General Motors’ premium-priced pickup truck, the GMC Sierra Denali, is getting an electric upgrade.
The Sierra EV will launch in early 2024 in the popular (and pricey) Denali trim, with an estimated 400 miles of range and a fully optioned suggested price of $107,000. The following year, GMC will offer more moderately priced AT4 and Elevation trims, the latter of which is expected to start at $50,000.
The Sierra EV Denali will arrive amid a multidecade love affair between American car buyers and trucks, with pickups accounting for five of the industry’s 10 bestselling vehicles in 2021 despite their increasingly higher prices. GM in particular is predicting that electric trucks will sell just as well as their gas counterparts, if not better. The company is the latest to bet big money that electric trucks will lead the way in the shift to zero-tailpipe emission vehicles.
The Sierra EV Denali will arrive amid a multidecade love affair between American car buyers and trucks
The Sierra EV will be the third electric vehicle from GMC, following the Hummer EV pickup and SUV. And when it arrives in mid-2024, it will join the Chevy Silverado EV in GM’s growing electric truck portfolio. At first glance, the GMC Sierra EV shares a lot of similarities with the Chevy Silverado EV: both are big high-riding electric trucks with boxy front ends and large, heavy batteries.
But while Chevy envisions the Silverado EV as the electric truck for the masses, with both passenger and commercial versions, GMC sees the Sierra EV as geared toward more affluent buyers who want the good stuff. Think quilted leather seats, a large portrait-style touchscreen, hands-free driver-assist technology, and even some quirkier features, like CrabWalk Mode. And of course, it had to be Denali because, as GMC’s head of marketing Molly Peck put it to me earlier this week, “Denali signals the best.”
a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white md:text-30″>Specs, specs, and more specs
We talked about the price and the range, but there are, of course, many more specifications to consider with the Sierra EV.
All versions of the truck are expected to come with dual motors, one in the front and one in the rear. It will be capable of charging at rates of up to 350kW, which would add about 100 miles in under 10 minutes.
Like most electric vehicles, the electric Sierra will be incredibly quick, able to sprint from zero to 60mph in less than 4.5 seconds. That’s quicker than the RWD single-motor Cybertruck and about on par with the Chevy Silverado EV, Ford F-150 Lightning, and the tri-motor Cybertruck. But that would also be slower than the quad-motor Cybertruck (2.9 seconds) and the launch edition of the Rivian R1T (3.3 seconds).
Like most electric vehicles, the electric Sierra will be incredibly quick, able to sprint from zero to 60mph in less than 4.5 seconds
The Denali version sounds like it could easily knock the wind out of you, with an estimated 562kW of total power (754 horsepower) and 785 pound-feet of torque while in Max Power Mode.
The Sierra EV will not have the Hummer EV’s “Watts to Freedom” launch-control start. Instead, it will have a Max Power Mode that drivers can stay in indefinitely, unlike Watts to Freedom, which only stays active for the initial acceleration. Other drive modes include Standard, Tow / Haul, Off-Road, and a customizable MyMode.
But the Sierra EV will have CrabWalk Mode, allowing it to move across the terrain diagonally at low speeds like a sand-dwelling crustacean. CrabWalk Mode is enabled by the electric truck’s four-wheel steering capability in which the rear wheels turn at the same angle as the front wheels, allowing diagonal movement of the vehicle.
What electric vehicle in the Year of our Lord 2024 won’t come with these features
Those wheels are 24-inch monsters that ride on an adjustable air suspension framework that can raise or lower the truck a total of two inches. One-pedal driving and regenerative braking are also included because what electric vehicle in the Year of our Lord 2024 won’t come with these features?
The GMC Sierra EV Denali will be capable of carrying 1,300 pounds of payload and towing up to 9,500 pounds. No word on how much range you’ll lose when you start hauling heavy items.
And it will serve as a mobile generator thanks to 10.2kW of outboard power. That’s enough energy to power most essential devices in a home during a blackout for up to 21 days. By contrast, the base trims of the F-150 Lightning can put out 2.4kW of onboard power, and the more expensive Lariat and Platinum trims offer a total of 9.6kW of onboard power. (Base model Lightning buyers can get up to 9.6kW of onboard power, but it costs extra.)