Chevrolet’s first battery electric truck will have a greater range than anticipated when it goes on sale later this year.
According to Rory Harvey, who will be taking over as president of North America for General Motors, the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV work truck aimed at fleet buyers will boast an EPA-estimated 450-mile range on a full charge. That’s significantly greater than the normal range of battery electric full-size pickups.
“We previously announced that it was going to be a 400-mile target, so the team did just an exceptional job in terms of being able to extend that up to 450 miles,” Harvey said, according to Automotive News. “We believe that gives us a competitive advantage.”
What it will cost
And it will start at $79,800 before options or destination charge, according to Harvey, who revealed the information during a Thursday news conference. At the other extreme is the top-of-the-line RST First Edition, starting at $106,695.
Chevrolet will initially launch the Silverado EV in work truck trim with a choice of two ranges. Other variants with different configurations and mileage range will follow, some as low $39,900 before shipping or options.
The first work trucks are expected to arrive this spring, with the RST arriving in the fall.
The coming mileage wars
Range remains a critical issue for EV buyers.
That’s especially true in the pickup segment, where owners put their vehicles through a variety of different uses. While many view pickups as merely a utility vehicle with a bed, even suburban owners will use them as work trucks at times, whether towing a boat trailer or hauling mulch. And those work applications can severely reduce EPA-estimated range, as can cold weather situations.
Currently, most of the electric pickups, either on the road or already announced, deliver far less range than what Chevy is promising with its new EV. That includes the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup’s 320 miles of range, the Rivian R1T‘s 314 miles, the Lordstown Motors Endurance’s 200 miles, or even the pricier GMC Hummer pickup at 329 miles.
That said, the new Silverado EV will not be the range champ.
At the New York Auto Show last month, Stellantis’ Ram brand announced it will have an extended-range version of the Ram 1500 Rev called Rev XR that will deliver as much as 500 miles of range. And Ram insiders have conformed to TheDetroitBureau.com that they are developing an extended range option that could add even more distance, as well as the ability to recharge on the go, rather than having to wait to charge up.
“Our all-new Ram 1500 Rev pushes past the competition in areas customers care about most including range, towing, payload and charge time,” Ram brand CEO Mike Koval Jr. told reporters at the show.
More to come
What’s clear is that there is increasing demand for electric pickups.
According to Koval, Stellantis data shows that a higher percentage of pickup buyers are considering all-electric options than for any other market segment. That appears to be backed up by some hard numbers.
Depending on who you quote, the Tesla Cybertruck, due to start production by year’s end, has more than 400,000 preliminary orders, and some fan sites put the number at more than 1 million. Ford expected to sell perhaps 25,000 Lightnings annually upon launch, and geared up a new plant in Dearborn, Michigan for that volume. But after taking more than 200,000 orders within weeks of the truck’s debut, it’s now gearing up for a capacity closer to 150,000. And it’s setting up the largest manufacturing complex in Ford history, the Memphis-based Blue Oval City, specifically for EV pickup production the compant refers to as Project T3. Ford plans to build 500,000 of the new pickups annually at the plant, starting in 2025.
By TheDetroitBureau.com’s preliminary estimate, there will be at least as many as a dozen or more all-electric pickup trucks available past the middle of the second-half of the decade. That includes not only full-size models, but midsize ones as well. In an exclusive report to TheDetroitBureau.com last month, Ram’s Koval confirmed that a midsize Ram will be out around 2026.
But they’re far from alone.
GMC will be weighing in with an all-electric truck, the Sierra EV, in 2024, with range and pricing similar to the Silverado EV. And reports suggest that General Motors is considering adding an electric midsize GMC Hummer pickup truck as well as an all-electric version of its midsize Canyon. Other brands set to follow include Toyota, Kia, and others.
TheDetroitBureau.com’s Editor Paul Eisenstein contributed to this report.