General Motors decided to remove two fuel-saving features from their current fleet of pickups and SUVs. Due to the current semiconductor shortage, GM got rid of a “cylinder deactivation system that engages under light loads and a stop/start function that shuts the engine off when the vehicle isn’t in motion,” according to Fox News. This change “reduced their EPA ratings by around 1-2 mpg.”
Jaclyn McQuaid, GM’s Executive Chief Engineer for full-size trucks, said recently that those two features should return when they release the updated Silverado in 2022. “At this point in time,” said McQuaid, “we do not anticipate that flowing into the refreshed Silverado. We expect to launch it early next year with all of the feature and option content.”
History of the Silverado
The Chevy Silverado launched in 1999 as a light-duty truck. The truck was powerful enough for “off-road and hauling,” according to DePaula Chevrolet. During the first generation of the Silverado, Chevy released a few different options. DePaula reports that there was “an SS model that was introduced in 2003; a special edition Intimidator SS in 2006; a Performance Edition in 2004; a hybrid introduced in 2004; and a heavy duty variant that ran from 2000 to 2007.”
The second generation had an entirely new body style; new interior, exterior, and engine. The new Silverados were tougher and more powerful. Chevy achieved this with a small block V8 engine and a new steel frame. According to DePaula Chevrolet, “it received top safety marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it was awarded the North American Truck of the Year and Motor’s Trends Truck of the Year” in 2007.
Again, for the third generation in 2014, Chevy upgraded the Silverado’s power and overall durability. The truck was also more lightweight to improve fuel efficiency. In 2017, Chevy unveiled the fourth generation Silverado 1500, and released it in 2019.
For the 2022 model year, the new Silverado Limited will have a “3.0L LM2 I6 diesel” engine available. Other than that, there seems to be relatively no change from the 2019 model year. In April 2021, GM revealed Chevy would be building an electric version of the Silverado 1500. It has a hopeful range of 400 miles.
Why Is There a Semiconductor Shortage?
So many things depend on semiconductors, the chips integrated into electronic devices. Cars, smartphones, the new PS5, even dog grooming machines; and with the shortage, there’s been no supply to meet the demand.
According to the BBC, we can attribute the chip shortage to “the rise of 5G, which increased demand, and the decision by the US to prevent the sale of semiconductors and other technology to Huawei.” But the BBC reports that the shortage has been ramping up for years; it’s not something that recently happened. They report that “Semiconductor Engineering highlighted the risk of a chip shortage, partly due to a lack of 200mm manufacturing equipment, back in February 2020.”
The BBC gives us the bottom line, making the claim that “the pandemic accelerated an already precarious situation for chip makers…and it won’t get sorted out overnight.”