Chevy’s Silverado EV boasts 400 miles of range, 780 lb-ft of torque, and a nifty midgate
If there were any questions about whether Chevrolet would respond to crosstown-rival Ford’s all-electric F-150 Lightning, consider them answered. Chevy’s come out firing with an all-electric light-duty pickup of its own and, from our first look at the Silverado EV, it’s clear that the Bowtie brand isn’t backing down from the next generation of the truck wars. With an estimated 400 miles of range (with the largest battery), up to 664 hp and 780 lb-ft of torque on tap, and a 0-to-60 time as low as 4.5 seconds with the Wide Open Watts Mode, the 2024 Silverado EV looks ready to bring the noise—silently, of course.
Initially, there will be two trim levels offered: The flagship RST and the more egalitarian WT (Work Truck) model. As expected, the new Silverado EV will ride on GM’s heavily touted Ultium battery platform. This modular architecture allows for careful tailoring of the number of battery modules (more modules mean more range and grunt but require a longer charging period) as well as the configuration of the electric motors that will turn that juice into wheel revolutions. The chassis features independent front and rear suspension with automatic adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering (likely the same tech as in the GMC Hummer) on properly-equipped models, such as the RST First Edition.
Fully charged and equipped with the 24-module large battery pack, a Silverado EV should be able to eke out a GM-estimated 400 miles of range. Both the RST and the WT will feature DC fast charging of up to 350 kW, which should be good for roughly 100 miles of range added in just 10 minutes or so.
The Silverado’s not just about taking energy, though. Like its Blue Oval counterpart, Chevy says that the Silverado will lend its charge to other devices through the PowerBase charging system that offers up to 10 outlets and a total of 10.2 kW of electric power for tools, other batteries for gear like e-bikes, and much more. Even more impressively (and also like the F-150 Lightning), the Silverado can also charge other EVs in need of a quick bump.
Looks-wise, the Silverado EV won’t stray too far from its gas-powered siblings, which is probably a good thing. The only cab configuration offered will be the crew arrangement, likely because anything smaller would have compromised battery capacity. (A cursory glance at the parking lots around Traverse City, Michigan, reveals that most trucks are Crew Cabs anyways; this isn’t a surprising decision on Chevy’s part.) In place of the gas-swilling engine up front, a new eTrunk will offer a waterproof, lockable storage large enough to swallow things like a large, hard-side suitcase or any number of work- or adventure-related accessories. The truckiest part of the Silverado EV—the bed—measures an inch shy of six feet length-wise (compare that to the Lightning’s 5.5-foot unit). With the available Multi-Flex tailgate in its proper origami state, you can fanagle just over nine feet of storage between the cab and tailgate.
Taking a page out of the Chevy Avalanche’s book—aside from the angled C-pillars where the bed meets the cab—the new Silverado EV will also offer a trick folding wall (dubbed the Multi-Flex midgate) between the cabin and the bed, enabling up to 10 feet and 10 inches of load floor for things like kayaks and paddle boards. There’s also a tonneau cover offered to enclose the bed space and keep prying eyes and sticky fingers away from what you’re hauling.
Speaking of hauling, Chevy says that the Silverado WT, with its 510 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque, will offer 8000 pounds of towing and 1200 pounds of payload. Meanwhile, the RST will offer up to 1300 pounds of payload and 10,000 pounds max trailering. Those payload numbers lag behind the F-150 Lightning’s 1800 (extended-range battery) and 2000 (standard-range battery), but the WT’s towing figure pips that of the standard-range F-150 Lightning by 300 pounds. Curiously, Chevy says that after the initial launch, it plans to introduce a “fleet model” with up to 20,000 pounds max trailering when properly equipped. How a fleet version would differ from the Silverado WT is unclear, but our guess is much less in the way of tech-based amenities—think the removal of central infotainment screens and whatnot.
Inside, an available 17-inch central infotainment screen on RST models will convey navigation and radio data. The screen is angle towards the drive slightly, akin to the C8 Corvette’s arrangement. Just ahead of the driver, an 11-inch screen will offer driver-centric details, while a heads-up display that’s more than 14 inches large will project the most vital information right onto the windscreen. Shifting is now done through a Mercedes-style stalk on the steering column. Trailering-capable SuperCruise hands-free highway driving assist will be offered.
Pleasantly, the WT’s more modest interior doesn’t strike us as all that compromised. The screens may not be as shapely, and the color palette may be a bit more drab, but frankly, this looks like a very commendable take on the business-first mandate which all work trucks must satisfy.
The Silverado EV will be assembled at GM’s Factory ZERO, formerly the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly center. The rollout cadence goes like so: The WT, with a GM-estimated range of over 400 miles, will debut in the spring of 2023. In the fall of that year, the fully-loaded RST First Edition model will debut with an MSRP of $105,000 plus destination—gulp. As production hits full stride, Chevy plans to release the full torrent of the Silverado lineup, including a WT trim with an MSRP of $39,900 plus destination, a Silverado EV Trail Boss (hello, Rivian R1T competitor), and more. Chevy says it wants to connect the truck to customers across a wide range of price points, so expect Silverado EVs with MSRPs of $50,000, $60,000, $70,000, $80,000, and above. Interested in getting a spot in line? You’re in luck: Reservations for the Silverado EV are open as of 1 p.m. EST today.
It won’t reach the market as quickly as the Ford F-150 Lightning, and it may lack the electrified outdoors appeal of Rivian’s R1T, but what the Silverado EV has going for it is this: No segment boasts buyers that are as fiercely brand-loyal as the world of pickup trucks. There are folks with a Silverado High Country parked in their garage right now that will undoubtedly see this EV as a real possibility, and who would never stray across party lines to scoop an EV like the Lightning. Each of the big truck brands will need to come out with an electrified pickup to maintain its spot at the truck wars campaign table. Speaking of which, has anyone talked to Ram lately?