2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV Review
2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year if you’re a pickup truck driver and want to go electric. The Ford F-150 Lightning is already a sales success, and rapidly gaining in popularity for its driving experience and performance. The Rivian R1T has received great ratings for customer satisfaction. And now, Chevrolet is introducing the first of many electric Silverado models. The first Chevrolet Silverado EV is called the 4WT, with “WT” standing for “work truck.” Currently available only for commercial users and fleets, it’s an exciting new product – and has us excited for the other Silverado EV models to come.
Silverado EV: Range and Performance
With two motors, the Silverado EV 4WT offers exceptional performance. 510 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque are delivered to all four wheels, enough for tough jobs and for towing up to 10,000 pounds. Thanks to their ability to produce maximum torque from a standstill, electric motors are great for towing, and make moving a trailer around easy – although at the cost of range, depending on how large and heavy the trailer is.
Speaking of range, thanks to its massive 200-kWh battery pack (similar to the one used in the GMC Hummer EV), the Silverado EV 4WT delivers an estimated 450 miles of driving range – a 130 mile advantage over the Ford F-150 Lightning with the extended range battery. That said, the gigantic battery contributes to a gigantic curb weight of over 8,500 pounds, and fully charging the battery on a conventional home charger could take up to 20 hours.
Most charging sessions won’t need to completely fill the battery and should take a lot less time. In the future, as higher-powered home chargers become more commonplace, the Silverado EV is ready, and able to charge at 19.2 kW from a Level 2 AC charger – almost as fast as some of the slower DC fast chargers out there. If you’re able to charge at 19.2 kW, the Silverado EV 4WT will fully charge from zero to 100 percent in 12 hours.
Enhancing the Silverado EV’s range are three different regenerative braking modes, varying from “one pedal” driving turned fully off to aggressive regeneration. In all modes, the Silverado EV captures energy under braking.
Like the F-150 Lightning and other EVs with “vehicle to load” capability, the Silverado EV also offers the ability to function as a power pack for tools and other equipment on the job site – or even power a home in the case of an outage. There are six 120-volt outlets on-board as well as a 240-volt, 30-amp outlet, with a total of 7.2 kW of output. That means you can theoretically charge another EV from its battery, if required. Of course, all of this functionality will also work seamlessly with GM’s recently announced home energy solutions.
Chevrolet Silverado EV: Design and Practicality
While it has familiar looks, and shares much of its muscular design language with gasoline and diesel-powered Silverado models, the Silverado EV is actually built on General Motors’ dedicated Ultium EV platform. Not adapted from a gasoline vehicle, the Silverado EV’s ground-up design gives it more efficient packaging.
The advantage of using a brand-new electric-only platform is particularly obvious inside the truck. Currently available only as a crew cab with four doors, the Silverado EV has a huge rear seat area, offering way more space than other full-size pickups, including the F-150 Lightning. You can actually flip up the rear seats to create a huge inside cargo area for tools, cargo, or whatever you need to bring to a job site. Optional storage bins can be installed under the fold-up rear seats to keep things organized.
Unlike the luxurious Silverado EV RST, which will be targeted at personal-use customers, the Silverado EV 4WT is designed for work first. So while the cabin is very spacious and comfortable, it’s finished in durable hard plastics, with vinyl seats and flooring that will be easy for hard-working owners to clean. The gear selector is mounted to the steering column, freeing up storage space in the center console. And there’s a large 11-inch center infotainment touchscreen with all of the features you’d expect, as well as a 7-inch driver instrument display, smaller than the 8-inch one on the luxury RST. Even better is the presence of easy-to-use knobs and buttons that make operating all of the Silverado EV’s functions easy, even with gloves on.
The Silverado EV RST has a collapsible “midgate” that allows the pickup truck bed to be expanded into the cabin by folding down a wall between the two. The 4WT, designed for heavier-duty use, doesn’t have the same feature. Still, the 5-foot 11-inch cargo bed can be expanded to a full eight feet long when the tailgate is flipped down. The bed is filled with practical tie-downs and has integrated LED lighting to make it easy to use during nighttime.
Of course, since there’s no giant gasoline engine up front, the Silverado EV also has a trunk in the front, which Chevrolet calls the “eTrunk.” Measuring 10.7 cubic feet – 32 percent smaller than on the Ford F-150 Lightning – the front storage area is manually operated with a power locking mechanism, sort of like the soft-close doors on a luxury car. Power outlets inside the eTrunk let you run tools and other equipment easily.
Silverado EV 4WT: Pricing and Availability
As we said, the Silverado EV 4WT is available only for commercial use at the moment. GM feels that its impressive efficiency, and the lower operational costs associated with being an EV, will help offset the sticker shock of its $79,800 starting MSRP (including $1,895 destination). That starting price makes the 4WT eligible for the $7,500 federal EV incentive, if you stay away from the options list.
For fleet managers and business owners that want a less-expensive vehicle, there is a lower-range Silverado EV 3WT model coming as well; Chevrolet promises an EPA estimated range of over 350 miles, which is still excellent for a pickup truck. It will have a starting MSRP of $72,905 when it launches later in 2023. For personal use, the Silverado EV RST is available for pre-order, with a starting MSRP of $105,000 – about $7,000 more than the top-trim Ford F-150 Lightning, though with a significantly longer estimated range.