Report: Electric Vanning, Brought to You by GM?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
report electric vanning brought to you by gm

General Motors isn’t confirming a Reuters report that claims the automaker’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant will give birth to an electric commercial van. Such a product would give GM a leg up in a fledgling segment that’s yet to be exploited by the likes of Tesla.

Commercial vans aren’t glitzy products, but they do sell in significant numbers. More importantly, rival Ford has released a plug-in hybrid version of its Euro-market Transit Custom and has promised an electric Transit for North American customers for 2022. For a company hoping to match Ford product-for-product, this will not stand.

Five sources familiar with GM’s plan told Reuters that the automaker hopes to snag large fleet orders from the likes of Amazon and UPS. The vehicle itself would emerge from the company’s electric nerve center, D-Ham, which was originally on the chopping block before its conversion into a dedicated EV facility. GM’s first electric pickup will find a home there, offering an alternative to Ford’s upcoming F-150 EV.

Supplier sources claim both GM and Ford “don’t want to leave the door open for Tesla.” Carrying the code-name BV1, the electric van will reportedly appear late next year, borrowing components from other electrified GM vehicles and making use of the automaker’s proprietary Ultium battery. That versatile battery, whose cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally, debuted alongside a new dedicated EV platform in early March.

Apparently, GM can’t figure out which brand in its portfolio will carry the van, or whether a new alternative might be a better way to go. Officially, GM’s not breathing a word about it.

A company spokesperson said GM is “committed to an all-electric future and is implementing a multi-segment, scalable EV strategy to get there. At this time, we do not have any announcements to make regarding electric commercial vehicles.”

[Images: General Motors]

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jun 04, 2020

    Please please please offer a super-low load floor (conventional driveline is no longer in our way). 2020 Savana overall height is 84"-85". Aim for interior floor-to-ceiling clearance of something like 77" (that's me in steel-toed boots plus some) without dramatically increasing the overall height of the vehicle. . Easy entry/exit. . Low liftover (moving, appliance delivery). . Short, convenient ramps when required. . No stooping inside (I work here).

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Jun 05, 2020

    With the vanlife movement in full swing, they should make an RV-optimized version with solar panels on the roof, and a climate control system vented throughout the vehicle that can be run with the key off.

  • ToolGuy VW (marque not group) and Tesla very nearly switched positions on a YTD basis.
  • RHD Inexpensive gasoline appears to be a thing of the past. ILO is correct - we have enough sunlight, wind and emerging ocean wave energy to power the entire country and then some. Clean air is nice, and being free of the whims of OPEC, geopolitics and hugely profitable oil companies will do all of us a world of good.
  • Raymond Segura Can you tell me where I can get the rear bumper for 69 impala?
  • Art Vandelay some of the crazy numbers I get. Percentages look bigger with any fluctuations with low volume makes and brands leaving the market will see massive month over month changes. But what’s with Buick? I still see the occasional ad on TV and yet the drop is disproportionate even compared to all the other GM brands.
  • Master Baiter "There is no mandate for consumers to buy EVs, not in any country or state. That’s made up."Right. And you are not mandated to purchase a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons/flush. You could choose to not have a toilet--just go in the woods, like the bears do.