The Chevrolet Silverado EV RST Will Become the King of the Electric Pickup Truck Segment

Chevrolet EV RST 19 photos
Photo: Chevy | Edited
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If they aren't already, Rivian, Tesla, and Ford should be on high alert. Chevy did not rush the Silverado EV, and it might have created a great product that should feel extra refined and fully ready for action once it gets delivered to individual customers. The brand has prioritized fleet buyers until now, but customers like you and me will soon be able to get their hands on a fully loaded and very capable Silverado EV. So, let's see why the R1T, the Cybertruck, and the F-150 Lightning could soon have to deal with a harsh reality where they're no longer interesting or desired.
For quite some time now, I have been convinced that the best all-electric pickup truck anyone in North America can buy is the Rivian R1T. For an MSRP of $91,500, buyers could have gotten themselves a Dual-Motor plus the 410-mile Max Pack battery pickup truck. They could have also added a cool black interior, an exterior finished in the striking Rivian Blue color, and 21-inch wheels for maximum effect without going overboard.

Why use the past tense there? Well, Rivian has recently stopped taking custom orders because it is currently retooling its plant in Normal, Illinois. There are also some updates for the pickup truck and SUV, which might benefit both customers and the company.

However, I wouldn't be completely honest with you if I didn't point out that the $19,100 Max Pack battery upgrade was too expensive for what it offered. An EPA-estimated range bump of 58 miles and no extra cells weren't worth the extra bucks. Anyone would have been much better off with the 352-mile Large Pack high-voltage energy storage unit, which cost $9,100. That was $10,000 less!

But why didn't I consider the Cybertruck or the F-150 Lightning the best all-electric pickup truck one could buy? Was it only because of the cool and useful gear tunnel (which can store a small kitchen)?

R1T Camp Kitchen
Photo: everythingandthecampkitchen on Instagram

The "KISS" formula

Well, to keep it brief, Tesla's EV is a testbed for next-gen technologies like the drive-by-wire system and is riddled with issues or full of shortcomings like the weak upper control arms or the absence of FSD (which is now Supervised, not Beta).

Moreover, some customers have published videos of their ownership experience on social media. Many of them show the Cybertruck failing soon after delivery or throwing all sorts of errors at the driver. I can't say that I know what others are thinking, but I don't think that's expected of a $100,000+ vehicle.

Tesla's wannabe workhorse is also much more expensive than what was originally announced. People buy a "triangle on wheels" to show off, experience the latest tech, and feel cocooned in a ride that has a bullet-resistant body and rock-proof glass. What's worse is that even the initial advertised range is nowhere to be found. To get close to those 500 miles (805 kilometers) of zero-emission go ability, customers have to get in line for a $16,000 range extender that could give the pickup truck a range on a single charge of 460 miles (740 kilometers).

On the other hand, the F-150 Lightning is Ford's way of showing its customers that it can make EVs that pair utility with increased comfort. Sadly, one thing that the Blue Oval forgot about was the ability to go off-road. The all-electric pickup truck just can't compare with the Rivian or even the Cybertruck. It's a good fit for tradespeople and those who want a large all-electric vehicle just to commute or visit Costco every once in a while, but that's about it. The ground clearance and the suspension setup just aren't doing the F-150 Lightning any favors.

F\-150 Lightning Out and About
Photo: Truck King on YouTube
Unfortunately for all three of them, Chevrolet will likely convince more EV enthusiasts than expected to switch to the Ultium-powered universe. I also think that an increasing number of Canadians and Americans will ditch gas in favor of a battery-powered drivetrain. Why wouldn't they do it since charging at home is cheaper and maintenance is simpler?

It just makes sense

We could soon see drivers exit their R1T leases or sell the edgy Cybertruck and move to a Silverado EV RST. I, for one, can't wait to see the RST trim in action. Chevy needs to start deliveries ASAP.

The Silverado EV RST was supposed to become available in "late 2023." That deadline has been moved to "the first half of 2024." When writing, we're well into the second quarter of the year, and only a few units have been sent out to a few media representatives and a couple of dealerships. Fret not; Chevy's certainly getting ready to launch this pickup truck stateside and in Canada ASAP, but it seems like it doesn't want to rush everything.

A good indication that the bowtie-wearing vehicle manufacturer is taking the introduction of the all-electric pickup truck seriously is brought forward by the recent upgrades: the unit now goes farther on a full battery and has a lower MSRP. That's what we like to see. Upgrades!

The Silverado EV RST should cover over 440 miles (708 km) on a single charge, have a starting cost of under $97,000, and develop up to 754 hp and 785 lb-ft (1,064 Nm) of torque. It also has a towing capacity of 10,000 lb and a payload of 1,500 lb. So, you'll be able to take the entire family and all the luggage with you on a lengthy trip. Don't worry, though! You will still be able to impress your friends (or foes) because the vehicle can reach 60 mph (97 kph) from a standstill in 4.5 seconds when Launch Control (aka the "Wide Open Watts" mode) is activated.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV
Photo: Chevrolet
Unlike other EVs, the Silverado EV RST will actually serve you well on road trips because the high-voltage energy storage unit can charge incredibly fast: it can go over the coveted 350-kW pretty easily.

In about 15 minutes, the EV should be able to pull around 86 kWh of energy when hooked to a capable pedestal. Add three more minutes to that quarter of an hour, and the Silverado EV RST pulls a bit over 100 kWh from the grid. That's a bit more than the battery size of a Tesla Model S.

Downright impressive

But besides being able to charge fast, the pickup truck's energy storage unit has an impressive charging curve: it only drops under 200 kW after reaching a 78% state of charge. Realistically speaking, you will rarely need to go above the 80% threshold. A 30-minute charging session will be more than enough to reach another high-power dispenser that's well over 100 miles away without even thinking about the range. That 24-module ~210-kWh high-voltage energy storage unit is a monster.

Considering that a car is one of the biggest purchases a person will make in their lifetime, choosing what to buy is paramount. That's why any EV enthusiast, business owner, or new car shopper should splurge on the Silverado EV RST. It's just better than the competition.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV
Photo: Chevrolet
The increased range alone will help you avoid EV-specific headaches. Just remember that the pickup truck won't be immune to depreciation. You can be ecstatic about getting a Silverado EV RST, but don't put yourself in a tricky financial situation.

However, remember that the 4WT version exists. If you don't want all the creature comforts and you need just the essentials, that version is worth considering.

Let's just hope that GM has prepared its techs to deal with unavoidable customer complaints in a timely manner. We wouldn't want to see Chevy's name dragged into the mud all over social media, would we? That's another brand's specialty.

This is your shot, Chevy! Show them that you (truly) got it right. Prove everyone that Tesla and Ford or newcomers like Rivian aren't the only ones that can be taken seriously in the "zero-emission" mobility domain. You can do it!

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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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