First Look Review: 2024 Silverado EV First Edition RST

Grace Houghton

The Silverado EV is the first electric pickup Chevrolet has designed from scratch. It is also, among the Big Three, the first battery-only pickup designed from a blank sheet of paper: Ford’s F-150 Lightning, which debuted in May of 2021, is an adaption of the gas-powered F-Series platform, and Ram has yet to let anyone drive its battery-electric pickup, called the REV. We spent several hours on I-94 between Detroit and Chelsea, Michigan, plus a smattering of undulating two-lane roads, to get acquainted with Chevrolet’s champion in this next generation of the truck war.

The only vehicles available at this media event were RST First Edition trims, painted black, which represent the most expensive variant of the Silverado EV. Every bell and whistle is offered, including trailering-capable Super Cruise, air suspension, and 24-inch wheels.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV First Edition RST
Grace Houghton

The styling of this electric pickup resembles a Silverado the same way that a third-gen Equinox represents a Silverado: by hint and mimicry. The buttresses connecting the C-pillar to the bed recall the 2001–13 Avalanche: Their main function here is lowering aerodynamic drag, but the resemblance to GM’s other truck with a midgate hints at the ethos of this vehicle—practical, but with a unique flair compared to the long-running half-tons in GM’s lineup.

This Silverado EV needs no traditional grille to cool a combustion engine, so the shield-shaped indent in the front is simply another body panel. It hides a generous, easily accessible frunk; all the necessary cooling for other components is achieved by the lower air dam. Those vertical slits in the “cheeks” of the fascia are primarily for reducing aerodynamic drag—they are air curtains that channel air around the wheels. Between the wheels sits a GM-designed skateboard platform filled with Ultium batteries of GM’s own make, built in Warren, Ohio under a collaboration with LG Energy Solution of South Korea.

The 205-kWh pack grants this top-tier model a range of 440 miles, GM estimates, 40 up from that advertised at launch. Range is one of the things Chevrolet is most proud of on this truck. The closest competitor in this respect is the Rivian R1T, with 400 miles. A charging speed of up to 350kW and 24-inch wheels are other class-leading stats.

Grace Houghton

Specs: 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV First Edition RST

  • Price: $96,495/$96,715 base/as tested
  • Powertrain: Dual motors, one front, one rear; direct-drive transmission front/rear
  • Output: 754 hp and 785 lb-ft of torque (1064 lb-ft in WOW mode)
  • Layout: Four-wheel-drive, four-door, five-passenger full-size pickup truck
  • 0–60 mph: < 4.5 seconds (manufacturer estimate)
  • EPA fuel economy equivalent: 67 MPGe city, 59 highway, 63 combined
  • Competition: Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, Ram 1500 REV

In America, the majority of expensive trucks are luxury vehicles with mainstream badges. In this competitive set, high-quality accoutrements are mandatory. (Check out the $89K Ram that we drove recently; Ram intends to offer the same luxury-laden trim level, Tungsten, on its battery-electric truck.)

It’s in this area that the Silverado EV disappoints. Given the almost $97K sticker price, it’s a failure customers will notice. The tops of the doors, where you might rest an elbow, are not padded. (They are on the Equinox EV, which Chevrolet touts as America’s Most Affordable EV with 315+ Miles of Range.)

Though the steering wheel looks like it’s wrapped in leather, the material is a synthetic imitation that doesn’t pass the feel test. The grilles of the upgraded Bose sound system feel rubbery and flex under minor pressure. Almost everything else within reach is black plastic: The column-mounted shifter, a dead ringer for the one in the new Traverse; the buttons on the front and the back of the steering wheel; the insides of the A-pillar; on the dash beside and above the analog HVAC controls, which are black plastic with a bit of rubber; on the top and the sides of the center console.

The red piping and blue and red stitching on the seats, plus the red elements in the climate control vents and the red stitching on the steering wheel, read as a half-hearted attempt to disturb the reign of black in this cabin. When we asked about the availability of the white-and-black interior, pictures of which have been floating around on the internet, Chevrolet told us that black is the only interior color available on the First Edition RST.

