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Will The 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV Be A Viable Competitor?

The newest Chevy EV has a price tag to compete in class with the Tesla Model Y. But will it?

The first of the company’s electric vehicles to be announced this year was the full size truck, the Silverado EV. Later, it was the midsize SUV, the Blazer EV. Now a third model has been introduced this year: the Chevrolet Equinox EV.

The Chevrolet Equinox EV has a very interesting allure — with a starting price of around $30,000 on the 1LT, the Equinox jumps right into the compact SUV with a very appealing price tag. The company expects it to be the most affordable electric vehicle (EV) in its class, even excluding any potential government or tax incentive.

At $35,000 less than the Tesla Model Y, the Equinox should have real competitive power — at least on the pricing side. General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra last year said the company can “absolutely” catch industry leader Tesla in US sales of EVs by 2025.

It’s a motivational concept. But — can the Equinox really compete with the Tesla?

General Motors (GM) is holding firm on the announced $30,000 price tag, even with historic inflation and supply chain constraints scratching away at profit margins. That entry level price range has been difficult for most automakers to obtain, as the costs to build EVs and the batteries needed to power them are baffling the pencil pushers.

The price also brings the Equinox in line with gas powered compact crossovers/SUVs at an average price of $35,300. “We have every intention to build and sell the vehicle that will start in that price range,” Scott Bell, Chevrolet vice president of global sales, stated. “So that is critical to the success of what we’re doing at Chevrolet — building an EV for everyone.”

The Equinox EV goes on sale in the fall of 2023.

This newest model now rounds out the company’s EV catalog, with the compact SUVs Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. “Chevrolet is now positioned to offer a wide array of EVs,” Bell expressed. “We know truck and SUV customers better than anyone, and we’ve channeled that insight and experience into our new EVs.”

A special company emphasis is on safety as a priority for families with the hope that the model will become a best seller for the company. “We are at a turning point where EVs will be the mainstream choice for the next generation of customers, and Equinox EV will lead this charge for us,” said Barra. “With the flexibility of GM’s Ultium Platform, we are bringing to market vehicles at nearly every price point and for every purpose.”

The Chevrolet Equinox is being touted in a press release as “an affordable all-electric SUV tailored to help modern families make a seamless, confident, and uncompromising transition to an EV.”

The Chevrolet Equinox will help new EV drivers to make that transition to charging with a selection of range capacities. It has two battery sizes. The entry level 1LT trim offers the small battery and associated GM estimated range of 250 miles. The larger battery has an available GM estimated 300 miles of range on a full charge. When equipped with the large battery and all-wheel drive, 280 miles should be achievable, according to the company.

The new compact SUV offers the following charging specs, with accompanying GM estimates:

  • Standard 11.5 kW Level 2 (AC) charging, which can add up to 34 miles of range per hour of charging
  • Available 19.2 kW Level 2 (AC) charging on 3RS eAWD, which can add up to 51 miles of range per hour of charging
  • Standard DC fast-charging capability of up to 150 kW, which enables approximately 70 miles of range to be added in 10 minutes

Other incentives for new EV owners are available navigation and route planning through the MyChevy app, which will help drivers locate and plot routes to charging stations.

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox ranked in the lower half of the compact gas-powered SUV class. It lost important points on meager passing power and so-so interior quality, with one review saying that “it doesn’t compare as well to many rivals.” Another review decried “the lackluster 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder with a 6-speed automatic.”

Luckily, its name beside the point, the Equinox EV has little in common with its gas powered counterpart. It more closely resembles the recently unveiled Chevrolet Blazer. The Blazer, however, offers up to 557 horsepower and 648 pounds-foot of torque and a commensurate price tag of $45,000.

Does the Chevrolet Equinox Have What It Needs to Compare to Rivals?

Two distinctive Equinox personalities — LT and RS — are offered in several trims, drive configurations, and range options. (Pricing for each trim level will be revealed at a later date.)

A front-wheel-drive system with GM estimated 210 horsepower and 242 lb-ft of torque is standard, with a 290-horsepower and 346 lb-ft torque eAWD system available.

The Chevrolet Equinox EV will use the Ultium Charge 360, GM’s holistic approach to EV charging, with information and access to 110,000 publicly available charging points in the US and Canada.

Technology features include a large infotainment screen — including an available 17.7-inch-diagonal system — a strong suite of standard and available driver assistance technologies, and available Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance technology for compatible roads, when compared to the current Equinox.

One-Pedal Driving is standard and allows the Equinox EV to accelerate and slow to a full stop, using only the accelerator. It’s paired with regenerative braking, which can convert the kinetic energy of the vehicle’s forward momentum into electricity that’s stored in the battery pack to maximize the driving range.

Super Cruise, the industry’s first true hands-free driver-assistance technology, is an option that will give drivers the chance to travel hands-free on more than 400,000 miles of compatible roads across the US and Canada.

GM’s Quest for an All-Electric Future

General Motors has taken up the mantle to transition to an all-electric future.  “Climate change is real,” Barra has acknowledged, “and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle.”

The company purports to be “aggressively going after” every aspect of what it takes to offer viable battery electric models for its loyal customer base. Acknowledging that “we need millions of EVs on the road to make a meaningful impact toward building a zero-emissions future,” GM is repositioning its design, engineering, and production components for EVs, hoping to offer “every style and price point.”

GM is in the process of building a coast-to-coast EV charging network in partnership with Pilot and Flying J truck stops and managed by EVgo. Their maximum output will be 350 kW, installed under canopies to make it a lot easier to avoid the rain and the sun during a charging station. When possible, the stations will be arranged in a pull through configuration so that EVs pulling trailers can effectively use the stations without having to unhitch.

The company continues to reexamine and reconceptualize its business model by building a competitive battery electric paradigm in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing, and customer experience.

 
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Written By

Carolyn Fortuna (they, them), Ph.D., is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla. Please follow Carolyn on Twitter and Facebook.

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