Hot on the heels of Ford’s unveiling of the new F-150 Lightning last year, fierce rivals Chevrolet and Ram were both quick to underline that they too had plug-in pick-ups in the works. And the former has finally unveiled its fighter in the plug-in space race.
This is the all-new Silverado EV, debuted in flagship RST and base-model WT (‘Work Truck) trims. Inevitably the first point to note is that neither looks anything like the current Silverado. That’s in part because they’re both built on all-new platforms (the Ultium platform) designed specifically to house the electrified powertrain.
Chevrolet says that the more rounded, curvy front end is “sculpted to efficiently direct air down the body side, significantly reducing drag and turbulence”. It’s hard to ignore that it’s more soft than the upright, squared-off fascias of all other American pick-ups (including even the diminutive Maverick). We’re curious to see whether this helps or hinder its sales.
There is no single-cab version, with the Silverado EV exclusively to be sold as a double-cab. Despite the rounded features making it look a little smaller in photographs, the Silverado EV’s outright dimensions are similar to those of the ordinary Silverado, meaning it’s still a proper full-size pick-up.
Under the bonnet up front is a proper waterproof, sealed ‘frunk’ storage area to rival the Lightning’s. Having seen the amount of interest in the frunk space of both the Lightning and in the Rivian R1T, Chevrolet says it plans to offer a series of accessories for the Silverado’s frunk.
The neat practicality measures don’t end there. Chevrolet has also given the Silverado its ‘Multi-Flex Midgate’; a foldable area at the very front of the bed that allows users to expand the bed space into the cabin, subsequently making the space longer for bigger hauls that are up to 3302mm long.
Range? Well Chevrolet has elected not to share any information about its battery pack technology. It does say, however, that range will be rated from 644km per charge. Not too shabby for a vehicle this size and shape.
The base-model Silverado EV WT gets 375kW of power and 834Nm of torque, with the RST getting a more generous 495kW and in excess of 1056Nm, via its dual-motor layout. Chevrolet says it will be able to accelerate to 96km/h in under 4.5 seconds.
This performance is only accessible in the model’s sports mode, which Chevrolet has nicknamed ‘Wide Open Watts’, or ‘WOW’ for short. We’ll let you decide if that’s a win or a cringe.
Both get 350kW DC fast-charging capabilities. And, keen to at least equal the Lightning at its own game, Chevrolet says the Silverado EV will be able to both charge other vehicles via its vehicle-to-vehicle charging tech, as well as act as a charger to other electrical items and even whole homes. Handy for those on a worksite wanting to give drills and the like added juice.
On top of more performance, the RST also gets features like four-wheel steering, adaptive air suspension, Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving, and more toys in the cabin.
Pricing is to be fleshed out in full for the extended Silverado EV line-up, which is set to include a plethora of other variants on top of the pictured WT and RST. Thankfully Chevrolet has given us pricing for these two, though. The WT will start at US$39,900 ($58,700) and the RST US$105,000 ($154,500).
The model is set to arrive to American showrooms in early 2023 in WT trim, with the RST ‘First Edition’ following in the third quarter.
With New Zealand currently getting the Silverado via the local arm of General Motors Specialty Vehicles, the Silverado EV could eventually launch on our shores. We’ll keep our ears to the ground for more news as the model’s production approaches.