DETROIT, Michigan – A small but “electric” crowd attended the first Detroit auto show in two years, with most of the buzz centering on US President Joe Biden’s visit and his $900 funding announcement. million US dollars for electric vehicle infrastructure.
Fittingly, Chevrolet showed off a trio of electric vehicles all running on General Motors’ new Ultium platform, a modular roller-skate-like architecture that will underpin all of GM’s upcoming battery-powered vehicles. The purpose-built platform removes design and styling limitations by concentrating all technology and running gear under the vehicle’s body instead of protruding into usable space. The Blazer EV, Equinox EV and Silverado EV join the Bolt EV and EUV in Chevrolet’s portfolio of high-production mainstream electrified vehicles.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer Electric
The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV offers a choice of three battery sizes, has a maximum available range of 515 kilometers and will be available in front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models. The different drive configurations are achieved by mounting the electric motors in the front, rear or a combination of both. The SS performance variant is equipped with a drive component up front and Chevy’s largest unit in the rear for a combined output of 557 horsepower and 648 lb-ft of torque. And in a modern form of boost, a new feature called “WOW” for Wide Open Watts injects a bit more current into those drive units to help propel the SS from zero to 60 mph in less than four seconds.
Nine inches longer and three inches wider, the new Blazer EV maximizes interior cabin space and offers flat cargo space thanks to the battery located under the floor. Rear legroom and headroom are generous, and rear seat heating is available.
Four models are available; the 1LT and 2LT offer 398 km of autonomy, the RS 515 km and the SS 472 km.
As for charging, the Blazer EV has an 11.5kW on-board charging module that allows drivers to charge up to 64km of range at home in around 10 minutes. With a DC fast charger, those same 10 minutes will give you around 112 km of range.
Standard on every Blazer EV is an 11-inch digital cluster and a 17.7-inch “free-form” or frameless center display, the same screen found in Equinox and Silverado electric vehicles. Chevy says that “just like Costco,” this economy of scale allows them to “keep the price low” on its line of electric vehicles.
The Google-powered interface can download map and software updates when available.
In addition to GM’s hands-free highway driving system called Super Cruise with nearly 650,000 km of mapped roads available in its database, the Blazer EV will offer lane keeping and lane departure warning, emergency with pedestrian warning and automatic high beams.
The Blazer EV 2LT starts at $56,596, while the RS starts at $61,298. Both will arrive in mid-2023 in Canada.
2024 Chevrolet Equinox Electric
The modular architecture allows for plenty of cross-platform sharing: the smaller Chevrolet Equinox shares two of the same batteries used by the Blazer EV. The Blazer EV’s third and largest battery is shared with the Cadillac Lyriq, and the Equinox EV’s front and rear motors are also found in the AWD version of the Blazer EV.
The Equinox is available in 2LT, 3LT, 2RS and 3RS trims. RS versions offer a touch of sportiness, with 21-inch wheels, blacked-out grille and body moldings and an optional black roof. Higher trim levels have a signature lighting chain that can show charging progress through their animated features, heated rear seats, heated wipers and recessed door handles that deploy with your smartphone app, map or pressing the key fob. Super Cruise is now also offered on higher trim levels. The optional head-up display increases in size.
Standard charging options are 11.5kW for around 55km of range in one hour of charging, but higher level versions will have a 2.0kW charger which will add 82km of range in one hour. With a DC fast charger, vehicles with the larger battery are capable of 150 kW or 113 km of range in 10 minutes.
The base FWD 1LT has a range of 400 km, the optional larger battery in front-wheel-drive versions has a range of 483 km and 450 km in E-AWD models. The Chevrolet Equinox EV starts at $37,250 for the base 1LT model and production is expected to begin in fall 2023.
2024 Chevrolet Silverado Electric
Not so long ago, we thought an all-electric pickup truck sounded like a pipe dream or a niche vehicle. Closely following Ford’s Lightning, the Chevrolet Silverado EV is a purpose-built electric pickup with usable range and the capabilities of a true work truck. Fleet owners are impressed – each of the base-model “work truck” units has already been pre-sold.
Since this is an all-new vehicle built on the Ultium platform and not adapted from the existing Silverado, engineers were able to create a spacious interior with best-in-class rear legroom. We particularly liked the 10-gallon center console. Despite the large cabin, the Silverado EV still has a 5-foot-11 bed—the best in the electric pickup segment—capable of hauling 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood or drywall. Upper-level trims get a “mid-gate” rear passage to allow long cargo such as ladders, kayaks or lumber – up to 10 feet 10 inches long without them hanging over the tailgate . Forward is a “frunk” storage area. The Silverado EV will have an available high voltage power supply providing 10.2kW, which can power your household for a few days. Fleet owners surveyed chose to have this auxiliary power instead of keeping the price low, as the ability to use power tools on the jobsite was more important than the extended runtime.
Higher trim levels come with air suspension, rear wheel steering and Super Cruise.
Maximum range for the Silverado EV RST and Work Truck models is just over 400 miles, and Chevy credits the body’s aerodynamic design with helping it achieve that goal. Maximum towing capacity is 10,000 lbs.
Limited quantities of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV will arrive in the spring of 2023. Pricing will start at $54,398 for the WT (work truck) and $121,898 for the RST First Edition.