Chevrolet opened a new front in the truck war on Wednesday, promising that its Silverado EV electric pickup will beat the Ford F-150 Lightning on a host of key performance metrics, including range, towing capacity, horsepower. and space for passengers.
This is the first salvo as the battle for pickup supremacy moves to a critical new theater: electric vehicles.
GM CEO Mary Barra unveiled the Silverado EV – slated to go on sale in the second quarter of 2023 – in her keynote address Wednesday at the CES electronics show in Las Vegas. GM plans to publish Barra’s address on its Exhibit Zero website: gmexhibitzero.com/en-us.
The Silverado EV will debut as a 2024 model with prices starting at $ 39,900, Chevrolet vice president of marketing Steve Majoros said.
Full-size pickup trucks like the Silverado, F-150, and Ram 1500 are the top-selling vehicles of American automakers, generating billions of dollars in profits each year. They are also among the most technically difficult vehicles to electrify. Pickup truck owners expect to be able to tow heavy trailers and haul goods long distances, including frequently over construction sites and muddy fields. Towing is expected to dramatically reduce the range of EV pickup trucks, and heavy truck batteries can limit their usefulness on paved surfaces.
Automakers cracking the code to combine the performance demanded by pickup truck owners with the environmental benefits and low operating costs expected from electric vehicles will be well seated as U.S. vehicles move away from internal combustion engines.
GM will build the Silverado EV and other electric vehicles, including the GMC Hummer EV “super truck” and the Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV at its $ 2.2 billion Factory Zero assembly plant, which straddles Detroit and Hamtramck.
Lucid Air 2022:Electric luxury sedan could be world’s best car by mid-2022
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5:EV has a crucial luxury brand characteristic that the competition cannot match
My EV pickup can whip yours
The Silverado EV is a five-passenger crew cab, measuring 233 inches long, 80 inches wide and 76 inches high, roughly the same as a current Silverado short-box crew cabin.
Chevrolet claims a long list of “firsts” and “best” – 24-inch tires, 10,000-pound towing capacity, 1,300-pound payload, 400-mile range and glass roof, to start with – will power the Silverado EV to leadership among electric pickup trucks, despite going on sale more than a year after the Rivian R1T, which is available now, and several months after Ford’s F-150 Lightning, which is expected to go on sale this spring.
Sales of Silverado EV are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2023.
Unlike other high-end EVs – Ford Mustang Mach-E, Lucid Air, R1T, every Tesla – which have started selling with opulent high-end models, the first Silverado EVs to roll off the assembly line will be work trucks with prices starting at $ 39,900.
It is not known what federal tax credits, if any, the Silverado EV will qualify for, due to the legislative deadlock in Washington, DC
The Silverado EV will have a 5-foot, 11-inch bed, independent suspension, and two or four engines.
Key Features of the $ 39,900 Electric Work Truck:
- 8,000 pound towing capacity
- 1,200 pound payload
- 510 horsepower
- 615 lb-ft of torque
The $ 105,000 RST First Edition Personal Use Silverado EV will deliver more power and features, including:
- 10,000 pound towing
- 1,300 pound payload
- At least 664 horsepower and 780 lb-ft of torque
- 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds
- Four-wheel steering
- Automatic adaptive air suspension
- Seven-function Multi-Flex tailgate
- 17-inch infotainment touchscreen
- 14 inch head-up display
- 11-inch configurable instrument cluster
- Super Cruise hands-free highway driving system, with towing capability
- Retractable “middle door” that opens the rear of the cabin to the bed to accommodate 9 foot long items with the tailgate closed
- Detachable rear window for outdoor driving
The Silverado EV’s fast DC charging capability – up to 350 kW or 800 volts – will allow drivers to add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes.
Chevrolet won’t say how long it will take to charge at 80% DC, or for a full charge to 240v, the most commonly cited competitive figures for other EVs.
Designed like no other microphone
The exterior styling of the Silverado EV is more adventurous than that of the F-150 Scalable Lighting. The two pickups share a full-width LED light bar more or less where the front edge of the hood would be on a conventional pickup. The similarities end there.
While Ford has gone to great lengths to make the F-150’s lighting look like conventional F-150s – same cabin size and profile, identical beds – Chevy has created a whole new pickup truck look for the Silverado EV.
Even expensive and luxurious pickup trucks work for a living, so new form follows function in a way that takes advantage of the unique engineering of an EV. The cabin is larger than conventional Silverados, creating more space for passengers and storage. The A-pillars tilt steeply rearward for a sloped windshield and aerodynamic benefits.
“Our electric vehicle architecture has allowed us to rethink the entire use of space,” said designer Chip Thole. “We have a very short front overhang and better rear legroom than any Crew Cab pickup. “
The architecture of the electric vehicle is so rigid – thanks to the fact that the Silverado’s large battery is a structural part, connecting the frame rails and filling the space between the axles – that the engineers made the body a unique piece, eliminating the open space between cab and bed which allows current pickups to flex in response to heavy loads. This continuous profile contributes to excellent aerodynamics, reduced wind noise and the unique appearance of the Silverado EV.
An EV that makes sense
The interior of the Silverado EV features a pair of large LCD screens, one for instruments, the other a touchscreen that controls many features. However, the designers carefully retained the knobs and dials for frequently used functions like volume, audio adjustment, temperature, and fan speed.
“We strongly believe that knobs and knobs are necessary for certain functions,” said Chief Engineer Nichole Kraatz. Other popular features such as heated seats can be programmed so that they are always available with just one touch.
There is no start button or key. The Silverado EV will unlock when you approach its remote or a phone or card programmed to start it. Enter and the pickup is ready to go. It turns off when you walk away and lock it.
The range of the work truck is to be determined, but will be shorter than the costly 400 miles of RST. It’s not surprising. Commercial fleets often have more predictable service areas and schedules than personal use vehicles.
Chevrolet will begin sales of the work truck to fleets or individual customers in the second quarter of 2023. The first edition of RST is expected to go on sale this fall.
Other models will follow, including cheaper personal-use vehicles and a work truck capable of towing 20,000 pounds, well within the current heavy-duty pickup lineup like the Silverado 2500 and Ford F-250.