The first thing to know about the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup truck is that it shares next to nothing with its combustion-powered Silverado brethren. Neither does it share any body panels or glass with its GM Ultium platform stablemate, the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup. These facts distinguish it from its chief competitor, the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, which is simply an F-150 crew cab converted to electric power. The more familiar Ford may be an easier sell to conservative old-school truckers, but Chevy’s clean-sheet approach allows for better packaging and greater innovation.
Chevy Could’ve Called It the AvalanchE 2.0
The GM Ultium platform is rigid—rigid enough to allow Chevy to revive the notion of a unitized cab and box with an open bed that can expand into the truck’s interior by folding down a midgate, as popularized on the Chevy Suburban-based 2002-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT. The bespoke electric architecture allows the front seats to move closer to the front axle and farther away from the rear seats, while still leaving room for a 5-foot-11-inch box. That bests the combustion Silverado’s by an inch and the Ford F-150 Lightning’s by 4 inches. Fold the midgate down, and you get 9 feet of floor space to the closed tailgate—10 inches more than on a regular-cab, long-box pickup.
Open the optional Multi-Flex tailgate and pop up its load limiter, and the floor measures 10-foot-10. As on the original Avalanche, the midgate can fold down, with the rear window and optional tonneau cover sealing the cabin from the elements. Or doff the tonneau, pop the rear glass out, stow it on the lowered midgate, and fully open the cab to the bed. One major difference between the Silverado EV and the Avalanche: The midgate and seat are split 60/40, and everything folds forward into the cab either 60 or 100 percent. The original Avalanche midgate folded backward to stow in the bed floor.
Sizing Up the Chevy Silverado Electric Truck
The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado electric truck is roughly the same size outside as its crew-cab/short-box combustion-powered counterpart, but it’s considerably larger inside. Substantial differences in width and length between the Silverado electric and the GMC Hummer EV serve to illustrate the GM Ultium platform’s range of adjustability. The Silverado EV’s 145.7-inch wheelbase is 10.1 inches longer than the Hummer pickup’s and 1.7 inches shorter than a comparable crew-cab, short-box Silverado—while sharing the costly-to-develop crash safety structures. Varying the width of the suspension crossmembers and length of the control arms alters the track width affordably.
The F-150 Lightning’s frunk is way bigger—like V-8 big. Chevy shrunk the Silverado EV’s nose and then moved the HVAC componentry out of the dash and into the nose to free up cabin stowage space. Chevy’s smaller “eTrunk” does feature tie-down hooks and a 120-volt power outlet, however, and on RST models the lid will open and close electrically. The storage capacity should match the Hummer EV’s 9.0 cubic feet, well down from the 14.1 cubes available in the Ford electric truck’s frunk.
Power, Torque, Battery Range, and Charging
The top-trim models of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV will share the Hummer EV pickup’s 24-module 200-kWh battery pack. Estimated range is 400 miles for both the RST and the work truck. Chevy will offer smaller battery packs, with the Hummer SUV’s 20-module 167-kWh pack seeming like one obvious option. Two permanent-magnet-type motors will power all first-year Silverado EVs via single-speed reduction gearboxes. They’re similar to the Hummer motors, and neither can be declutched during low-demand cruising. In First Edition RST models set to Chevy’s Wide-Open Watts (WOW) mode, they’ll be tuned to produce “up to 664 hp and 780 lb-ft of torque.”
Relative to the Hummer’s Watts to Freedom (WTF) mode, WOW does without the sound-effects fanfare, and it propels the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV to 60 mph in a claimed 4.5 seconds. The more basic AWD commercial-fleet work trucks will produce “up to 510 hp and 615 ft-lb of torque.” (Fleet managers are rightfully reluctant to arm employees with 600-plus-horsepower trucks.) Lower-powered and single-motor two-wheel-drive model variants are expected in the coming years.
The GM Ultium platform’s 800-volt system can accept 350-kW DC fast charging. We’re told this will add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes. RST owners will have access to Ultium Charge 360, GM’s holistic EV charging plan, which is designed to simplify the overall charging experience, providing access to more than 100,000 publicly available charging points across the U.S. and Canada. WT customers get access to a similar fleet service plan.
Plugging Into the Silverado EV
It will be possible to plug devices into 10 AC plugs found in the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV electric pickup. There are four 120-volt outlets in the pickup box plus one each in the frunk and center console. There’s a single 240-volt outlet in the pickup box, and an accessory “Power Bar” that plugs into the CCS charge port will provide two additional 120-volt outlets and one 240-volt socket. The Power Bar also enables buddy-charging of another EV, with the charging rate approaching that of a Level 2 home charger.
In total, the system can export 10.2 kW of electric power, and the driver can specify a minimum remaining state of charge or driving range to stop exporting power to ensure safe return to a charging station. Probably not coincidentally, that just eclipses the 9.6-kW power-export limit of Ford’s F-150 Lightning. All of this means it should be just as easy to power your house during an electricity outage with an electric Silverado EV as it is with an F-150 Lightning.
