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GMC News: GMC Considers Whether It Should Do An Electrified Sierra


William Maley

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There is a growing number of automakers who are announcing plans to electrify their lineup, while others are considering it. GMC is the latter category according to a new report from CNBC.

“Certainly, it’s something we’re considering," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC when asked if there was the possibility of an electric Sierra.

Aldred wouldn't say much more than that except mentioning that General Motors CEO Mary Barra has already made comments about "an all-electric future." 

It wouldn't be surprising if an all-electric Sierra sparks an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado since they are basically the same truck, allowing GM to take advantage of economies of scale and spreading the cost of development. But the cost of batteries is still a big drawback. Researchers at Boston Consulting Group say each individual battery cell generally cost $150 to $200. Aldred said that battery tech is still expensive "that makes it difficult to target mainstream segments, unless a carmaker like GM is willing to accept lower margins." But that's where GMC could take the lead as it is currently positioned as something more premium than its Silverado brethren, with such features as the Multi-Pro tailgate.

Ford has already announced plans for an F-150 EV, and there is start-up automaker Rivian with the R1T that is expected to go into production in late 2020.

Source: CNBC


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Third time's the charm?  They've been doing Hybrid and eAssist trucks for a while.  I think an all electric Sierra would be an interesting take, but the price will be huge or the range will be short. I would expect over $100k for a Sierra Denali EV

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Third time's the charm?  They've been doing Hybrid and eAssist trucks for a while.  I think an all electric Sierra would be an interesting take, but the price will be huge or the range will be short. I would expect over $100k for a Sierra Denali EV

Probably $100k w/ a 50 mile range, and weighing 7500lbs w/ 2000 lb towing capacity..

Edited by Robert Hall
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39 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

LOL... "we" meaning you?  I don't hear a bunch of clamoring from real truck people for this crap.

Let the market sort them out McFly. 

You sassy little blu, you must be feeling better. :P 

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4 hours ago, balthazar said:

We're on the iPhone X now- how come it isn't 'cheap'?  Haven't battery costs dropped even over the iPhone's lifecycle?

Actually battery costs have dropped but other technologies that have been crammed into the phone have pushed the prices higher. It’s higher price has next to squat to do with the battery.

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12 hours ago, dfelt said:

Let the market sort them out McFly. 

You sassy little blu, you must be feeling better. :P 

In fairness he probably didn’t hear from a bunch of rich people clamoring for a Tesla Model S yet here it is, outselling the likes of the S Class. 

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4 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

Actually battery costs have dropped but other technologies that have been crammed into the phone have pushed the prices higher. It’s higher price has next to squat to do with the battery.

Ahhh- an iPhone is a complicated device with numerous bits & features and new, updated models are intro'd with regularity. Much like automobiles.

My point was- battery cost alone is NOT the singular factor setting EV vehicle prices. As OEMs strive for the '10-min charge/ 500 mile/ 0-60 in 1.5 sec' EV, they will continue to cram technologies in, and the pricing -- likely --  will never become competitive with ICE counterparts. Those holding out hopes for a battery cost blow-out at pennies on the dollar showing up in the MSRP are going to be either waiting a long time, or much longer.

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4 hours ago, ocnblu said:

But do people who try it stay with it for their next vehicle?

Maybe you should ask them but I am willing to bet that Tesla already has a fair number of repeat buyers. 

2 hours ago, balthazar said:

Ahhh- an iPhone is a complicated device with numerous bits & features and new, updated models are intro'd with regularity. Much like automobiles.

My point was- battery cost alone is NOT the singular factor setting EV vehicle prices. As OEMs strive for the '10-min charge/ 500 mile/ 0-60 in 1.5 sec' EV, they will continue to cram technologies in, and the pricing -- likely --  will never become competitive with ICE counterparts. Those holding out hopes for a battery cost blow-out at pennies on the dollar showing up in the MSRP are going to be either waiting a long time, or much longer.

I see what you’re saying but what you are suggesting involves a crystal ball. My theory is that once EVs become mainstream, there will be lower cost options, just like there are with ICE autos. To add to that point, I will say that it’s not like ICEs have been all that affordable over the last few decades. Sorry but when Civics option out over $30K, we have a problem that is much bigger than whether EVs can compete. 

Edited by surreal1272
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I don't disagree with your point on the general level of new vehicle prices; you're right. Still, a tangential issue here.

But it's not all 'crystal balling'.  We do have some pricing history example under our belt with Tesla.  Still no promised base price Model 3... jacked prices on the S & X (even as corporate volume rises steadily) - this shows the opposite trend toward passing on any battery cost savings to the consumer.  And as I've stated before; once consumers support an ever-increasing take rate for a vehicle priced at $XX (especially when the OEM is straining to fulfill demand), there is zero motivation to lower pricing, regardless of material costs. 

Look at audi's e-tron- it's sized like the A4 but it's DOUBLE the price. OEMs are automatically going to edge toward 'Tesla-tier' pricing if they can get away with it.  Only nissan & Chevrolet seem determined to sell to their customer base/make it affordable.

 

Edited by balthazar
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The price of battery density and kilowatts has decreased...but the costs of making good batteries has been sharply increasing because lithium, precious metals and other raw materials have a finite supply or are controlled by countries we don't really get along with. 