Leather is not an option on the RST—you sit on thrones of Ecotex, the leather-esque synthetic material that first appeared on the humble Trax. Wood trim is nowhere to be seen, let alone the open-pore ash found in the Rivian R1T. Suede, as used for the headliner of that competitor? Dream on.

Though the truck does come with running boards (their underside is also fettled to reduce aero drag) Chevrolet won’t offer retractable ones; as the chief development engineer told us, the truck is not set up for them. (Chalk one up to the F-150 Lightning, which you could easily fit with fancy running boards from the aftermarket, since it rides on the familiar F-Series frame.)

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV First Edition RST glass roof
Grace Houghton

Glass is plentiful, and the cabin lets in a lot of daylight, but if you reach up to the glass forward-center section of the roof, you’ll find no sunshade. GM’s explanation is that the additional tint (compared to the side windows) was enough to satisfy its requirements, but that a shade will be available as a dealer add-on. Similarly, Rivian and Tesla both offer a panoramic glass roof on their electric trucks without a power-operated shade, and in those models one isn’t even available as an accessory.

We also observed uneven stitching that wobbled across the dash and armrests; GM clarified that the vehicles we encountered were either pre- or early-production, so we expect the issue to be remedied on customer trucks.

Power comes from two electric motors, one on each axle. Output is 754 hp and 784 lb-ft on the First Edition RST. Chevrolet won’t yet reveal the details of trim levels other than the 3WT and First Edition RST, other than to say we can expect WT, LT, and RST variants in the second half of 2024 and a Trail Boss for 2025. We would expect power output to vary across the lineup according to price, but Chevrolet’s lips are sealed for now.

The size of that battery pack is one of the biggest reasons to buy a Silverado EV, and not exclusively because of the impressive range it provides. The truck is a portable power source, capable not only of recharging your electric leaf blower or running an air fryer at your campsite but of powering your house during an outage for up to 21 days, says GM Energy’s website.

The Silverado is not the only vehicle in GM’s portfolio capable of vehicle-to-home (V2H), or “bidirectional,” charging—the Blazer EV, the Equinox EV, and the Lyriq do, too—but the Silverado has the largest towing capacity (11,000 pounds), and its battery is by far the largest available, at least until its GMC sibling debuts. If you don’t yet have a Level 2 charger at home—and you’ll definitely want a Level 2 to max out the capacity of a pack this large—GM Energy will sell you one with a three-year warranty for $1699. Unlike the $600 one from Chargepoint on Amazon, GM’s is capable of bidirectional charging. You’ll need to buy a lot more equipment to utilize that capability, though—without installation, and not counting the charger, all the stuff you need costs $5600 from GM Energy.

In that context, the eye-watering price point of the First Edition RST-spec Silverado makes a little more sense. The Silverado EV, as are most EVs these days with ranges and tow capacities rivaling ICE cars, is for a deep-pocketed customer who already owns a home but who has money to invest in significant home upgrades and who is excited to adapt to a novel, gas-independent lifestyle. If you live in Texas, Michigan, California, North Carolina, or Ohio, the states most frequently hit by weather-related power outages in the last 23 years, an EV capable of V2H charging is a compelling proposition. Your A/C will stay running, you can charge the batteries for your electric chain saw to help your neighbors move downed trees, the food in your fridge won’t go bad …

The Silverado EV’s genuine usefulness as a backup power source almost makes up for how unfriendly it can be to drive—on the 24-inch wheels, at any rate. The wheels are giant, the tire sidewalls small (50-section), the tire pressures high (low 60s up front, 70 in the rear), the weight huge (9119 pounds), the platform incredibly stiff. Even the complex suspension setup—adaptive dampers and air bladders, a combination unique to the RST—cannot ensure a comfortable ride on both highway and back roads on these wheels, with these tire pressures. You’ll need to use My Mode, rather than one of the factory presets, to set the suspension to its softest setting, Tour, to get the most compliant ride on highways.

