Chevy Silverado And GMC Sierra Plug-In Hybrids Coming: Report

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“We’re not going to dilute our investment with hybrids” – is what General Motors President Mark Reuss told Business Insider in 2022. However, GM has had a change of heart since then. During an investor briefing last month, CEO Mary Barra announced plug-in hybrids are planned. A new report indicates the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra PHEVs are on the way.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Autoweek claims GM is in a hurry to launch PHEV versions of the two trucks. The company has apparently initiated a “crash program” to speed up the development and market launch of the two electrified derivatives. We’ve reached out to both Chevy and GMC for comment, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

The plug-in hybrids would bridge the gap between the regular Silverado and Sierra with combustion engines and the newly launched purely electric models. The PHEV duo would address the range anxiety that typically comes with pure EVs, especially workhorses used to tow and/or carry heavy cargo.

Some will remember what Barra said back at a Barclays investor conference in 2019: “Customers generally aren’t interested in hybrids, the value proposition there. We believe moving to electric vehicles as quickly as possible is the right thing to do.” Earlier the same year, Reuss told The Wall Street Journal it would be wiser to spend the R&D money on EVs rather than PHEVs: “If I had a dollar more to invest, would I spend it on a hybrid? Or would I spend it on the answer that we all know is going to happen, and get there faster and better than anybody else?”

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In 2024, the scenario has changed. Demand for EVs is cooling down, and PHEVs could serve as a stopgap before full electrification. The Wall Street Journal reports “influential dealers” are putting pressure on GM to launch hybrid models to avoid losing customers who aren’t ready to switch to EVs. In late January, Barra said during a call about GM’s financial results for Q4 2023 the “forward plan includes bringing our plug-in hybrid technology to select vehicles in North America.

According to the same report from Autoweek, GM has changed its mind about other things. It apparently won’t replace the ancient Express and Savana with electric vans for the 2026 model year after all. The plan was to use GM’s Ultium platform, with the new models to take after the BrightDrop Zevo 600 commercial fleet delivery van. That’s allegedly not happening anymore, and it remains unclear whether the Express and Savana are still getting the axe after the 2025 model year.

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There were also plans for two electric trucks, one about the size of a Ford Maverick and the other roughly as big as a Ranger. However, the former has purportedly been canceled while development of the latter has been halted.

2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

Should a Silverado and Sierra hybrid hit the market, these wouldn’t be the first. In the late 2000s and early 2010s, GM paired a 6.0-liter V8 engine with two electric motors for a “two-mode hybrid system.” It was compatible with both 2WD and 4WD versions and came with a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack mounted underneath the second-row seats. The combustion engine was good for 332 horsepower and 367 lb-ft (495 Nm) of torque while the e-motors were each rated at 80 hp.

The old hybrid models were able to run solely on electric juice at speeds of up to 30 mph (48 km/h) and there was even regenerative braking to charge the battery. Their successors, if GM is indeed planning them, are slated to be PHEVs, meaning there’s going to be a charging port to replenish the battery like you would do on a Silverado EV or Sierra EV.

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