Remember the Chevy Avalanche, the ginormous Chevy Silverado variant that appeared on America’s roads in 2001? 20 years later, it’s back, this time in the guise of an electric pickup truck known as the Silverado EV. Same mulit-flex midgate that allows longer items to slide into the interior of the truck. Same removable rear window. In fact, with the rear seats folded forward and the multi-function tailgate lowered, Silverado EV drivers will be able to carry objects at long as 10 feet 10 inches without worrying about them sliding out onto the highway. Even the triangular sail panels that run from the end of the roof to the cargo box are reminiscent of the Avalanche. Cool!
Here’s other cool stuff: Chevy says the top model, the RST, with the largest available battery — 200 kWh? — will have a range of 400 miles, along with 485 kW (664 hp) of power and 780 pound-feet of torque in Wide Open Watts Mode. By the way, that 400 miles of range is with the RST’s standard 24″ wheels, the largest wheels ever offered by Chevrolet. 0 to 60 mph should take about 4.5 seconds, and towing capacity is said to be 10,000 lb, although Chevrolet hints that a future version will be able to lug 20,000 lb around.
The Silverado EV will be available in a W/T (work truck) version with a smaller battery for about $40,000. The RST First Edition will list for $105,000, and Chevrolet is careful to point out that final prices are set by dealers. Be prepared to pay up if you want one of them before everyone else gets theirs. Other versions of the truck will sell for between $50,000 and $80,000. The Silverado EV will come with the following standard or optional items:
- Four-wheel steering
- Automatic Adaptive Air Suspension, enabling the vehicle to be raised or lowered 2 inches
- Multi-Flex Midgate that expands the truck’s cargo capability while maintaining seating for a rear row passenger
- Available Multi-Flex Tailgate with power release
- 17-inch LCD infotainment screen paired with a neighboring 11-inch-diagonal reconfigurable driver instrument display and a multi-color driver head-up display with a field of view over 14 inches
- Trailering-capable Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free driver assistance technology, allowing drivers to travel hands-free on more than 200,000 miles of compatible roads across the US and Canada
The Silverado EV will have up to 10 electrical outlets — some 120 volt and some 240 volt — and a total capacity of 10.2 kW. It can be used to charge another EV with an optional adapter and cable. That amount of power is more than enough to power a home on occasion. Of course, there is a frunk, although it looks a little less capacious than the maw at the front of the Ford F-150 Lightning.
The 800 volt Ultium platform can handle up to 350 kW of charging power, enough to add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes, assuming you can find a charging station with that much power. The Silverado EV will be manufactured at Factory Zero, GM’s EV plant in Detroit, alongside the Hummer EV and the Cruise Origin, GM’s purpose-built autonomous shuttle. The RST First Edition is expected to start production in the spring of 2023, with other versions coming later that year and on into early 2024. Ford is expected to produce its most expensive versions of the F-150 Lightning first, and GM is following the same playbook.
Of course, we here at the CleanTechnica treehouse are happy to see more EVs coming to market. Although, we do find the size, weight, and price of these mammoth trucks more than a little cringeworthy. We understand that some people actually use pickup trucks to make a living, but we also know a lot of them are commuter vehicles for urban cowboy poseurs who like the idea that they could run right over and crush the car ahead if they wanted to. One could quibble about how many passenger cars could be powered with all those battery cells, but for most people, having a truck you need a ladder to get in and out of seems normal after the car companies have spent 20 years and billions of dollars to convince us we need them.
Despite our cavils, trucks are the hottest selling vehicles in an America, where apocalypse seems to be lurking right around the corner. In a Mad Max world, the Silverado EV may be just what people need to survive. Now if only GM would get around to some affordably priced electric passenger cars for ordinary people. Are you listening, Mary Barra?