Last week, General Motors announced a $632 million investment in the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Assembly plant, which builds GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevy Silverado 1500. With this announcement, GM has now invested a total of $2 billion in this plant since 2013. If you read between the lines, this mean’s GM’s full-size gas trucks aren’t going anywhere for the time being.
Though GM hasn’t released any product details related to its future full-size gas trucks, the automaker did say this investment is specifically earmarked to prepare the plant for the next generation of internal combustion engine (ICE) full-size light-duty trucks.
“This investment reflects our commitment to our loyal truck customers and the hard work of the dedicated Fort Wayne team,” said Gerald Johnson, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, in a press release.
But with GM’s all-in stance on electrification, we have to assume this means there might be some hybridization in the future and that could be part of the next-generation of ICE.
According to an Automotive News article covering this topic, we’ll likely see the next-gen full-size gas trucks go into production around 2028-27. So, we’ll see these trucks on assembly lines through the early 2030s – if not longer.
We have long held that truck owners who use their trucks for truck things – like towing and hauling – aren’t ready for the EV revolution because the current batteries don’t allow for easy long-distance trips without stopping every hour and a half to charge. Then when you add in the state of the charging infrastructure, well, electric trucks – used as trucks – aren’t ready for prime time.
So, what this means is, for the time being, truck owners don’t have to worry about being forced into EV ownership today or even tomorrow. This gives automakers the chance to work on solid-state batteries with longer range and range-extending options. It also gives the infrastructure time to catch the f— up with EV demand.
Plus, there’s that whole GM-switching-to-the-Tesla-NACS thing to deal with.
It’s no secret that full-size gas trucks are a cash cow for automakers. And this cash is going to be funding the future of EVs. So, it makes sense that GM – and Ford and Ram – try to rake in as much money as possible for as long as possible while it tries to figure out its EV future.
So, for those of you who need a truck for truck things, hopefully you can breathe a little easier tonight – and for the next 10 to 15 years. You’ve got time.