Updated January 5, 2022 - 8:27 pm
General Motors unveiled its Chevrolet Silverado EV electric pickup in a virtual keynote address at the Wednesday opening of CES.
The Silverado showing highlighted the morning events at The Venetian Expo kicking off the 55th edition of the largest consumer technology trade show in the world.
The Silverado EV is GM’s answer to the Ford F-150 Lightning unveiled in May. It’s the second electric truck to be produced by GM after its Hummer EV, which went into production last year.
In her recorded keynote, General Motors CEO Mary Barra touched on the automaker’s progress in electric vehicle technology, autonomous vehicles and electric delivery fleets developed though separate partnerships with FedEx and Walmart.
Barra said the Silverado EV will be available in late 2023 and is expected to have a 400-mile range on a full charge with 100 miles added with every 10-minute charging period.
The base model is expected to sell for $39,900, with its First Edition, featuring four-wheel steering, automatic adaptive air suspension enabling the vehicle to be raised or lowered 2 inches, a multiflex midgate that expands cargo capacity, Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance technology and 17-inch LCD infotainment display, costing $105,000.
“General Motors pioneered vehicle electrification 25 years ago and introduced the world’s first affordable long-range EV, the Chevrolet Bolt, right here at CES, but global EV market penetration stands at around 3 percent,” Barra said. “We believe that is all about to change.”
Barra explained that the foundation of GM’s EV platform approach is a single common cell design that can be used across all its vehicles.
Through the company’s Ultium platform, GM has been able to develop several types of vehicles and concept cars.
During the address, Barra introduced Richard Smith, regional president of the Americas for FedEx, and Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, to describe the automaker’s collaboration with those companies for product delivery.
Barra discussed pilot programs with the two companies in which FedEx was able to increase deliveries by 25 percent with electric vehicles and Walmart developed a program to deliver groceries autonomously in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Barra spent a few minutes discussing GM concept vehicles, including the Cadillac InnerSpace, a two-seat autonomous luxury car, and a single-seat flying car that is a part of GM’s Halo Concept Portfolio. The InnerSpace is expected to be available by the middle of the decade, Barra said.
“All of this advanced technology puts GM in an incredible position to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles,” she said. “We’re spending more than $27 billion on our electric and autonomous vehicle programs by 2025, and we feel confident that this emphasis we are placing on a more personalized driving experience will make our future EVs some of the most enjoyable and exciting vehicles we’ve ever made.”
Prior to Barra’s remarks, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of show sponsor Consumer Technology Association, opened the three-day Las Vegas event — shortened by a day as a pandemic safety measure — with a ribbon-cutting and a state-of-the-industry address.
While Las Vegas show is expected to draw thousands of people, many are skipping the event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that this CES is going to be different,” Shapiro said. “We’ll have gaps on the show floor and new protocols and procedures for attendees. With all the upheaval in the past several weeks, it may be a bit messy. But you know, innovation is messy. It takes us out of our comfort zones.”
But he said that innovation will be in every corner of the show and exhibitors from new categories of technology presenting for the first time in food tech and space tech.
Sparks-based Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Dream Chaser space plane, for instance, is one of the highlights of the show.
Shapiro and Karen Chupka, CTA’s executive vice president of CES, acknowledged that this year’s show will be unlike any other because of the pandemic. Chupka noted that many exhibitors told CTA they wanted a live show.
“We heard loud and clear from our exhibitors that they were ready to return to in-person events and that the exhibitions and conferences are the lifeblood of small businesses,” she said. “But we also heard from our community — from all of you — that you were ready to come and step back up, now that you’re vaccinated, masked and ready to do your part as attendees and human beings.”
In addition to the live show, this year’s CES is being presented virtually for those who were unable — or unwilling — to attend the live event in Las Vegas.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates The Venetian Expo.