From first impressions, we don’t recommend Tour for backroads driving, as the suspension felt nearly water-bed-like on undulating two-lane roads. A Chevrolet designer on location didn’t betray any second-guessing about the choice of the 24-inch rims, merely noting that the size was already present in the aftermarket for the ICE Silverado, and that 24s looked really good on the EV truck. While engineers on hand pointed out that the tires were extensively massaged in the wind tunnel, the diameter of the wheel seems suspect in a vehicle so focused on range and efficiency; the simpler solution for range optimization and increased towing capacity is a smaller, lighter wheel shod with a high-load tire.

We’d been curious about the launch mode, Wide Open Watts, and we finally experienced it. With a GM-estimated 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds, the Silverado EV isn’t Hellcat-quick but it’s disturbingly adept at acceleration for a vehicle of such height and heft. You activate WOW mode via the touchscreen. Tapping the icon, which looks a little like a Motorola logo upside down, triggers a ripple from the stereo that sounds straight out of Helldivers. The activation is gimmicky, though the launch itself isn’t—stomp the accelerator (no two-foot action needed), and the truck hurls itself forward without a whisper of wheelspin from any of the tires. We did one launch from behind the wheel and another from the passenger seat, the first with the truck at normal ride height, the second with it hunkered down, and both times the front end got light enough to cause the truck to weave side to side. Yikes.

Yes, you can road trip in a Silverado EV. Not only does the Google-built-in infotainment plan all your charging stops for you, but the First Edition RST comes with Super Cruise, which is also able to change lanes on its own and preemptively avoid slower traffic. (Super Cruise also works while towing, albeit without the use of automatic lane-change.) The system is well-executed and makes long stretches of boring highway delightfully chill for the driver. The only place you wouldn’t want to use it is on a highway with a lot of traffic and some aggressive, unpredictable drivers (we’re looking at you, I-96 in Detroit). In those scenarios, you’ll want to watch your own rearview mirror for gap-hungry Hellcats and the like.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV First Edition RST drive rear seat
Grace Houghton

After hearing a fellow journalist shower praise upon the rear seats of a competitor’s full-size pickup, your author spent an hour or so in the back seat of the Silverado EV, curious about what a kid might experience on a road trip. I exited the vehicle squinting, feeling jostled. Space there was, and plenty of it—you could fit an NBA player in this back seat, and they’d have knee and elbow room to spare—but I doubt that they would be any better protected from sun glare and heat through the glass roof, or from the pavement imperfections transmitted to the butt through the less-than-luxurious bench seat at highway speeds. I silently promised any potential future children I would buy them a Suburban.

The truck has its virtues. Four-wheel steering makes the Silverado EV quite nimble in a parking lot, something a Suburban cannot boast. The short front overhang is easy to adjust to if you’re coming from a smaller vehicle. Rear visibility is good, thanks to that wide rear glass and assuming that nobody is sitting in the back seat; even if they are, the camera feed projected onto the rearview mirror compensates well.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV First Edition RST drive midgate
Grace Houghton

Nearly every truck in the Silverado EV’s competitive set has a nifty storage solution that takes packaging advantage of the battery-electric architecture, and the Silverado’s is a midgate between the bed and the cabin. It lowers just like that on the aforementioned Avalanche: The bottom of the rear seats hinge forward, to rest against the backs of the front chairs. The backs of the rear seats fold toward the floor, and the glass can be unlocked, removed, and stowed in a pocket on the back panel, which then folds down. The only fly in the ointment is the pouch for the charging cable, which we stored under the rear seat on the driver’s side, but that prevents the seat backs from folding completely flat. Chevy doesn’t provide a specific spot to put the pouch, so it’s up to you to chuck it somewhere out of the way.

The RST is probably our least favorite version of the Silverado EV. Not only is it more than double the average transaction price (about $47,000) for a new vehicle in 2024, but it also comes exclusively with the punishing 24-inch wheel-and-tire set. Swap them out for, say, the Work Truck (WT) variant’s 18s, and cushier rubber, avoiding the glass roof, and the regular, non-air suspension might be able to keep up with the mass of the pickup. Hagerty staffer Steven Cole Smith had no complaints about the ride after his admittedly brief time with the WT back in October 2023. That truck rides on 18s and a coil-spring suspension—a significant upgrade from the gas-powered Chevrolet trucks, all of which still use leaf springs. If more comfort at a lower price point is your priority, however, Chevrolet will make you wait until the second half of this year for an LT variant of the Silverado EV.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST infotainment screen

The fanciest thing about the First Edition RST’s cabin are its dual digital displays. Functionally, they are quite customizable; you can relocate icons and move your favorites to the top rail of the central 17-inch touchscreen, adding up to five in the section below the volume knob, an area nearly perfectly obscured by the right side of the steering wheel, and download third-party apps.

