General Motors (GM) – Get General Motors Company Report is pulling out all the stops to catch up with Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report and Ford (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report in the electric-vehicle market.
The Detroit giant is inventive, with the recent launch of a program aimed at tracking down and studying the driving habits of owners of the Cadillac Lyriq, the first electric model of its premium brand.
GM believes that analyzing how these customers use their vehicles will enable it to improve its products and services. In exchange for their cooperation, the group is offering interested consumers a discount of $5,500 on the car.
But the manufacturer of electric vehicles is not stopping there.
An Electric Chevy Blazer
Through its Chevrolet brand, GM has just unveiled a new electric vehicle with the stated objective of taking on Tesla and Ford. This new vehicle is the electric version of the Chevrolet Blazer.
The electric Chevrolet Blazer is an SUV/crossover that comes in several models, including an entry-level version, 1LT, with a base price of $44,995. A performance variant, SS, boasts 557 horsepower and 648 pound-feet of torque and is base-priced at $65,995. GM also offers a law-enforcement version.
The EV Blazer will go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, comparable to the performance of the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E at about 3.5 seconds.
The Tesla Model Y comes in two versions: the Long Range at a base price of $65,990 and the Performance at $69,990.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E comes in four versions with the entry-level model base-priced at $43,895 and a GT Performance model at $61,995.
A very important point for consumers: The electric Chevy Blazer will get as much as 320 miles of range on a single charge.
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Again, that’s comparable with the Tesla Model Y, which can travel up to 318 miles on a single charge, while the Ford Mustang Mach-E gets as far as 314 miles.
“The flexibility of the Ultium Platform enabled our design and engineering teams to develop the Blazer EV to offer an unprecedented range of performance and driving characteristics,” said Martin Hayes, the Blazer EV’s chief engineer, in a news release.
The Blazer EV will be assembled at GM’s Ramos Arizpe factory in Mexico. The Ultium platform is a modular setup that will underpin all kinds of vehicles in the GM family.
A Busy and Crowded Market
The first Blazer EV units will arrive at dealerships next summer. The entry-level version, the 1LT, will be sold beginning in first-quarter 2024, the company said.
The electric Chevy Blazer will be the eighth electric model GM offers. The others include the Chevy Bolt sedan and its SUV version, the Bolt EUV; the GMC Hummer EV, the Cadillac Lyriq, and the highly anticipated Cadillac Celestiq, which will be unveiled on July 22.
GM also promises to enter the lucrative electric pickup/truck segment with the electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado next spring. And the automaker is to unveil an entry-level electric SUV, the Chevy Equinox, priced at $30,000, to attract consumers interested in electrics but put off by the higher prices.
“Along with the all-new Silverado EV and Equinox EV coming next year, we are making great strides in offering more choices for zero-tailpipe-emissions vehicles — choices that make switching to an EV easier than ever,” said Scott Bell, vice president of Chevrolet.
The traffic jams of the next few years in the electric SUV segment could define the winners and losers of the U.S. automotive market for years to come, experts say.
The U.S. electric-SUV market segment is expected to more than double to 2 million vehicles a year by 2026, according to AutoForecast Solutions, which tracks automakers’ production plans.
More than 90 models could be competing for very small slices of that pie, AutoForecast Solutions and other analysts said.
LMC Automotive predicts that by 2025, the Model Y will account for 15.6% of a 13-vehicle compact and midsize electric-SUV segment, including Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the future SUV Rivian R2S. Chevy’s Blazer is expected to be in second place, with 6.6% of segment sales.