While Chevrolet made waves with the unveiling of the top-of-the-line Silverado EV RST First Edition, there is another important model set to make its debut in 2023, and that’s the entry-level WT trim aimed at fleet customers. Chevrolet hopes this truck will be the vehicle that introduces electrification into fleets, and while it is similar to the consumer-grade Silverado EV, there are a number of differences that will make the Silverado EV WT a truck made for work.
The Silverado EV WT shares the same Ultium platform with a 24-module battery pack with the rest of the Silverado EV lineup and will offer the same 400 miles of estimated range. Like the Silverado EV RST, the WT will have a two-motor setup, but output drops from 664 horsepower and 780 lb-ft of torque in the RST to 510 horsepower and 615 lb-ft. It also will do without the Wide Open Watts (WOW) setting, as the vast majority of fleet owners don’t want the liability of their employees driving a truck that can out-drag a sports car on the way to the job site.
Charge and Distribute
The Silverado EV WT will come standard with DC fast-charge capability of up to 35 kW, which should be good enough to add 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. Like the Silverado EV RST, the WT model will be available with up to 10 outlets. One 120-volt outlet is located in the eTrunk, one 120-volt outlet is in the center console, and four 120-volt outlets are located in the bed, along with a single 240-volt outlet. The PowerBase power bar accessory, which plugs into the charge port, adds two more 120-volt outlets and another 240-volt outlet. The Silverado EV can export up to 10.2 kW of power and can charge another Silverado EV WT, or just about any other EV, for that matter.
With a focus on fleet customers, the crew cab-only Silverado EV interior is toned down a bit from the consumer-grade RST but looks decidedly business-like in its all-black colorway. An 11-inch center screen replaces the 17-inch screen on the RST, while the reconfigurable driver’s display shrinks down to 7 inches from the 8-inch screen found in the RST. The WT also loses the glass roof for one made from durable metal.
There isn’t a work truck out there that isn’t used for towing and hauling, so Chevrolet made sure the Silverado EV WT was up to the task. Every WT model will come with a Tow/Haul mode, hitch provisions, and an integrated trailer brake controller. Hitch Guidance will also be available on the main screen. While towing drops down to 8,000 pounds from the RST, a subsequent version of the Silverado EV will be rated to tow 20,000 pounds.
The Silverado EV WT has a 5-foot, 11-inch bed, but loses the Multi-Flex midgate option that would otherwise expand the cargo carrying capability. Payload is down 100 pounds from the RST to 1,200 pounds, but Chevy is planning a slew of accessories that will utilize the Silverado EV WT’s unique architecture to charge, carry, and store tools in the bed and in the eTrunk. Despite the swoopy styling, we think it looks pretty good reporting for duty with a bed rack.
To keep the price point affordable, Chevrolet does a little decontenting on the WT, some of it visible and some of it not. For instance, the WT gets unpainted fascia that are both cheaper to manufacture and more forgiving against impacts and scrapes. The air suspension is dropped in favor of a non-adjustable steel spring setup and four-wheel steering is eschewed on the WT. The massive 24-inch wheels found on the RST are swapped out for 18-inch steelies wrapped in a tire with a taller sidewall.
Fortunately, the LED headlamps and taillamps are retained, just without the animations or charge indicator found on the RST. Charging progress will still be displayed at the charging port and on an accompanying app. Lastly, the eTrunk will not power open, relying on the user to manually open it, something that we don’t think will bother any blue-collar professionals.
When Will It Arrive?
Chevrolet promises the WT will arrive in spring 2023 with a base price of $39,990 plus a destination charge of $1,695. This is within spitting-distance of the F-150 Lightning’s starting price. While the Ford will be available sooner and have more payload at 2,000 pounds, the Silverado EV could just be worth the wait with its 100-mile-greater range, 300 extra pounds of towing capability, and a slight edge over the Lightning’s 9.6 kW of power output. The Chevrolet Silverado EV will be assembled at GM’s Detroit Factory ZERO at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center.
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