Chevrolet is yet another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to tout its next electric vehicle (EV). The automaker acknowledges that it isn’t the first to debut an electric pickup truck, but at last year’s Work Truck Week, Nicole Kraatz, chief engineer of the Silverado EV, told me the reason why is because Chevrolet didn’t want to simply slap an electric powertrain on an existing vehicle. Chevrolet wanted to create an electric pickup from the ground up.
This goal required a completely different body design than the Silverado trucks powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE). And because the Chevrolet Silverado EV runs on battery packs instead of a huge engine with all its moving parts and components, the Silverado EV had room for some interesting features of its own.
This truck isn’t the first electric pickup to make it to market, but the folks at Chevrolet made it clear that being first wasn’t the goal. The goal was being the best. So how does it stack up?
For starters, the Work Truck launch edition EV pickup can pump out up to 510 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque. It has a towing capability of 8,000 lbs and 1,200-lb payload capacity. And that’s just the specs for the introductory model. Chevrolet will also release a Silverado EV that offers up to 754 hp, 785 lb-ft of torque, and a towing capacity of up to 10,000 lbs. Chevrolet also has future plans to develop a Silverado EV with a Work Truck trim that offers a towing capability of 20,000 lbs!
This electric truck is surging with power, pun intended. On a full charge, the Silverado EV can go a whopping 400 miles. That’s even better than a full tank of gasoline. Range anxiety—what’s that? For those that are traveling or have long routes, the Silverado EV’s standard DC fast charging capabilities enable the truck to add roughly 100 miles of range after just 10 minutes of charging on a public DC fast charger.
The power runs throughout the cabin, as well. The Silverado EV has up to 10 outlets, providing a total of 10.2 kW of power to run a campsite, a jobsite, and even another electric vehicle (accessory charge cord required). Finally, Chevrolet helps keep its EV owners informed of their battery life with the myChevrolet Mobile App with Energy Assist. The app features route planning, public charging locations, and helps control vehicle features.
SAFETY IS STANDARD
Chevrolet is launching the Silverado EV in the Work Truck trim, which will be available to purchase later this year. But don’t fret; just because the trim is called “Work Truck,” it doesn’t mean bare bones. The launch edition will feature several standard safety features that will allow anyone to feel like they’re driving something much more luxurious and high tech.
These safety features include: automatic emergency braking; front pedestrian braking; reverse automatic braking; intersection automatic emergency braking; rear cross traffic with braking; forward collision alert; bicycle collision mitigation; following distance indicator; lane keep assist with lane departure warning; side blind zone alert; auto high beam assist; rear park assist; rear vision camera; 360-degree camera; and a haptic seat.
One thing that isn’t hard to notice from that list of safety features are the truck’s many camera views. In fact, Chevrolet will eventually offer up to 14 different camera views on the Silverado EV to help with safety and towing.
FUTURE IS NOW
It seems that the addition of a new powertrain has caused many OEMs to elevate the features in their vehicles with a more, can we say, “futuristic” approach? And Chevrolet has added several new features to its electric pickup.
The Silverado EV features a new 4-wheel steer. With this feature, drivers will appreciate a much smaller turning radius, taking the fatigue out of parallel parking, squeezing into tight spaces, and even easier maneuvering when towing a trailer. The electric pickup also features a new E-4WD system that delivers torque to all four wheels at once.
And for those that travel off the beaten path, the Silverado EV is available with Four-Corner Air Ride Adaptive Suspension, keeping the ride smooth no matter the terrain. The Four-Corner system automatically adjusts the suspension according to road conditions. And this system also allows drivers to adjust the height of the Silverado EV for those instances when a higher clearance is necessary.
The inside of the Silverado EV is also full of those “futuristic” features. By now, most of us have seen the Multi-Flex (or as GMC calls it, the Mutli-Pro) Tailgate, but the Silverado EV takes “multi” a step further with the Multi-Flex Midgate. The Multi-Flex Midgate is a pass-through between the bed of the truck and the truck’s cabin. This pass-through allows operators to carry items up to 10-ft 10-inches in length. No more tying red tape to the end of long loads—simply carry it all safely inside the truck.
SILVERADO EV TECH
Can we talk about futuristic approaches without mentioning the Silverado EV’s technology? Not a chance. That’s because the Silverado EV’s cockpit and interior is packed with features that improve safety and make operations more convenient. The all-digital instrument cluster is where drivers will see driving alerts, assist systems, operate cruise control, and more.
And speaking of cruise control, the Chevrolet Silverado EV is available with Chevrolet’s Super Cruise. Super Cruise is Chevrolet’s hands-free driving technology. The system uses cameras, sensors, GPS, and LiDAR map data to detect the road ahead, and take some stress away from the driver. The system identifies lane markers to keep the truck in the center of the lane, and it also includes adaptive cruise control. The system is also available with Lane Change on Demand, which is when the operator uses the turn signal, the truck will “look” for an opening in the traffic and change lanes without the driver’s involvement. Super Cruise is also available with automatic lane change, so that when the radar detects a slower vehicle ahead, the vehicle will activate the turn signal and change lanes. When the Chevrolet passes the slower vehicle, the turn signal is again automatically initiated, and the vehicle switches back into its original lane. And that is all without input from the driver. Super Cruise is only available on compatible roads.
With a range that’s comparable to a full tank of gas, a towing capacity that can take care of most daily work needs, and all the safety technology loaded in the Silverado EV, it’s no wonder Chevrolet’s goal is to phase out production of its ICE vehicles. If these electric pickups prove successful, as Chevrolet’s other electric models have been, the company sees no room for a future with ICE vehicles, according to many of the executives at General Motors. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, seeing electric pickups from other OEMs on the road has personally gotten me anxious to see the Silverado EV take the streets—and the trails. What are your thoughts on the truck? Share them with us on our social channels.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jade Brasher is the editor of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine. Reach her at email@example.com. Chevrolet is currently taking orders for the Silverado EV, and the company expects truck availability in fall of this year. Find out more about the electric pickup, visit www.chevrolet.com.