400-mile GMC Sierra EV crab walks into the spotlight looking dashing
After the introduction of the GMC Hummer siblings and the Chevrolet Silverado EV, it was only a matter of time before the GMC Sierra EV popped up. The sharp-looking electric Sierra debuted this week with a potent 754-hp electric 4WD. The impressive Denali Edition 1 gets rear wheel-steering, crab-walking athleticism and MidGate-driven expandable bed versatility to meet the needs of all kinds of pickup drivers. At over US$100,000, the first edition prices into Hummer territory, but the electric Sierra family will eventually grow to include a base model priced under half that.
For now, GMC is focusing in on the flagship Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 that will be the first of the family to launch in 2024. It mentioned the down-line AT4 and Elevation trims during the debut but only to show a few select interior and exterior photos and confirm that those models will emerge for MY2025.
No matter which Sierra EV exterior trim we're zooming in on, the new truck strikes us as the most attractive major electric production pickup yet. The Sierra EV sticks more closely to the ICE styling template, unlike the drastically reimagined Silverado EV. The boomerang headlamps on the broad, upright Sierra EV front-end are similar to the ones on the ICE truck, albeit part of simplified lighting clusters. The large grille shares the ICE truck grille's general shape but gets filled out by a solid, boldly "GMC"-badged panel rather than metal mesh.
Instead of copying and pasting the standard Sierra flanks onto the EV version, GMC designers create a slightly new look that feels just as stout and strong. The sturdy, level belt line teams with the lower checkmark-like definition dropping down and back from the front fender to create a rugged, powerful aesthetic. The upright rear cab wall completes a silhouette that looks the part of a full-size workhorse.
As on the Silverado EV, the Sierra EV's bed measures in just under 6 feet (1.8 m), a 'tweener for a full-size Sierra, which traditionally has bed options of 5.5- and 6.5-foot (1.7- and 2-m). That doesn't mean that the truck offers less than 6 feet for hauling cargo, though. GMC follows Chevy in adding in an adaptable MultiPro Midgate and 60/40-folding second-row crew cab seats to extend bed length in partnership with a MultiPro Tailgate. That gives owners the ability to create 9 feet (2.7 m) of cargo-swallowing bed floor length with the tailgate closed or 10.8 feet (3.3 m) with it open.
The multi-positional bed/cab design can even seat a rear passenger on one side and pass-through cargo on the other. An optional tonneau cover adds lockable security over the load, and the front "eTrunk" provides another capacious lockable cargo space complete with dual floor drains and a 120-V outlet.
The Denali Edition 1 gets near-Hummer levels of power, promising up to 754 hp and 785 lb-ft via a front/rear-motor e4WD electric drive. Those output numbers come when the driver punches it into "Max Power" mode, but for the average commute or work task, he or she will likely want to dial it back and drive more economically toward the estimated 400-mile (644-km) range. Max Power mode also opens up an estimated 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) just under 4.5 seconds.
Like the Silverado EV launch edition, the Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 has standard four-wheel steering. It also gets the CrabWalk capability made famous by the Hummer EV. The air ride adaptive suspension lets drivers adjust height by up to 2 inches (5 cm) and creates a plush ride through the gamut of under-tire conditions any good truck will encounter.
The Edition 1 also comes loaded with SuperCruise driver assistance for hands-free autonomy, with or without a trailer in tow. The feature is supported on more than 400,000 miles of US and Canadian roads. Max towing is rated at 9,500 lb (4,309 kg), just shy of the Silverado EV's 10,000 lb (4,535 kg), while max payload settles in at the same modest 1,300 lb (590 kg).
GMC says that the Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 can charge 100 miles (161 km) worth of battery power in about 10 minutes using its 350-kW 800V fast-charging capability. Available power export options let the truck send out 10.2 kW of power via 10 onboard outlets for powering work tools, charging electronics, running camping equipment, and even charging a separate electric vehicle out in the field away from the grid. When properly equipped with Ultium truck and home add-ons, GM estimates that the battery-packed Sierra can supply a home's electrical needs for up to 21 days, serving the role of backup generator.
The Denali Edition 1 has a high-spec interior below a panoramic glass roof that includes open-pore wood trim, aluminum accents and quilted seats. A huge 16.8-in tablet-style infotainment display stands tall on the center console, while a fully configurable 11-in digital instrument panel and 14-in-view multi-color head-up display keep critical info directly in the driver's view. GM's Ultifi software platform promises OTA updates and feature additions.
The $107,000 2024 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1 can be reserved now, but deliveries won't begin until early 2024. The AT4 and Elevation models will follow for the 2025 model year, and lineup prices will start around $50,000 ...after plenty of that fancy tech and equipment disappears off the standard features list. Both prices are before destination charge, which prices in at $1,695 as of today.
Sierra EV trucks will be assembled from domestic and global components at both the Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck and Lake Orion assembly facilities in Michigan. GMC is saving the details on the lower-tier trims for a future announcement closer to production start.
See more of the new Sierra EV in the two-minute video below and in the gallery, which includes a couple other photos of both the AT4 and Elevation models.
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The more mainstream full-size GM pickups will be based upon the GMC Hummer.
And while Ford’s claim of a $40,000 EV pickup is silly - try to buy one as a non-commercial/fleet customer… and that is a 240 range XL trim work truck, not useful for average retail owners. The retail Lightning (XLT) starts at $60K, with the same XL 240 mile range. To get to a more useful 300 mile range the price leaps to over $81K!
So kinda defies credibility that GM will deliver a “less than $50K” usable, retail customer full-size pickup truck.
Compare that to a typical GM gas truck with 38 gallon tank under the same conditions---275 miles of range in under the last condition listed above.
65 miles is not even close to being practical but the ICE truck at 275 miles certainly is.
Conclusion: An EV range can be as low as 1/6th the advertised combined EPA range under typical usage and weather conditions. This means that to equivalent and not having to stop every 65 to 75 miles in the above example the truck would have to have an EPA combined range of about 400 x 6 = 2400 miles.
EV's are a long long way from being practical simply because the energy content of gasoline is over 100 times greater than a typical EV battery and even though gasoline engines are only 60 to 80% as efficient they are practical because 30 to 40 gallons of gas will take you a long ways when fully loaded compared to an EV. About 6 times as far under the same exact conditions.