GMC Sierra Trucks Rumored to Get Plug-in Hybrid Trims

February 29th, 2024 by

Best of both worlds!


Will GM put plug-in hybrid powertrains into their best-selling full-size trucks? That’s the rumor, and it’s an exciting one to say the least! While the company has been behind a push for full electrification, GM CEO Mary Barra made the recent announcement that hybrids were definitely back on the table!


Here’s more…

In supporting this possible plan, it is important to note that there is a Silverado EV, which is an Ultium-based truck on a dedicated platform. The rumor swirling refers to the internal-combustion Silverado and Sierra. This is also not GM’s first attempt at a full-size hybrid. A very mild hybrid setup was present on some of the first-generation trucks and later, there was a two-mode hybrid powertrain that was slightly more efficient. These old hybrid models had the ability to run solely on electric juice and at speeds of up to 30 mph (48 km/h). There was even regenerative braking to charge the battery. Their successors, if the plan moves forward and the rumor plays out, are poised to be PHEVs, meaning there will be a charging port to replenish the battery similar to what would be done on a Silverado EV or Sierra EV.


In its attempt to be relatively aggressive in debuting downsized engine options for the full-size line, GM has placed the 2.7-liter turbo I-4 in the lineup as a base engine, much like naturally aspirated V-6 engines did in previous generations.

What else we know!


This plug-in hybrid trim truck push is a “crash program” of sorts, intended to improve some of the drawbacks of EV trucks in general. Among those hinderances are severely reduced range when hauling or towing. By comparison, the PHEV has far less major limitations, with the ability to use its gas engine and gasoline’s naturally superior energy density to assist when the battery is depleted.


It is suspect as to whether GM will have a truck ready for sale this year, with 2025 or 2026 being more likely. But when it comes to the notion of a PHEV Silverado, “plausible” or “even likely” fits the bill! While GM has been fully committed to all-electric pickups, problems with towing and hauling heavy loads have made EV pick ups less attractive to traditional truck buyers.


This overall plan is of great appeal to a company whose EV plans have pushed back a bit. Instead, alleviating the emissions impact of what is traditionally a heavy, thirsty and large-emitting full-size truck sounds more like it!


More details are not only expected, but highly anticipated!


This entire “possible” shift is a change of heart from testimony back in 2022 where GM’s President Mark Reuss emphatically declared, “We’re not going to dilute our investment into hybrids!”


Even further back in 2019, Ms. Barra claimed that customers generally are not interested in hybrids, and that moving quickly to electric vehicles was the plan.

Times have certainly changed, and if this would move forward, the plug-in hybrids would bridge the gap between the regular Silverado and Sierra with combustion engines and the newly launched purely electric models. Demand for EVs is definitely slowing down, so the timing may just be about right!


The “Wall Street Journal” has reported that “influential dealers” are pressuring GM to launch hybrid models so as to avoid losing that customer base who are not ready to switch to EVs. Meanwhile, plans for two electric trucks, one about the size of a Ford Mavericks and the other like a Ranger, have been halted.


It is important to note that GM’s change in plans creates uncertainty for Detroit’s Factory Zero, which has been retooled solely for production of battery-electric vehicles such as the GMC Hummer.


It is still unclear whether or not GM will extend the life of the Express/Savana yet again. Their basic design dates back to the 1971 model year with a redesign in 1997 and the last significant update taking place in 2003.

A look at Ford and the expense they have incurred in building key EV models in North America furthers this rumor coming to fruition. Ford lost a whopping $4.7 billion on its all-electric Model e business unit in 2023. This cut their overall positive earnings before income tax in the amount of $10.4 billion.


On the other hand, the Tesla Cybertruck has fared far better, with rising sales and deliveries. It is still uncertain if this is a novelty moving forward or a definite buying trend.


If GM does in fact move forward and put plug-in hybrid powertrains into their best-selling trucks, the outcome could surely benefit today’s driver. With an overall intent to improve the drawbacks of today’s EV trucks, the best of Both worlds could soon be realized