The electric truck market is quickly becoming one of the most hotly anticipated segments in the automotive industry. Heavy hitters like Ford are producing electrified versions of their greatest hits, like the F-150 Lightning, and newcomers like Rivian are adding to the mix. Not to be outdone, GM and Chevy are jumping into the fray with a second EV truck addition — the Chevy Silverado EV RST.
Since its announcement in early January of this year, the Silverado EV has quietly been in the background while Chevy drops subtle hints about its exciting and technologically advanced future. Yet, save for its dual-motor electric drivetrain, there’s nothing quiet about the vehicle.
The exterior design is a prime example. The truck’s lines are long and boxy like the Silverados of the 90s and early 2000s, yet the shape shares many similarities with the now-discontinued Chevy Avalanche. The high truck bed has diagonal lines connecting the cab to the truck bed, characteristic of the late 2000s Avalanche. On the Work Truck (WT) version, the rims and thick 35-inch wheels emphasize how this truck can kick around the dirt.
The truck’s bed is where it differentiates itself from the competitors. The length of the bed stretches to just under 6 feet long. It extends an extra foot toward the back of the truck thanks to the bed extender designed in the tailgate. The folding midgate, another design cue from the Avalanche, can extend the bed length to over 10 feet. In addition, the truck features a spacious front trunk space, called the eTrunk, with an estimated nine cubic feet of storage.
The Silvarado will also have the same four-wheel independent suspension system used in the Hummer EV, giving it the superior off-road capabilities one expects of a vehicle of its stature.
At its core, the Silverado EV is a get-stuff-done truck. The WT base model has a dual-motor AWD powertrain that puts out 510 horsepower and 615 lb-ft of torque, and the initial release RST model will receive the Wide-open Watts (WOW) boost mode that provides up to 664 horsepower and 780 lb-ft of torque. The truck is estimated to have a 0–60mph time of 4.5 seconds, which is pretty quick considering the car is estimated to be as heavy as the Hummer EV. Because of the immense power and torque produced from the Silverado’s powertrain, the truck can tow upwards of 10,000 pounds, matching the F-150 Lightning. A 20,000-pound towing capability version is said to be in the pipeline.
The truck’s battery range is estimated to be upwards of 400 miles thanks to the enormous dual-layer, 200kW battery pack. Usually, a battery pack of this size would take up to a couple of hours of fast charging to produce any significant charge, but Chevy devised a clever solution to that problem. Instead of charging each battery pack individually, the Silverado EV charges both simultaneously, achieving charging rates of up to 100 miles in just 10 minutes.
The five-seat interior is organized with display buttons and knobs that easily assist with the large touchscreen control center. The flat-bottom steering wheel features buttons that toggle the digital dashboard, and the console has a generous workspace, room for cup holders, and a clever wireless charging station. The truck also has safety features ranging from blind-spot monitoring and intelligent high beams to emergency and pedestrian braking systems. The Silverado EV also offers the optional Super Cruise hands-free driving package, Chevy’s semi-autonomous driving system.
While still over a year away, the Silverado EV has already garnered more than 140,000 reservations for its six-figure premium RST model. However, regular pricing for base model WT will start somewhere around $40,000.
The Detroit-made Silverado EV is an American workhorse. With a playful retro design and generous utilitarian engineering, the electric pickup is ready to rise to the top of the EV truck market.