The Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 have been fighting for dominance in the domestic pickup-truck market longer than some of us have been alive. Now, it's about to enter a new generation, thanks to electrification. We've already seen a fair bit on Ford's F-150 Lightning, and now it's time to bring the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV into the fray.
Chevrolet on Wednesday unveiled the 2024 Silverado EV electric pickup truck atin Las Vegas. When it starts rolling off the line at GM's Factory Zero in Detroit in 2023, it will be available in two trims to start: the fully loaded, consumer-oriented RST (Rally Sport Truck) First Edition and the pared-back, fleet-centric WT (Work Truck).
If you're familiar with GM's current slate of electric vehicles, the Silverado EV's design looks like a pretty natural extension of that. Up front, the front fascia borrows much of its aesthetic from the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, with that thin strip of running lights covering the entire width of the truck. However, unlike modern pickups, a lack of a massive internal-combustion engine means the front overhang is positively tiny, which should make it a bit easier to park than your cousin's 2500 Duramax. The RST keeps the matte-gray elements to the lower part of the body, while on the WT, that unpainted look climbs all the way up the front bumper. And yes, there is a frunk, which GM calls the eTrunk.
My favorite part of the Silverado EV is the buttressing between the cabin and bed. It gives me Chevy Avalanche vibes, but in a good way. Move your eyes a little farther back, and the rear end looks traditional for a pickup, with GM's MultiFlex Tailgate opening to a bed that can accommodate items up to 5 feet, 11 inches long.
But there's a secret tucked away between the cabin and the bed. GM calls it the MultiFlex Midgate. Available on RST models, this pass-through enables buyers to carry even longer loads by folding down part of the 40-60 split second row. With the midgate open, the Silverado EV RST can carry items up to 9 feet long. Position the tailgate in its max storage position, as well, and that number grows to 10 feet, 10 inches.
If you're trying to envision the size of this truck, I can tell you after seeing it in person that it is large. The wheels you see in GM's promo pictures? Those suckers have a 24-inch diameter. GM didn't give out too many figures, but its overall length of 233 inches is a few tenths more than the F-150 Lightning. The roof tops out at 76 inches, which is about 2 inches lower than the Lightning.
Chevy could've made the interior a carbon copy of the refreshed 2022 Silverado, but it didn't. Instead, what we see is a clean-sheet design that looks as much like a passenger car as a pickup truck. The center console can hold 7 gallons, enough for a lunch cooler by GM's estimates. A fixed-glass roof makes the large cabin feel even airier, to boot.
Powertrain, charging and capability
All variants of the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV will ride on GM's Ultium platform, same as the Hummer EV. At launch, both RST and WT variants will carry the same battery, which GM estimates will deliver 400 miles of range for both models. Output on the RST is a fair bit higher; in its Wide Open Watts mode, the Silverado EV RST will generate up to 664 horsepower and 780 pound-feet of torque. The Silverado EV WT is downrated a bit at just 510 hp and 615 lb-ft. The automaker believes that WOW mode will enable the RST to reach 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds.
The Silverado EV's initial battery -- lower-range options are on the way, albeit later in the production process -- will be able to handle charging up to 350 kilowatts, which can add about 100 miles of range in about 10 minutes at full clip. Like the F-150 Lightning, the Silverado EV will be able to feed power to tools or other items at a jobsite or campsite, with 10 outlets offering up to 10.2 kW of juice, a little more than what the Lightning offers.
When it comes to truck stuff, both Silverado EV variants look sufficiently capable. The RST will be capable of towing up to 10,000 pounds and hauling up to 1,300 pounds in its bed, while the numbers on the WT are a little lower at 8,000 pounds and 1,200 pounds, respectively. Those of you needing to pull big items will want to wait a bit, as GM has promised a max-tow variant of the WT that will be able to tow up to 20,000 pounds, which is HD truck territory.
The Silverado EV is loaded with tech, whether it's in the cabin or hidden inside the body. RST models will get a standard adaptive air suspension that can adjust the truck's ride height by about 2 inches. Four-wheel steering is included, as well, but it lacks the crab-walking mode offered on the GMC Hummer EV.
Chevy Safety Assist, the automaker's suite of active and passive driver aids, comes standard on both RST and WT. This suite includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, a following distance indicator, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning and automatic high beams. It also includes trailer-capable Super Cruise, which will allow hands-free operation of the Silverado EV on pre-mapped highways across the US. We've sampled this tech on a GMC Sierra and found it to work just as well as the standard Super Cruise, albeit with a bit more work-focused capability baked in.
Since it's the fully loaded trim, it's no surprise that the Silverado EV RST packs some major cabin tech. The standard infotainment screen measures 17 inches, with an extra 11-inch configurable gauge display. The WT downsizes that a bit, offering an 11-inch telematics solution with an 8-inch digital cluster.
Pricing and release date
The first 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV variant to go on sale will be the WT, which is estimated to begin deliveries in spring 2023, and a GM representative told us that the first model year is largely spoken for already. Since these will be fleet purchases, GM didn't announce a price for the WT just yet. That said, once production gets up to speed, GM wants to sell the WT with a starting price of $39,900 before destination, although that model will have a lower range than what's been mentioned thus far.
The RST First Edition won't roll off the line until fall 2023, and it will carry the eye-opening price tag of $105,000 before destination. Eventually, other trims will follow, including Trail Boss and other familiar badges. GM hopes to have a Silverado EV variant available at multiple prices in the $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 and $80,000 ranges, although it did not offer a timetable for when the public might expect that.
That gives the F-150 Lightning quite the head start in the burgeoning new pickup-truck segment, but Chevy die-hards can start lining up for the Silverado EV RST First Edition today by placing a $100 reservation on the automaker's website.