Payload and Towing
The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition models will be rated for 10,000 pounds of towing and 1,300 pounds of payload. For comparison, the F-150 Lightning is rated for 10,000 and 2,000. Commercial work truck variants will initially be rated for 8,000 and 1,200 pounds, respectively. But a special towing-focused fleet model Silverado EV variant arriving for the 2025 model year will be rated to tow a whopping 20,000 pounds. This model will also get four-wheel steering like the GMC Hummer EV’s to ease trailer maneuverability. And speaking of towing, initial Silverado EV RST models will feature the latest Super Cruise system, which supports trailer towing.
Best-in-Class Drag Coefficient
The super-smooth nose, flush glass, flat underbelly, rear diffuser, an available tonneau cover, sail panels, and roof spoiler combine to give the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV what the manufacturer claims is the lowest drag coefficient of any production full-size pickup truck (with the Tesla Cybertruck an unknown for now). Frontal area should be similar to that of the combustion Silverado, but credit for several of those 400 miles of range surely goes to the wind-tunnel tuning team. The 24-inch wheels that come standard on top RST models are exceptionally smooth and fully closed except for five narrow slots to route cooling air to the brakes (the wheels are not directional). Chevy even claims the fixed running boards that come standard on the RST help manage airflow between the tires.
The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV’s basic suspension design is quite similar to the Hummer EV’s, featuring upper and lower control arms front and rear, and at least on First Edition RST models, standard rear steering adapted from the Hummer EV. And if you’re wondering, Chevy hasn’t decided whether the Silverado EV will offer Crab Walk functionality as the Hummer EV does. Automatic adaptive air suspension provides 2 inches of height adjustment up or down (Extract mode lifts the GMC Hummer 5.8 inches), and Continuous Damping Control shocks fine-tune the ride and handling characteristics on a millisecond basis on top RST models. Those versions also get standard 24-inch aluminum wheels, but don’t fret about potholes—they’ll be wrapped in 275/50-series tires for an overall diameter of 35 inches (top Hummers roll on 37s).
Chevy Silverado electric work trucks will make do with steel springs, a passive damping system, and 18-inch steel wheels. Future model variants will likely be tailored more toward off-road capability, sporting more aggressive tires, perhaps greater height adjustability of the air springs, locking differentials, and improved electronic traction aids.
Silverado EV Gets a Unique Cab
The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV will only be available in crew-cab configuration, and its interior looks nothing like the combustion Silverado’s or the Hummer EV’s. Screens are all the rage nowadays, so top RST models get an 11.0-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster with five display theme options. Additionally, it features a 14.0-inch head-up display and a 17.0-inch “free-form” landscape-oriented infotainment screen; a volume knob is glued to the screen as in some Ford and Land Rover products, but this one is positioned at the top left instead of the bottom center. Hard buttons for frequently accessed features promise to make the system easy to master.
We’re told visibility over the lower cowl and shorter hood is greatly improved. All interior materials are “vegan,” with initial RST production featuring handsome high-contrast charcoal and light gray PVC pleather seating surfaces accented with red piping and blue stitching. A completely flat floor leaves room for a deep, two-level front center console with 1 cubic foot of storage space. Moving the speakers up a bit on the doors allows stowage pockets to span each door’s entire length. In back, the seat cushions fold forward to allow the seat backs and midgate to fold down flat, and there are shallow stowage bins beneath the seats.
All Chevy Silverado EV RST First Edition models will get a laminated fixed-glass roof; we’re promised this weighs about the same as a steel roof and headliner but affords better headroom. There is no sunshade, but Chevy says deep tinting keeps the interior from becoming a solar oven. As in a Tesla, there will be no ignition switch or start button; simply sit down with a registered key (or phone), and the electric Silverado EV readies itself to drive.
Pickup Box Features
The composite box will feature four upper and four lower tie-down hooks (missing from the show truck), plus the electrical outlets and tonneau cover (also missing) and Chevy’s signature corner bed steps in the bumper. The floor features asymmetric arrow details at the rear that point toward the midgate split. Note that base and work trucks will lack the midgate. Cargo loading height matches the combustion Silverado’s.
The Silverado EV will use GM’s in-house-developed Linux-based software platform known as Ultifi (which should underpin all Ultium EVs). This platform is said to separate the vehicle’s software from its hardware, enabling easier and more rapid software updates and feature upgrades. Described more broadly as a “customer experience (CX) platform,” Ultifi gives owners a digital ID number and vehicle profile that eases access to various cloud services in pursuit of a “frictionless EV ecosystem.”
Availability and How Much Will It Cost?
You’ll start seeing commercial 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EVs on steelies roaming the streets in the second quarter of 2023. You can’t have one of these unless you’re a preferred commercial-fleet customer already negotiating with Chevrolet. Orders for civilian 2024 Silverado EVs opened January 5 to reserve an unspecified number of Chevy Silverado EV First Edition RST models priced at $105,000 plus an as-yet unspecified destination charge, which should match the Hummer EV pickup’s $1,695. Delivery of these trucks will begin in the fall of 2023. Only after those reservations are filled will the system begin taking orders for other variants, the least expensive of which will start at $41,595 if we’ve guessed the destination charge correctly. And we probably have because that figure just undercuts the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning’s $41,669.
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