Your author particularly enjoyed the multiple configurations of the 11-inch screen behind the steering wheel that serves as an instrument panel: You can toggle it to display full-width Google Maps, freeing you from sideways glances at the center panel. Aesthetically, the layout is rigid. The color scheme is blue or light blue, and CarPlay, as with all new GM EVs, is not offered.

The menu structure is not intuitive—if you don’t realize you can prioritize and relocate various icons, you will fall down a rabbit hole of submenus just trying to tweak the regen on the brake. (I never thought I would miss the outgoing Bolt’s regen-on-demand steering-wheel paddle control, but this truck made me wish for them.)

Chevrolet has been understandably busy debuting vehicle after vehicle this year, events which are the final milestones in years-long development processes. Many are proving quick successes: The newly matured Trax is selling like hot cakes. The new Colorado ZR2 is an on- and off-road champion. And how could we forget the Corvette E-Ray, which we declared “an all-American, grand-touring marvel,” and the upcoming ZR1, due to be revealed this summer? Yet even after our brief time with the Silverado EV, we suspect it would be difficult for any customer to deduce that this truck is made by the same company that designed and executed the world-class C8. While the Vette sets the standard for exceptional performance value, this electric Silverado doesn’t measure up to its nearly six-figure price tag. We know Chevy does trucks well. Its first electric truck deserves better.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV First Edition RST

Highs: Road-trip-worthy range, nifty midgate, can serve as stand-by power for your home and/or toys.
Lows: Punishing ride quality on 24-inch wheels. No spare tire. Interior is more worthy of a $45K truck, not a $95K one.
Summary: If you’ve waited this long for a knockout, clean-sheet electric truck from Detroit, keep waiting.


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    Ridiculously short range when towing even a modest trailer.

    I can tow 400 miles with an 11,000 equipment trailer and skid steer in mountainous Arizona.

    21 Days of backup for your house?

    I have 2 large refrigerators and a chest freezer. 205 kWh would cover them for just over 27 days. Not much left for the rest of the house.

    (I used a meter to test them over 24 hours to determine generator sizing)

    If ever there was an “All Hat, No Cattle” commuter truck, this is it.

    I appreciated the in depth research you did on this truck comparing its price and utility to a traditional truck. I like that you did not gloss over the fact that you will need a $1700 charger along with at least $5600 more equipment not including installation to achieve bi-directional charging. That would pay for 210 gallons of gasoline just for the hardware.

    The unnecessary 24″ wheels along with what to do with the charging cord when the midgate is down and the synthetic leather point to a product that was made within a tight budget but the price point is $96,000.00.

    If this is Mary Barra’s way of electrifying the General’s fleet she is seriously mis-guided. I am sure she has spent too much time in the penthouse and not enough time at dealer showrooms.

    I have an idea Mary. Why don’t you excuse yourself for a week and pop down to some local dealerships, say in Columbus, Ohio or Des Moines, Iowa and Boise, Idaho. Meet customers and dealers. Find out what they are in the market for. And build what they can afford and aspire to, not this poorly conceived pipe dream.

    thanks for sharing what you appreciated about the article, Glen! we always try to sweat the details and keep things real so that whoever reads our reviews is equipped with all the relevant information.

    $96k+ to own a less functional truck. I suppose it’s perfect for posing in suburbia for those who care. Better off with a Silverado with the 5.3L V8. It does look decent.

    Why don’t they just make the 4 door sedan car that they obviously think truckers desire and be done with it. A truck it ain’t.

    Punishing ride on 24’s? That would be no fun. I’d like to know how long a set of tires will last with the weight and power- 20,000 miles?

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