General Motors Co. in Detroit is starting an electric van program designed to beat Tesla to market, according to a report by Reuters.
GM, the report says, is developing an electric van aimed at businesses like Amazon and United Parcel Service Inc. specifically to preempt the California-based EV manufacturer, which has yet to announce plans for a commercial EV other than the Tesla Semi.
The GM van, code-named BV1, is due to start production in late 2021, sources told Reuters. It is likely to share some components with GM’s future electric pickups and SUVs, including the automaker’s new Ultium advanced battery system. It is expected to be assembled at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is being reconfigured for EV production.
“(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,” the company said in a statement.
Sources say GM is debating whether to offer the EV van through its traditional Chevrolet or GMC truck brands or bring it to market under a different brand such as Maven. GM’s first electric pickup truck, due in late 2021, will be sold by GMC dealers under the Hummer brand.
While Telsa has not announced plans for an electric commercial van, other automakers, like Plymouth Township-based Rivian, Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz already have thrown their hats into the ring.