During its CES press conference on Jan. 5, GM announced the 2024 Silverado EV in both work truck (WT) and higher-end RST configurations.
The truck has an expected GM-estimated 400-mile range on a full charge for both models. The WT model is expected to be released Spring 2023, with the RST version becoming available in the Fall of that year. Additional lower-range WT models will follow, providing a variety of different ranges and price points.
Ed Peper, U.S. vice president for General Motors Fleet, explained there are numerous reasons he’s excited for the release of the truck, particularly for fleet customers.
“We've been receiving input from fleet customers the past several years about what would be helpful in an electrified light-duty pickup. The Silverado EV will have more onboard power and base horsepower than some of our competitors, as well as great torque and the longest bed in the segment,” he said.
The company understands safety is paramount to fleet customers, so it’s included a comprehensive set of safety features. This includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, a 360 camera, cross traffic alert, and more.
“When you're building a truck from the ground up, you can include so much more than if you're just taking an existing architecture and putting batteries into it. If you look at the advantages for a customer in terms of total cost of ownership, you're going to have savings on maintenance and idling,” Peper stated.
Built on GM’s Ultium EV platform, the truck’s “structural design integrates the capabilities Silverado customers have come to expect from a full-size pickup in terms of strength, durability, and performance, while also providing a more comfortable, confident ride both on and off road,” Nichole Kraatz, chief engineer of the Chevrolet Silverado EV, said during the presentation.
Peper emphasized that with Ultium, the company can alter range or towing possibilities by reconfiguring battery cells, providing a multitude of options.
“The aerodynamics are so incredible that the drag coefficient is expected to be one of the lowest in the current segment. This is vital because it helps enhance the truck’s range,” he explained.
The Silverado EV features standard DC fast charging capabilities of up to 350 kilowatts, which enables it to add approximately 100 miles of range in 10 minutes on public DC fast chargers. Two motors deliver power to the standard 24-inch wheels on RST, improving vehicle responsiveness and control.
The WT trim will offer up to 510 horsepower, 615 ft.-lbs. of torque. 8,000 lbs. of towing capability, and 1,200 lbs. of payload. After initial launch, GM plans to eventually introduce a model with a max tow of 20,000 lbs.
The Wide Open Watts Mode on the RST model provides 664 horsepower with more than 780 lb.-ft. of torque, enabling a GM-estimated 0-60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds. It also offers up to 10,000 lbs. of towing capability and 1,300 lbs. of payload.
The chassis is designed with independent rear suspension and automatic adaptive air suspension, which enables the truck to raise and lower up to nearly two inches in each direction. Four-wheel steering offers a tighter turning radius at low speeds and improved handling and stability at higher speeds, including trailering dynamics.
When combined with the available accessory power bar, the power based charging system offers up to 10 outlets to provide a total of 10.2 kilowatts of all-electric power available for the jobsite. The Silverado EV is also capable of charging another EV using an available accessory charge cord.
Super Cruise with trailering, a hands-free Driver Assistance technology for compatible roads, is also available.
Ryan Vaughan, Silverado EV design director, stated, “The front-end design is sculpted to efficiently direct air down the body side, significantly reducing drag and turbulence. The Silverado EV work truck is estimated to have one of the lowest drag coefficients of any available production full size pickup truck, which helps enable our impressive available range.”
The Ultium EV platform enables new storage and utility possibilities, such as the truck’s eTrunk, a lockable, weatherproof compartment at the front of the vehicle, which provides a multitude of accessory options based on a customer’s needs. The storage capacity of the 5 ft. 11 in. bed is maximized due to an available multi-flex mid-gate, which provides just over 9 ft. of storage between the cab and the tailgate when open. A 40/60 second row split offers four configurations that create the ability to haul gear or equipment while still accommodating a passenger in the second row.
An optional tonneau cover adds lockable, weatherproof storage to keep cargo protected. The available multi-flex tailgate with six functional positions can add up to 10 ft. 10 in. of load floor and storage capability.
Inside the truck, GM integrated first row storage on both the WT and RST trims. The RST modular console features a capacity of just over seven gallons, providing ample space for a lunch cooler to fit inside with room to spare.
Once again taking advantage of the Ultium architecture, the design team was able to shorten the front overhang for enhanced forward down vision. The RST features a fixed glass roof that offers expansive visibility, increased headroom, and spaciousness for both front and rear passengers.
The Silverado EV will feature Chevrolet’s first application of GM’s Ultifi, a new Linux-based software platform. This separates the truck’s software from its hardware to enable rapid and frequent software updates. This will give drivers the opportunity to evolve their vehicles over time, enhancing both the capabilities and accessing cloud services in a flexible and fast way.
“We’re going to be able to conduct some over the air updates they may have had to go to a dealership to complete in the past,” explained Peper.
When it comes to determining whether fleets are ready for an EV truck future, Peper says GM has done its homework. About a year and a half ago, the company hired an EV consultant manager whose sole job was to help fleets understand which vehicles could be replaced based on a variety of use cases. That consultant was so busy, GM had to hire a second person toward the tail end of 2021.
“A lot of improving EV adoption rates has to do with education. As customers start to understand how easy it can be to go electric, acceptance will grow. It's a big job, one of the biggest jobs we have, but I think once they start using the products, they're never going to go back. For so many fleets, the total cost of ownership savings are going to be enormous,” Peper explained.
The first two companies to express interest in purchasing the Silverado EV for their fleet are Enterprise and Quanta, according to the CES presentation. GM is now taking reservations at www.chevrolet.com. The company plans to offer additional variants and models after launch, including a rugged and off-road capable Trail Boss model.