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With all the hullabaloo surrounding the 2023 Chevy Silverado EV reveal, the onboard generator, which General Motors is calling PowerBase, didn’t get enough press. In fact, “PowerBase” was only mentioned once in the entire 1,700-word press release surrounding the electric truck’s reveal.

But there is renewed interest this week as GM Authority revealed a trademark was filed for the name PowerBase as “Power inverter for use in a motor land vehicle.”

Megan Soule, director of Chevrolet trucks and full-size SUV communications, confirmed the filing.

“The trademark filing is simply for the PowerBase name, which we announced at reveal for our onboard charging system,” she said.

Clearly, GM has its sight set on the Ford Motor Co. Pro Power OnBoard found in the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid and Lightning electric truck. Here’s what we know so far about GM’s PowerBase.

Details of the system

At the Silverado EV reveal, the PowerBase system was mentioned, and according to Soule, “When combined with the available accessory power bar, the Silverado EV’s PowerBase charging system offers up to 10 outlets, to provide a total of 10.2kW of all-electric power for countless worksite or recreational needs, including powering your home, with the required equipment.”

We’ve seen Ford take advantage of PR by using its system to power homes during natural disasters. So it seems GM’s PowerBase will be able to do the same thing.

The Silverado EV is also capable of charging another EV using the available accessory charge cord, sharing its power in times of need. The F-150 PowerBoost and Lightning can also do the same thing.

It is not yet known what the additional cost will be for the PowerBase system on the Silverado EV. We also asked if the announced, but not revealed GMC Sierra EV, would have this system, but Soule wouldn’t confirm anything on that future product.

However, with a higher price point, Sierra EV likely won’t miss out on this outstanding feature.

How the PowerBase compares to Ford’s Pro Power OnBoard

A quick comparison shows the PowerBase system is quite similar to that of Ford’s Pro Power OnBoard. PowerBase has 10.2kW of power compared to Pro Power OnBoard’s 9.6 kW.

The PowerBase charging outlets in the Silverado EV versus that of the F-150’s 120V outlets are identical at 10. However, the F-150 has an additional 240V outlet in the bed giving it an 11th charging outlet. It is unclear from images if the Silverado EV will have a similar 240V outlet.

Power wise, both systems seem comparable. At this time Ford does offer a variant of the Pro Power OnBoard in the hybrid F-150. GM made no such announcement of this technology coming to any ICE vehicles. Plus, Ford has two other smaller-powered OnBoard generators for their trucks including a 7.2 kW (for the hybrid F-150) and 2.4 kW for the ICE-powered F-150 (2.7-liter and 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines).

In an apples-to-apples comparison, this is where F-150 retains the edge over the Silverado since this generator is only available on the EV version of the Silverado (as of now).

The bottom line on GM’s PowerBase system

GM and Ford have an epic rivalry. One is always trying outdo the other. And that’s generally good for the consumer. In this regard, GM’s PowerBase is slightly better (with a little more power) than Ford’s version, but the Pro Power OnBoard is more widely available now while GM fans will have to wait until 2023 when the Silverado EV is available.

Regardless, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and we can’t wait to see where this all goes.

Is this an attractive selling point for you? Would it make you consider buying the Silverado EV? What price point would you expect to see on it? Leave us your comments below.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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  1. Kim Trowbridge September 4, 2022

    I have a 2022 Powerboost Limited F150. I love the look of the Denali and would buy one if they had a comparable Hybrid with on board power and a luxurious interior. I also have a Lightning on order to try around town but I don’t think full electric is a long term solution for me because its actual carbon footprint based on the quantity of Lithium required and the carbon footprint of the energy sources to charge the vehicle are worse than a Hybrid and I have no range anxiety.

  2. Jeff Bay September 27, 2022

    The only way an Electric Truck works for me is if it has a towing capability for over 500+ miles of charge while towing. HOWEVER, if GM (or any other company) were to introduce an onboard gas powered generator to extend range, then this would eliminate any concerns since I could charge WHILE DRIVING! I have tried to ask GM this simple question ever since I signed up for my silverado ev, but to no avail. They simply cannot afford the staff to answer a simple 5 minute Q&A, such is WILL they come out with a gas powered generator which will charge while driving? Perhaps this is what this new proposed power feature includes, but why will nobody talk about it? IF they want to sell to sports or trade people, then they best figure out that they MUST include a gas powered generator onboard in order to continue driving without stopping for a recharge. Otherwise, it is my opinion as a Contractor for most of 50 years, that Electric trucks are a waste of money, unless they can included a generator!…


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