Chevrolet has revealed its first all-electric pickup, wading into the growing EV truck segment with the 2024 Silverado EV aiming to take on Ford’s F-150 Lightning. When it arrives in 2023, the new Silverado EV will be based on GM’s Ultium platform, capable of around 400 miles of driving – model depending – on a charge, and include unusual flexibility features like a Multi-Flex Midgate that allows the bed to extend into the cabin for hauling longer items.
Though it’s not GM’s first pickup EV to be revealed – that being the GMC HUMMER EV, of which the automaker apparently shipped a single unit by the end of 2021 – the Silverado EV is arguably far more important for the company. Silverado is Chevy’s best-selling nameplate, and with both consumers and businesses looking to go electric without necessarily sacrificing practicality, zero-emissions trucks look set to be big business.
In the case of the 2023 Silverado EV, Chevrolet says the pickup was designed entirely with electrification in mind. It looks distinctly different to what we’ve come to expect from a Silverado, particularly with the shorter front overhang enabled by the absence of a gas engine under the hood.
That fascia is more sculpted, too, to improve on aerodynamic performance. Air is guided down the sides of the truck, helping cut turbulence and drag; Chevy isn’t talking exact numbers yet, but says it expects the Silverado EV to have “one of the lowest drag coefficients of any available production full-size pickup truck.” The only body style, meanwhile, will be Crew Cab.
2024 Silverado EV models and pricing
To begin with, Chevrolet will have two 2024 Silverado EV models to choose between, covering different extremes of the market range. For consumers, there’s the Silverado EV RST First Edition, which will be priced from a hefty $105,000 (plus $1,695 destination) when it arrives in fall 2023. It will have 400 miles of range, and features like four-wheel steering, automatic adaptive air suspension, and enhanced Super Cruise with trailering capabilities.
The electric motors will be good for up to 664 horsepower and over 780 lb-ft of torque, Chevy promises, when the RST is in “Wide Open Watts” sport mode. That should be good for a 0-60 mph time of under 4.5 seconds. Up to 350 kW DC fast charging is standard, too, with a suitably-potent charge capable of adding around 100 miles of driving range in 10 minutes.
As for towing and payload, Chevrolet says the 2024 Silverado EV RST First Edition will be rated for up to 1,300 pounds of payload, and up to 10,000 pounds of trailering.
At the other extreme, the fleet-oriented Silverado EV WT (Work Truck) model will be focused on business needs. It, too, will promise around 400 miles of range, with up to 1,200 pounds of payload capacity and up to 8,000 pounds of towing. 350 kW DC fast charging support will also be standard when it arrives in spring 2023.
2024 Silverado EV practicality and platform
Like Chevy’s other trucks, there’s unsurprisingly a big focus on making the Silverado EV more practical when hauling is key. The Multi-Flex Midgate is a good example of that, allowing the divider between the second row seating and the bed to be opened up. That way, the standard 5 foot 11 inch bed can be enlarged to just over 9 feet between the cab and the tailgate.
That tailgate can, optionally, be upgraded to the power Multi-Flex Tailgate. With that opened up, the bed expands to up to 10 feet, 10 inches. Chevrolet will have an optional tonneau cover that secures the whole thing. Finally, there’s an eTrunk where the combustion engine would normally be, both lockable and weatherproof and scaled to fit a large, hard-side suitcase.
In the cabin, there’s a new modular console design, which adds a further 7+ gallons of storage. That means space, Chevy says, for up to a lunch cooler. The second row is 40/60 split, with four configurations to suit a mixture of passengers and cargo.
Tapping the onboard battery power for more than just driving is something we’ve seen EV-makers increasingly make use of, and the Silverado EV will be no different. Fitted with the optional accessory power bar, the truck’s PowerBase charging system will supply up to 10.2 kW courtesy of up to 10 outlets. That could be used to power tools at a worksite, accessories while camping, or key household appliances during an outage. An accessory charge cord could be used to recharge another EV, too.
Underneath it all is GM’s Ultium platform for electric vehicles. That uses the available 24-module battery pack as part of the Silverado EV’s core structure – maintaining strength without unduly bumping up weight in the process – paired with independent front and rear suspension. On the automatic adaptive air suspension standard on the RST, the truck can raise or lower by up to 2-inches.
Four-wheel steering – as seen on the Hummer EV – cuts the turning radius of the truck, aiding maneuverability at low speeds. At higher speeds, meanwhile, it improves handling and stability. Up to 24-inch wheels are offered on the RST, with e4WD standard courtesy of dual drive motors.
Technology and Comfort
If the outside of the Silverado EV marks a departure for the truck, the dashboard is even more unexpected. Gone are the diminutive screens and multitudinous physical controls of the current pickup, replaced for the most part by sizable touchscreens.
In RST form, the center console gets a 17-inch infotainment touchscreen, with an 11-inch display for the driver instrumentation. A 14-inch head-up display is offered, too. Hands-free start – activated when the driver sits down – means no start/stop button, either. The Silverado EV Work Truck version slims down the center console display.
Chevrolet hasn’t done away with all of the physical controls, mind. There are still dedicated knobs and buttons for the HVAC system, a physical volume knob, and familiar keys on the steering wheel for things like cruise control. While that leaves the Silverado EV’s cabin looking a little less futuristic than the minimalistic aesthetic adopted by rivals like Rivian and others, it’s likely to find favor with more traditional truck owners who don’t necessarily want everything to be controlled via a virtual interface.
Keyless entry – via fob or smartphone digital key – will be supported, and Chevrolet is using GM’s Ultifi software platform for the EV’s electronics architecture. That means broader support for updating the Silverado EV’s hardware and software features via over-the-air (OTA) updates.
More Silverado EV models – and price points – to come
With the WT and RST First Edition bracketing the Silverado EV line-up, unsurprisingly Chevrolet plans to fill in the gap in the middle over time with more trims. After production ramps up, the automaker says, there’ll be a regular RST, Trail Boss, and other versions of the electric pickup, with pricing starting at $39,900 (plus destination). A second Silverado EV WT configuration will bump up the towing capacity to 20,000 pounds.
Chevrolet says it’s targeting MSRPs around $50k, $60k, $70k, $80k and more, with a wide array of options and configurations given the expected breadth of demands new owners will be placing on their electric truck.
still, as launch approaches go, Chevrolet’s is in marked contrast to how Ford is debuting its F-150 Lightning. For a start, the 2024 Silverado EV WT won’t, initially, be available to individual customers, it appears: only to fleets. Ford’s strategy was to have a much more affordable F-150 Lightning configuration available to everyone from day one. That means, when Silverado EV reservations open today, consumers who want to be among the first to own the truck will have to be willing to part with six-figures for the privilege.