1. Home
  2. life
  3. news
  4. I spent a day with Chevrolet's two new electric cars. They may not be enough to turn the EV tide.

I spent a day with Chevrolet's two new electric cars. They may not be enough to turn the EV tide.

Nora Naughton   

I spent a day with Chevrolet's two new electric cars. They may not be enough to turn the EV tide.
  • Chevy's latest launches will put EV aspirations to the test.
  • The Silverado EV is a late entry to the electric pickup truck market.

Chevy's electric aspirations are about to meet their toughest test yet with the launch of the Silverado EV and the Equinox EV.

The GM sub-brand is pressing forward with its launches this year despite a slowdown in EV adoption — a risk the brand's chief marketing officer says could pay off.

CMO Steve Majoros's argument: Chevrolet is in a sweet spot for a new crop of practical EV shoppers who want to buy from legacy brands instead of startups or Tesla.

EVs are also nothing new for Chevrolet. The bowtie brand has been General Motors' electric poster child since the launch of the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt more than a decade ago. Chevy is taking its biggest swing yet this year, launching all-electric versions of its stalwart Silverado pickup truck and Equinox crossover.

Along with these vehicle launches, GM's Ultium brand is selling a new lineup of home charging solutions designed to help residential EV drivers get the most out of their electric cars.

All of this adds up to the security that today's EV shopper is looking for, Majoros told me in an interview.

"To really appeal to that psychology and to those kinds of customers, you've got to reassure them," he said.

But after a day with both of these new electric cars and some of Chevrolet's executive team last month, it's still not clear to me if all of this is enough to convince today's green car shopper to go all-in on EVs the way the brand has.

Silverado EV is late to the party

The electric Silverado is a somewhat late entry to the electric pickup truck market, trailing behind crosstown rival Ford's F-150 Lightning launched in 2022 as well as Rivian's R1T and even Tesla's long-delayed Cybertruck.

While Chevrolet is optimistic about the truck's chances — and took advantage of its late arrival to achieve some classic truck market one-upmanship — the critical electric Silverado may be arriving at the worst time.

In addition to an overall slowdown in the rate of EV sales growth that has thrown car companies for a loop in the past year, the electric Silverado adds to a fleet of big, expensive electric SUVs out of Detroit that buyers aren't all that excited about.

The RST First Edition Silverado EV, which is on sale now, goes for $94,500. More affordable work trucks are on the way, Chevrolet says.

My time behind the wheel of the truck didn't sell me on the vehicle, as it seems more aimed at the typical truck buyer (that's not me).

Equinox EV is a step in the right direction, but can it beat a hybrid?

The Equinox EV's size and price are a better fit for today's electric car shopper. It's clearly designed to be a Tesla fighter, with some design nods to Elon Musk's brand like flush mechanical door handles.

I enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Equinox EV, which I found to be a solid addition to the electric crossover market. Of the two electric Chevys I drove last month, it's the one I'd be more likely to put in my own driveway.

The price is right too, starting at $43,295. A more affordable LT trim, starting at $34,995, will be available for order later in the year, Chevy says.

But when placed up against a hybrid, which GM doesn't sell in the US yet, shoppers might not be convinced.

Hybrids are more popular than ever right now as the rate of EV sales growth slows. A more practical and frugal group of green-car shoppers is more interested in hybrids — which tend to be slightly less expensive than EVs and come in plug-in varieties or with hybrid engines that don't need to be hooked up to a charger at all.

While GM reversed its plans to skip hybrids in the US market earlier this year, it's still not clear when these cars will arrive. That could be bad news for Chevy dealers and Equinox EV, which might lose out in a comparison with Ford's or Toyota's hybrids.

Popular Right Now