The automotive industry is experiencing a paradigm shift towards electrification, with the latest proof of such being the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. As businesses and fleets seek green alternatives that can also bolster the bottom line, this all-electric workhorse enters the market as yet another game-changer. I realize that term does get tossed around a lot of late, but in some instances, as is the case of the Silverado EV Work Truck, it is appropriate.
After spending a couple of days exploring, driving, and towing with the Silverado EV 4WT, it’s clear the all-electric version of Chevrolet’s best-selling vehicle is ready to deliver on performance, versatility, and efficiency. The "Work Truck" trim I drove is only available to fleet customers and is going to be the first Silverado EV to hit the streets. Fleet orders opened last year and it's already in production, so customer deliveries should begin very soon.
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|Quick Stats||2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV 4WT|
|Motor||Dual Permanent Magnet Motors|
|Output||510 HP/ 615 LB-FT|
|Range (EPA)||450 Miles|
|Price As-Tested||$77,905 + $1,895 (Destination & Freight)|
|On Sale||Summer 2023|
Gallery: 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV Work Truck: First Drive
Design and Practicality
The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV retains the muscular stance that is a design characteristic of the Silverado series. Its bold front end, rugged lines, and powerful presence immediately demand attention. Like the electric Ford F-150 Lightning, the Silverado EV will only be offered in a Crew Cab layout. However, unlike Ford’s offering, the Silverado EV is a ground-up design using the Ultium bespoke electric vehicle platform.
The designers at Chevrolet made thoughtful design choices that cater to the practical needs of work fleets, ensuring the Silverado EV Work Truck excels in the demanding conditions it is designed for. One example is the location of the gear selector, which is mounted to the steering column and not on the center console. Doing so frees up more storage space in the center console, which is always appreciated as space and storage are essential in work vehicles.
2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV Work Truck interior
Another example is the huge rear seating area, which offers more space than the other full-sized pick-up trucks available today. Flip up the rear seats and the rear cabin transforms into an enormous area for tools, cargo, or whatever needs to be transported to the job site. Chevrolet will also offer a variety of storage bins that can be mounted under the 60/40 split rear seats.
A spacious 5-foot 11-inch cargo bed with adjustable tie-downs stretches to a full eight feet with the tailgate down, eliminating any hangover with sheets of plywood and sheetrock. Additionally, integrated LED lighting enhances visibility during nighttime operations. However, the Silverado 4WT as well as all future versions of the work truck, won’t get the mid-gate option that opens up the rear seating area to the bed to haul longer items. Only retail versions of the Silverado EV will be able to be configured with the mid-gate, as well as the rear-steering option.
Industry-Best Range and Performance
Underpinned by General Motors’ Ultium platform, the Silverado EV delivers impressive performance figures that rival and in some cases exceed its internal combustion counterparts. The WT's dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain offers 510 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque, which is more than enough power to tackle the toughest job, including towing (although it is less than the RST and GMC Sierra EV).
Chevy initially promised 8,000 pounds of towing capability for the Silverado EV 4WT but has now upped that to 10,000 pounds. We had the opportunity to tow a tractor that was more than 9,000 lbs, and the Work Truck pulled the trailer without breaking a sweat. The combination of the vehicle’s 8,500-pound curb weight, the instant torque, and the massive power provided by the motors in electric trucks change the driving dynamics of towing and the Work Truck feels even more stable than the Ford F-150 Lightning when pulling heavy loads.
However, the biggest news may be the EPA range rating for the 4WT. Chevrolet had promised more than 400 miles of driving range on the longest-range version of the Work Truck but recently revealed the official range rating is a whopping 450 miles. That gives Silverado a 130-mile advantage over the Extended-Range version of the Ford F-150 Lightning Pro (a 320-mile EPA rating), the Chevy’s main rival. A less expensive, shorter-range version of the Work Truck, the 3WT will be available later this year, and Chevrolet promises “more than 350 miles” of range on that model.
Ride and Handling
Despite its large size and an extreme curb weight of 8,532 lbs, the Silverado EV 4WT offers a surprisingly nimble and composed ride. The suspension effectively absorbs bumps and road imperfections, delivering a comfortable and controlled driving experience. An air suspension will not be offered as an option, as it will only be available on the retail versions of the Silverado EV.
