the pickup at GM’s “affordable EV design studio” in Warren, Michigan.
Automotive News describes the pickup as futuristic and sporty, and it says that it’s a two-door truck with a 4.0- to 4.5-foot bed and a low roofline. It also says that the truck shown “could be a variation of the Chevrolet Montana or the Colorado S10, both sold in Brazil.”
Michael Pevovar, a GM executive overseeing Chevrolet affordable EV design, told AN that this is a way of gaining feedback—from whom, it’s not clear, as GM hasn’t yet released potential specs, or a photo of the truck, which would almost certainly use components from the Ultium Drive family.
The report didn’t clarify whether the vehicle shown to Automotive News was a prototype, a concept, or merely a clay model. And despite the Chevy affiliation of the executive, the report emphasizes that GM didn’t attach a brand or timeline for the truck.
GM spokesperson Stuart Fowle told Green Car Reports that the goal of the design-based project is "to be leaders in terms of addressing the need and demand for EVs at lower price points and different segments."
"Our designers are exploring what’s possible and while we love the enthusiasm around it, we have no further comment at this time about the details of the effort," said Fowle. "Many options are on the table and we’re excited to share more in the future."
If GM moves fast, it might have the only inexpensive electric truck available in the U.S. And it bears mentioning, it's been there before—with the S-10 Electric that was made in 1997 and 1998 for fleets only.
There's no truly affordable small electric truck now, and without a single plug-in hybrid pickup the closest current alternative is a hybrid. The Ford Maverick Hybrid arrived for the 2022 model year, starting at just $21,490 and earning EPA figures of 42 mpg city, 33 highway, 37 combined. For 2023, after strong inflationary price hikes, the base Maverick Hybrid XL starts at $23,690. Outside of that, there are no compact pickups that earn mileage numbers even close to 30 mpg combined.
There are a couple of potential alternatives, though. The startup Canoo has teased an affordable pickup version of its quirky electric truck family. And beyond its first year of production, there’s still a remote possibility that Ohio’s Lordstown Motors may shift some of its Endurance electric pickup production to a consumer version.
Ford released the fleet-focused F-150 Lightning Pro at $41,669, including destination, in spring of 2022, but by the end of the year the price of that Lightning version had risen 40%, to $57,869. GM has said that the Chevy Silverado EV will have an eventual $39,900 version.