By Gary S. Vasilash
When Chevrolet introduced the 2024 Silverado EV today, there was an interesting quote made by Steve Hill, vp of Chevy.
Hill said: “The Ultium Platform”—the thing that General Motors is using to underpin all of its post-Bolt EV models—“is a critical enabler of next-level pickup truck performance for both fleet and retail customers, whether they are currently driving a Silverado or are considering a pickup for the first time.”
The interesting bit is that Hill said “fleet and retail customers,” with the first being fleet.
The Silverado EV, when launched, will come in two versions, both in Crew Cab configurations.
There is the flagship RST First Edition:
And there is the WT:
The RST First Edition brings such things as four-wheel steering and automatic adaptive air suspension. There’s a 17-inch diagonal LCD infotainment screen.
Simply, inside and out this looks like a very cool pickup truck that anyone who is interested in such things would be chuffed to have in her or his driveway.
The WT is a bit more, well, pragmatic. Chevy points out that it offers 510 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque; 8,000 pounds of towing and 1,200 pounds of payload. The a bit later after launch there will be a model with 20,000 pounds of trailering capability.
RST owners will be able to access Ultium Charge 360, which is what consumers of other GM EV crossovers and cars will undoubtedly use. WT owners will have the opportunity go to a variant, Ultium Charge 360 Fleet Service. When that was announced in July 2021, Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet said, “Fleets have a significant impact on the transition to EVs and by expanding Ultium Charge 360 to our fleet customers, GM aims to be a significant industry leader to advance fleet EV adoption at scale and accelerate our goal of reaching 1 million EV sales globally by 2025.
“Fleet electrification is an important element of our growth strategy, and we will leverage our leadership and expertise in this space to support customers at home, at depots and in public with our suite of providers.”
The first models to be built at the GM Factory ZERO (Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center) will be the WT. It will be available in the spring of 2023. It will have a base MSRP of $39,900.
Then the RST First Edition vehicles—the fully loaded Silverado EV—will follow in the fall of that year. The base MSRP of that model is $105,000.
Other variants—with price points of some $50K, $60K, $70K and $80K—are planned.
- The $105,000 RST First Edition might seem a bit pricy for, well, a pickup truck, but this is an electric pickup that is not only tricked out with all manner of tech, but it will come with a battery capable of, GM says, an estimated range of over 400 miles. Typically, EV models (e.g., the GMC HUMMER EV) start out at a high price point and then go down from there. . . .
- . . .which brings us to the point that GM is actually starting out with a much more modest price for the WT before going to the RST First Edition. There is a clear understanding that if they want to move lots of EV pickups, then the sweet spot is with contractors and other commercial service providers. Sure, the RST First Edition will probably have its reservation bank fully subscribed by the time you read this. But that will be a limited number of trucks. Although the margins on the RST First Edition will probably make the WT look like some sort of Dickensian orphan, the WT is going to be the thing that is going to make EV pickups a mass market phenomenon, not the RST First Edition.
It is a purpose-built pickup. The purpose is not only to have an offering in the segment, not only to provide style and functionality, but to expand the number of EVs on the road.
Which GM is committed to doing.