The suspension feels stiffer than that of the F-150 Lightning, so the ride quality isn’t quite as soft as it is in the Ford, but that also means the Silverado has less body roll on turns and feels more stable when fully loaded with its 1,458-pound maximum payload. The low center of gravity, thanks to the placement of the huge battery pack, contributes to the overall stability of the truck. We believe the Silverado EV strikes an impressive balance between comfort and capability, especially for a work truck.
There are three levels of regenerative braking: one pedal off, one pedal on, and one pedal on high, each level has a noticeable difference in regenerative braking strength. But even with one-pedal driving turned off, the regenerative braking is still noticeable; you cannot freewheel coast with the Silverado EV unless you hold your foot positioned perfectly on the go-pedal between accelerating and regen, as the regenerative braking is always being applied when you lift off.
As with other GM EVs, the Silverado offer the regenerative braking force in kW on the drivers’ display, and we saw a high of 270 kW while towing the trailer and lifting off the accelerator in one pedal high mode at 55 mph. That’s a lot of kW being pumped back into the battery while slowing down.
Not Frunking Around
All versions of the Silverado EV will have 10.7-cubic-foot “eTrunk.” The Chevrolet team was adamant about not calling it a “frunk” and made sure not to slip up while discussing the front storage area. We think it’s a little silly to try to change the name, even if it does sound odd because it’s what most people have been calling it on EVs for more than a decade now, but hey, good luck with the eTrunk name.
The 4WT, as well as the other work truck variants, won’t get a power eTrunk as the RST has. Instead, users will have to manually lift and close the hood. There is a power locking mechanism so once you lower the hood to the lock, it automatically finishes the closing and locking procedure so the hood is secure.
As for its size, compared to the competition, the SIiverado EVs eTrunk is lacking. The Ford F-150 Lightning’s frunk can hold 14.1 cubes (32 percent more) and the 2025 Ram Rev promises to sport a 15 cubic foot frunk, which is 40 percent larger than the Silverado EV’s eTrunk.
Interior Design and Comfort
Stepping inside the 2024 Silverado EV 4WT, one is greeted by a spacious and comfortable cabin that is built for work. As expected in a work truck, Chevrolet has employed plenty of hard plastics, vinyl seats, and flooring that allows the owner to take a hose to the cabin when it gets too dirty.
An 11-inch center infotainment display replaces the 17-inch screen on the top-of-the-line Silverado EV RST, and the driver's display is also smaller: 7.0 inches compared to the RST’s 8.0-inch screen. Similarly, the panoramic glass roof that comes on the RST isn’t available on the 4WT. The intuitive layout, including physical knobs for climate control, ensures easy access. Rear passengers will appreciate the generous legroom and ample headspace, making long journeys a comfortable experience for all occupants.
Charging The Beast
All versions of the Silverado EV will come standard with an 80-amp onboard charger. That will allow the vehicles to charge at a rate of up to 19.2 kW from a level 2 AC charging source, which is typically found in their home or a workplace depot. Customers that have access to 80-amp AC charging equipment will be able to fully recharge the Silverado EV 4WT from zero to 100 percent in approximately 12 hours.
However, GM’s 80-amp Ultium Power Up Charger isn’t quite ready for purchase, and the lower-power 48-amp Power Up charger was on display at the media event. When using that unit, it will take approximately 20 hours to fully charge a completely depleted battery. It’s worth pointing out that with daily charging, you only need to replenish the amount of the battery that you used that day, so full recharges are required only on very rare occasions. Having a huge 200-plus-kWh battery is great for long driving range, but when it comes to charging that monster pack back up, you need to pump in a lot of electrons to “fill ‘er up.”
2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV 4WT at an Electrify America DC fast charger
But thanks to GM’s Ultium battery technology, DC fast charging is another story. While Chevrolet has been very apprehensive to reveal much information about the Silverado’s battery other than the fact that it is 200+ kWh and consists of 24 modules, we believe the Silverado 4WT’s battery pack is identical to that of the Hummer EV, which has a total usable capacity of somewhere between 205 kWh and 212 kWh. It’s based on a 400-volt battery system, but when DC fast charging, the vehicle can accept 800 volts, allowing for a maximum charging rate of 800 volts.
