THE CURRENT GENERATION of full sized General Motors vans has been in production longer than any other new vehicle currently on sale—first introduced in 1996, with a face lift and switch to newer engines in 2003.
Now GM has announced they’ll cease production of these old school tanks in 2025. They haven’t yet released any details on a replacement except that it will be an EV, part of their master plan for a big shift to electric vehicles.
Other automakers updated their offerings years ago, so it’s a wonder GM held onto their warhorse this long. I guess there were plenty of people who loved it as much as I do. True, there has never been a factory high top, and the AWD version was produced for only a few years, but I’m still a huge fan.
I have no idea what the change will mean for us nomads. Will an electric skateboard chassis be as rugged as the old body-on-frame configuration? Will battery range be enough for us wanderers? Will the used Express/Savana market become glutted as most buyers switch to EVs, or will internal combustion vans become a rare, precious commodity, demanding collector prices? “Tonight on Barrett-Jackson Auctions, this unrestored 2013 Savana Cargo van with only a quarter million miles on the clock. Bidding starts at $200,000.”
Meanwhile, General Motors has announced a new company within GM named BrightDrop. It will specialize in electric vehicles for commercial applications. The first product announced is the EV600 delivery van, similar in a step van in size and configuration. The first ones will be going to FedEx. The sparse specifications claim a 250 mile range. It hasn’t been revealed whether the EV600 is front or rear drive, or both. But it’s academic at this point unless you’re a fleet buyer. At least we have a peek at what might be available on the retired commercial vehicle market sometime in the future.