By on June 4, 2020


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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