DETROIT, Michigan – A small but “electric” crowd attended the first Detroit auto show in two years, with most of the buzz centring around U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit and his announcement of US$900 million in funding for electric vehicle infrastructure.
Fittingly, Chevrolet showed off a trio of electric vehicles all riding on General Motor’s new Ultium platform, a roller-skate like modular architecture that will underpin all upcoming GM’s battery vehicles. The purpose-built platform removes design and styling limitations by concentrating all tech and running gear under the body of the vehicle instead of protruding into useable space. The Blazer EV, Equinox EV, and Silverado EV join the Bolt EV and EUV in Chevrolet’s mainstream, high-production electrified vehicle portfolio.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV
The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV offers a choice of three battery sizes, has a maximum available range of 515 kilometres, and will be available in front-, rear- and all-wheel drive models. The different drive configurations are achieved by mounting the electric motors at the front, the rear, or a combination of both. The SS performance variant is equipped with one drive component up front and Chevy’s largest unit in the rear for a combined power output of 557 horsepower and 648 lb-ft of torque. And in a modern-day form of boost, a new feature called “WOW” for Wide Open Watts injects a little extra dollop of current into those drive units to help propel the SS from zero to 97 km/h in under four seconds.
Nine inches longer and three inches wider, the new Blazer EV maximizes the interior cabin space and offers a flat load space thanks to the battery pack being located under the floor. Rear leg and head room is generous, and there’s available rear seat heating.
Four models are available; the 1LT and 2LT offer 398 km of range, the RS has 515 km, and the SS has 472 km.
As far as charging goes, the Blazer EV has an 11.5-kW onboard charging module that gives drivers the ability to charge up to 64 km of range at home in about 10 minutes. With a DC fast charger, that same 10 minutes will give you about 112 km of range.
Standard on every Blazer EV is an 11-inch digital cluster and a 17.7-inch “free form” or frameless centre display, the same display found in the Equinox and Silverado EVs. Chevy claims that “just like Costco,” that economy of scale allows them to “keep the price point low” on its EV lineup.
The Google-driven interface can download updates to maps and software when it becomes 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 braking with pedestrian warning, and auto high beams.
The Blazer EV 2LT starts at $56,596, while the RS starts at $61,298. Both will arrive mid-2023 in Canada.
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV
The modular architecture allows for a lot of cross-platform sharing: The smaller Chevrolet Equinox shares two of the same batteries used by the Blazer EV. The Blazer EV’s third battery, and its largest, is shared with the Cadillac Lyriq, and the Equinox EV’s front and rear motors can also be found in the Blazer EV’s AWD trim.
The Equinox is available in 2LT, 3LT, 2RS, and 3RS trims. RS trims boast a dash of sportiness, with 21-inch wheels, blacked-out grille and body mouldings, and an optional black roof. Upper trim levels have a string of signature lighting that can show charging progress through their animated functions, rear heated seats, heated wipers, and flush mount door handles that deploy with your smartphone app, card, or a press of the key fob. Super Cruise is now offered on the upper trim levels, too. The optional head-up display increases in size.
Standard charging options are 11.5 kW for about 55 km of range in an hour of charging but upper level trims will have a 2.0-kW charger that will add 82 km of range in an hour. With a DC fast charger, vehicles equipped with the larger battery are capable of 150 kW or 113 km of range in 10 minutes.
The base FWD 1LT has 400 km of range, the optional larger battery in front-wheel drive trims has a range of 483 km, and 450 km in E-AWD models. The Chevrolet Equinox EV starts at $37,250 for the base model 1LT and production should start fall of 2023.
2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV
It doesn’t seem that long ago that we thought a full-on electric pickup truck seemed like a pipe dream or niche vehicle. Following hard on the heels of Ford’s Lightning is the Chevrolet Silverado EV, a ground-up, purpose-built electric pickup with useable range and the capability of a real working truck. Fleet owners are impressed – every one of the base model “work truck” units has been pre-sold already.
Since it’s an all-new vehicle built on the Ultium platform and not adapted from the existing Silverado, the engineers were able to create a spacious interior with best-in-class rear leg room. We particularly liked the 10-gallon centre console. Despite the large cabin, the Silverado EV still has a 5-foot-11 bed – the best in the EV pickup truck segment – capable of carry 4x8-foot sheets of plywood or drywall. Upper level trims get a rear “mid-gate” pass through to allow long cargo such as ladders, kayaks, or lumber – up to 10 feet 10 inches long without having it hang over the tailgate. Up front is a “frunk” storage area. The Silverado EV will have a high-voltage power supply available supplying 10.2 kW, which can power your household for a couple days. Fleet owners surveyed opted to have this auxiliary power instead of keeping the price point low, since the ability to use power tools on the job site was more important than extended range.
Upper trim levels come with air suspension, rear wheel steering, and Super Cruise.
Max range for the Silverado EV RST and Work Truck models is just over 644 km, and Chevy gives credit to the body’s aerodynamic design for helping it achieve that. Max tow rating is 10,000 lb.
Limited quantities of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV will arrive in Spring of 2023. Prices will start at $54,398 for the WT (work truck) and $121,898 for the RST First Edition.