That’s because the pack is wired as two separate 400-volt battery packs To reach its full charging potential, some relays switch open, others close, and the pack changes from a serial configuration to a parallel arrangement, which, in turn, doubles the voltage. In doing so, the battery can accept double the charging power from the DC fast charger and accept up to 350 kW. Chevrolet tells us the Silverado 4WT can add up to 100 miles in as little as 10 minutes when charging at a low state of charge on a 350-kW DC fast charger.
Powering The Jobsite
The Silverado EV 4WT can also offboard up to 10.2 kW to power job sites, and even serve as an emergency power source in the case of a power outage. The truck comes standard with seven power outlets; six of which are 120-volt and one 240-volt, 30-amp outlet, and has a total output of 7.2 kW. Customers who need more power can purchase an optional Power Bar that plugs into the J1772 inlet and can provide an additional 3 kW. Chevy will offer the power bar in a variety of outlet configurations to meet the customer’s needs, although pricing isn’t available yet.
However, while Chevrolet is advertising that the Silverado EV can charge other EVs from the offboard power system, the company’s solution isn’t quite as elegant as what Ford provides on the F-150 Lightning.
Like the Lightning, the Silverado has one 30-amp 240-volt outlet in its offboard power system. However, Lightning owners can plug in the 240-volt portable charger available with the Lightning and charge another EV at 30-amps. The Silverado EV comes with a portable 240-volt charger but since it’s rated for 32-amps, it will not work with the Silverado’s offboard power system.
Therefore, if Silverado EV owners want to charge other EVs, they have three options. First, they can use the 120-volt adapter on the portable charger and charge the EV very slowly, adding three to five miles of range per hour of charging. Secondly, they can purchase a lower-powered portable EVSE rated at 30-amps or less, and get an adapter for the offboard power system and that will work. Lastly, Chevrolet is working on developing a vehicle-to-vehicle charging cable that will plug into both J1772 charge ports and will allow the Silverado EV to charge the other EV at up to 7.2 kW. At this time, we don’t know when that option will be available or how much it will cost.
Chevrolet is also working on a vehicle-to-home automatic backup power system, like the Intelligent Backup Power System that Ford offers with the Lightning, but that system isn’t available to order just yet.
The $40,000 Silverado EV Isn’t Happening
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Chevrolet informed us there will not be a $40,000 version of the Silverado EV, as originally promised. Rising costs in the industry made it impossible for the company to sell a version at that price point without losing money on it. However, starting next year Chevrolet will offer many different versions of the Silverado EV with varying levels of content and prices starting from $50,000.
When Ford launched the F-150 Lightning a little over a year ago, it proved electric pickup trucks can serve as work vehicles for many use cases – not all, but certainly many. Chevrolet has taken the utility of the F-150 Lightning and shot it up with steroids. The massive battery in the Silverado means 4WT owners can complete more tasks between recharges, complete long-distance towing tasks, and worry less about cold weather range degradation. And when it comes time to charge up, the Silverado EV can accept more than twice the charging power, meaning less work time will be spent waiting for the battery to charge up while on the road.
Fleet managers will appreciate the efficiency and reduced operational costs associated with the truck's all-electric platform and over time they will realize savings over a comparable combustion Silverado. But because of the 4WT’s $79,800 starting price (including a $1,895 destination charge), iit will likely take more than just a few years of service to recoup the additional investment. For customers that can live with a little less range, the 3WT, which is expected to have close to 400 miles of range and will be available for $72,905 plus DFC when it launches later this year.
The Silverado EV RST is expected to have about 400 miles of EPA-certified driving range and will cost $105,000 plus DFC. That’s about $7,000 more than the top-of-the-line Ford F-150 Lightning in Platinum trim but will offer about 25 percent more range than the Lightning, which we think some customers will gladly pay for.
We believe that even though Chevrolet won’t be able to deliver on its promised $40,000 Silverado offering, the Silverado EV, both in work and retail trim, will be a success for the brand. It won’t suit every customer’s needs, but it doesn’t have to. Chevy will continue to offer its combustion trucks alongside the Silverado EV and let customers decide which suits their needs the best.
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2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV 4WT