|A Changing Market on Display in Las Vegas|
Electric vehicles, leaps in sensor technology, car connectivity and in-car gaming will lead the way in automotive news from this week’s sprawling CES show in Las Vegas.
Stellatis, which has lagged most of its rivals in the transition to electric vehicles, will unveil the Ram 1500 Revolution battery electric car concept later this week. Ram needs a pickup to stay competitive with the Ford F-150 Lightning, which is already on the market, and the Chevrolet Silverado EV, which goes into production this year.
Also at CES, BMW will be showcasing its next-generation Neue Klasse platform, which is scheduled to start producing vehicles in 2025.
The Ram 1500 Revolution shows how the electric vehicle market is changing. A decade ago, it was a niche business dominated by Tesla, bolstered by low-volume compact models like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt plug-in hybrid. But now EVs are spreading across huge vehicle categories, including pickup trucks.
Ford says it plans to produce about 150,000 electric pickup trucks this year and is working on next-generation models. Ram did not discuss pricing or production targets.
Many of the first buyers of EV pickups are consumers looking for the latest and greatest from automakers, but analysts see commercial users as core buyers. Commercial vehicles typically drive repeatable routes within EV range and return to central depots where they can be easily recharged.
One issue is pricing. Some of the first consumer versions of electric pickups, such as the GMC Hummer EV, are priced close to his six figures or in the top six figures. Ford has raised the price of the Lightning three times since the truck’s launch, with the entry-level model rising from his original $40,000 to nearly $58,000 now, including shipping.
— Jerry Hirsch