I completely agree with Balthazar here. Tesla will never make an affordable car in any traditional sense. Their cars have to be jam packed with tech, because they sure as hell won't wow you on interior quality or luxury features. And tech when new is the easiest to markup or promise like the $5000 autonomous level 5 whatever...which Tesla goes to great lengths to obscure that it's refundable if they don't deliver it. They got so many refund requests there that they put a moratorium on the option!

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Batteries will get better and so will the charge network.  If there was a better charge network people wouldn't think they need 250-300 miles of range, which adds cost for a lot of battery you aren't using.  0% of buyers buy a gas powered car based on mileage range, because gas stations are all over the place.  If there is more electric charging stations, people would probably be happy with 150-200 mile range electrics which would help get cost down.

 

Also "electrified" could mean a hybrid Sierra.  And really, why wouldn't you do some form of hybrid on every gas engine you have?  Adding electric to any engine makes it better.

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16 hours ago, smk4565 said:

0% of buyers buy a gas powered car based on mileage range, because gas stations are all over the place.

I don't think that's true. I often think of my previous truck, which had dual fuel tanks @ 35 gal total capacity. Low Fuel light come on? Just throw the switch. I used to contemplate switching one tank over to give me 54 gals onboard.

Current diesel truck's low fuel light comes on at around 18-19 gals burned, despite it having a 35 gal capacity!  I remember setting off from my house toward the interstate, a 20 min trip. Didn't notice the low fuel level. Light came on just before the onramp- a quick mental inventory showed no fuel stations on the interstate anytime soon. After turning around & passing by 3 or 4 other stations, actually ended up coming all the way home to refuel at the diesel station by my house- a waste of 40-50 mins time.

I would love to have increased fuel capacity/range. I've never been one to put "ten dollars" in- the less time of my life spent sitting at the pump the better- run it to empty, fill to to the brim.

Edited by balthazar
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On 1/27/2019 at 1:22 PM, balthazar said:

I don't think that's true. I often think of my previous truck, which had dual fuel tanks @ 35 gal total capacity. Low Fuel light come on? Just throw the switch. I used to contemplate switching one tank over to give me 54 gals onboard.

Current diesel truck's low fuel light comes on at around 18-19 gals burned, despite it having a 35 gal capacity!  I remember setting off from my house toward the interstate, a 20 min trip. Didn't notice the low fuel level. Light came on just before the onramp- a quick mental inventory showed no fuel stations on the interstate anytime soon. After turning around & passing by 3 or 4 other stations, actually ended up coming all the way home to refuel at the diesel station by my house- a waste of 40-50 mins time.

I would love to have increased fuel capacity/range. I've never been one to put "ten dollars" in- the less time of my life spent sitting at the pump the better- run it to empty, fill to to the brim.

4

That's the opposite mentality needed with EVs. 

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On 1/27/2019 at 10:22 AM, balthazar said:

I don't think that's true. I often think of my previous truck, which had dual fuel tanks @ 35 gal total capacity. Low Fuel light come on? Just throw the switch. I used to contemplate switching one tank over to give me 54 gals onboard.

Current diesel truck's low fuel light comes on at around 18-19 gals burned, despite it having a 35 gal capacity!  I remember setting off from my house toward the interstate, a 20 min trip. Didn't notice the low fuel level. Light came on just before the onramp- a quick mental inventory showed no fuel stations on the interstate anytime soon. After turning around & passing by 3 or 4 other stations, actually ended up coming all the way home to refuel at the diesel station by my house- a waste of 40-50 mins time.

I would love to have increased fuel capacity/range. I've never been one to put "ten dollars" in- the less time of my life spent sitting at the pump the better- run it to empty, fill to to the brim.

For me, I love road trips so when I bought my first 1994 GMC Suburban SLE, I got it with the extra capacity fuel tank so I knew I could easily drive 500 miles non-stop. But that is based on my desire and needs. I think you are the rare person like me that would think of an extra capacity tank for fewer fuel ups.

Battery is the same way, if you never take a road trip and can easily plug in overnight, then does a person need more than 150-200 miles of battery range. One can plug in everywhere be it slow or fast depending on what is available. Yet for those like myself that do like road trips, I see no reason to not buy the biggest battery pack out there for my use.

For most people dropping a few bucks to top off their EV should be a normal approach to life where you can just plug in and grab some juice anywhere. That is the positive benefit of EVs is being able to drive to work, know you have some errands and as such, plug in and top off the battery while at work. Sure cannot do that with ICE but you can with electric as long as you can access a 110 plug or designated 220 or 440 charge ports in the parking area.

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On road trips, I always fill up at a half a tank.   Usually like to stop for a bio break and to stretch my legs every hour or hour and a half.   When I was driving across the void on I-40 I didn't want to go below a half a tank because exits and gas stations can be far apart.    On that trip I got really good gas mileage, one tankful averaged like 28.x mpg. 

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On 1/25/2019 at 7:43 PM, ocnblu said:

LOL... "we" meaning you?  I don't hear a bunch of clamoring from real truck people for this crap.

Eventually real pickups will be electric but that will be thirty years in the future....I will be done driving for the most part...or babbling to myself incoherently in a nursing home.

2 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

On road trips, I always fill up at a half a tank.   Usually like to stop for a bio break and to stretch my legs every hour or hour and a half.   When I was driving across the void on I-40 I didn't want to go below a half a tank because exits and gas stations can be far apart.    On that trip I got really good gas mileage, one tankful averaged like 28.x mpg. 

That is fantastic MPG

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