The Corvette is about to go electric.
“We will have an electrified Corvette next year, so it’s coming very quick,” General Motors President Mark Reuss told CNBC on Monday.
An “electrified” Corvette will be available first, with a “fully electric Corvette” to follow, he said. Reuss didn’t go into further details — such as a precise timeline, or whether “electrified” means it will be a plug-in hybrid. The traditional Corvette with internal combustion engine will remain available for sale, Reuss acknowledged.
Although GM’s experience with electric vehicles goes back decades — its late-nineties EV1 was the first mass-produced electric vehicle from a major carmaker — the automaker quickly lost ground to other manufacturers.
After Toyota arguably jumpstarted demand for non-traditional vehicles with its wildly popular hybrid Prius line, Tesla ultimately became the reigning champion and now dominates the electric-car industry. Tesla delivered over 930,000 electric vehicles in 2021, an 87% increase over the year before.
Now, GM is playing catch-up. The carmaker has said it plans to launch 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025 — and exclusively sell electric vehicles by the middle of the next decade — for now its business is overwhelmingly based on the internal combustion engine.
GM sold fewer than 25,000 electric vehicles in 2021. And in Q4, due to pause in production of its Chevy Bolt line after a major recall for risk of battery fire, GM only sold 26 EVs.
Reuss says the company will compete in segments that Tesla doesn’t compete in. “We are ramping up the launches,” Reuss said. “Our pipeline is fully loaded, so here we come.”
GM faces heavy competition, as every major carmaker looks to steal thunder from Tesla.
On Tuesday, Ford announced first Ford F-150 Lightnings are rolling off assembly lines and heading to customers after almost a year of anticipation about the electric version of its massively popular pickup. The Lightning has had loads of attention from customers, with 200,000 pre-orders before the first truck rolled off the line. Would-be owners who haven’t pre-ordered wouldn’t take delivery until 2023.