GM and Ford Electric Truck Delays Hand Initiative to Tesla
GM and Ford Electric Truck Delays Open Door for Tesla
Steve Birkett is an electric vehicle advocate based in Greater Boston, Massachusetts. He is a content creator and marketing professional who contributes written and recorded pieces to a wide range of media outlets. His analysis has been featured in Find The Best Car Price, WWLP TV, and Torque News, among others. He has also had video content featured on Inside EVs. Birkett was an EV Guide for Plug in America events in Massachusetts (Drive Electric Cambridge and Drive Electric Lowell) and Ohio (Earth Day 2019 at Cleveland Zoo). He participates in quarterly advisory panel meetings for EVolve New York (a state-level charging initiative) and has contributed to focus groups for prominent U.S. charging networks.
Birkett is a father-of-two who loves nothing more than packing up the family and hitting the road in their latest electric car, which is currently a 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5. With multiple Chevy Bolts in his past, as well as a Chevy Volt and Tesla Model 3 LR in the extended family, plus various EV rentals when he ventures back home to his native United Kingdom, Birkett has more than 100,000 all-electric miles under his belt and is always ready to try out a new electric vehicle.
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Despite being earlier to market with very different all-electric trucks, Ford and General Motors are finding it challenging to produce and sell these models at scale. With Tesla Cybertruck mass production finally looming, Elon Musk could yet have the last laugh on more traditional truck makers.
- Steve Birkett, Senior EV Editor
October 17th, 2023 – General Motors dealt another blow to fans of all-electric trucks on Tuesday, as it announced delays of one year or more to its Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV manufacturing plans. Originally intended to begin production at GM's Orion assembly facility in 2024, GM confirmed it will be late 2025 before the facility is transitioned to electric trucks made for consumers. Fleet orders for GM work trucks will be unaffected.
The concerning news comes just days after Ford put a temporary hold on production of the F150 Lightning, the Blue Oval's first all-electric pickup truck, at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. Against the backdrop of an ongoing strike by United Auto Workers and an EV price war started by Tesla earlier this year, the moves demonstrate the difficulty of transitioning to all-electric models for legacy automakers.
While GM has denied that UAW strike action had any influence on its production changes at Orion, Ford has paused work on its BlueOval Battery Park in Marshall, MI, citing uncertainties related to the ongoing negotiations.
These challenges around electric truck production and sales for established automakers open the door for Tesla to establish dominance in yet another vehicle segment. The long-awaited Cybertruck has been in the pipeline for almost four years and finally appears to be nearing production. If Tesla can ramp production of the polarizing all-electric pickup quickly in 2024, the clear leader in EV sedans and crossovers could also regain the ground that some believed it had lost when Ford and GM beat it to market with the first electric trucks,