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It’s shaping up to be the year of the electric pickup truck. Both the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV are now reaching paying customers, and the Ford F-150 Lightning is entering production this spring. Ford has so many reservations for it—200,000 at last count—that they’ve adjusted production targets from 40,000 to 150,000 units annually.
Enter the new 2024 Chevy Silverado EV. Starting sales next year, it’s a little late to the electric pickup party, but should help quench overwhelming consumer demand for zero-emissions adventuremobiles.
The first Silverado EV available will be the $40,000 WT (work truck) model, which goes on sale in the spring of 2023. General Motors hasn’t disclosed the range or battery capacity for this version yet, but says it will have 510 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque—more than enough to move work crews and building materials between job sites.
Following in fall 2023 will be the luxury oriented RST model, which delivers a 0 to 60 miles per hour time of 4.5 seconds courtesy of 664 horsepower and 780 pound feet of torque. Initially only available in fully loaded First Edition trim, the truck will include four-wheel steering, ride height adjusting air suspension, a multi-function tailgate, tech’d-out interior, and an industry first semi-autonomous driving function that’s capable of towing a trailer. All that adds up to a $105,000 price tag. But it does buy you a 200 kilowatt hour battery and a 400-mile driving range.
Where Ford’s F-150 Lightning shares its platform with the internal combustion F-150, the Silverado EV is built on top of GM’s electric-only Ultium chassis, which it shares with the GMC Hummer EV. That makes the Silverado EV considerably larger than the F-150 Lightning. Measuring over six feet tall and 19 feet long, the Chevy is closer to the dimensions of a three-quarter ton truck than it is a half-ton like the F-150.
And it makes the most of that size with a folding mid-gate that drops the bulkhead between the bed and rear seats, extending cargo length from 5.9 to 10.9 feet. The cab’s rear glass is also removable, should you need to take advantage of the full cab height to carry bulky items. Like other electric pickups, the Silverado EV also includes a generous front trunk.
General Motors says that subsequent versions of the truck, likely coming sometime after 2024, will fill out price points between the bare-bones WT and ultra fancy RST. The company says it’s targeting $50,000, $60,000, $70,000, and $80,000 pricing, and that it will also add more off-road oriented trims. Compared to the $120,000-plus Hummer EV platform mate, the versions of the Silverado EV being shown right now have two motors, to the Hummer’s three, and go without the Hummer’s locking front differential, which will limit capability on technical off-road terrain.
While using a unique EV platform endows the Silverado EV with trick features like that four-wheel steering, it also brings some limitations to the vehicle. Max payload on the WT is going to be 1,200 pounds, while the RST can carry up to 1,300 pounds. In comparison, the F-150 Lightning can carry 2,000 pounds and the Rivian R1T manages 1,760. Payload is the total weight a vehicle is capable of carrying, not just what you put in the bed. The figure must include both human and canine passengers, and anything else in or on the truck. Close to the figure of a Toyota Tacoma, the Silverado EV’s limited payload is going to restrict its ability perform more than commute-style duties. Look at the weight of common items that work crews or homeowners may want to use a truck to transport—say, a pallet of mulch, which weighs 1,200 pounds—and you’ll see that the truck will be unable to safely carry such items, in addition to multiple passengers.
General Motors does say that a future variant of the Silverado EV, with no projected availability timeline or cost, will be capable of towing up to 20,000 pounds. That doubles the figure possible with the models Chevy is showing now—and the F-150 Lightning.
Also like the Ford, the Silverado EV will feature significant power supply capabilities, proving both 110 and 240 volt power outlets, and providing up to 10.2 kilowatts of energy. That should prove handy in camp, on a job site, and will be capable of powering appliances in your home in the event of an emergency.
The $40,000 WT is affordable, but won’t be able to safely carry much in the way of equipment, crews, or supplies. The six-figure RST has an impressive range, but lacks the off-road features really adventurous drivers might need. The truck is huge, with the biggest bed yet seen on any EV, but you won’t be able to load it up with heavy things. Hopefully those future models GM says it plans to fit in between the WT and RST are able to work, and play, a little harder.