If you are wondering if we should be expecting an electric pickup from Chevy, then the answer is a resounding “yes.” At this point, a pickup joining the lineup of Chevy electric vehicles is a matter of “when” not “if.” The “when” is still quite fuzzy, as are many other details about what this truck will have to offer, though we can make some educated guesses. There’s no doubt that Chevy will want to make a good impression with its first all-electric pickup, particularly since it won’t be an empty, wide-open market whenever their offering does come to the table. They’ll have to contend with plenty of competitors, from the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T to the Ford F-150 Electric and GMC Hummer EV.
So while we have a clear answer to the question of whether a truck will soon grace Chevy’s electric vehicle lineup, there are still plenty of things we don’t have answers for. Today, I’m going to run through the few things we know for sure, make some educated guesses at what we can expect, and then fly into a bout of wild speculation for a few more features we might see. Just remember to take all of this – even the things I “know” with a grain of salt – there’s still plenty of time for Chevy to make changes to what they’ve announced.
Known – Full-Size Electric Truck
Although we really don’t know too much about the truck that is in the works to join the lineup of Chevy electric vehicles (we don’t even have a name), one thing we know for certain is that it will be a full-size pickup. This is a safe bet for a couple of reasons. For one thing, Chevy has clearly stated that the EV truck they’re working on will be a full-size model, and the mockup they recently displayed was definitely not a compact design. Further, both the Cybertruck and Ford’s electric F-150 are full-size trucks, and Chevy definitely wants to go head-on with their competition.
Known – More than 400 Miles on a Full Charge
To be fair, this is still a bit of speculation, but we know that Chevy has a goal for the battery system in their electric truck: more than 400 miles of range from a full charge. That’s a pretty huge goal and even surpasses the upcoming Hummer EV from GMC (which is the closest model we have to work from when looking at what GM is cooking up), which tops out at an expected 350 miles from a full charge. However, Tesla has said that their three-motor model of the Cybertruck will have a range of more than 500 miles, so a goal of 400+ from Chevy certainly makes sense.
Known – In Production by 2025
The last time we were given a clear date for when a pickup would join the Chevy electric vehicle lineup, we were told it would be in production by 2025. Production by 2025 means they probably looked at either late 2025 or early 2026 as the launch window for the truck. But then 2020 happened, and everyone’s plans were thrown into disarray.
So, the Chevy electric truck could still be slated for 2025, or it might go into production even later. However, Chevy seems to be confident that they’ll actually release before 2025, despite the goings-on of 2020. Chevy has talked about their electric truck being ready sooner than that, without saying how much sooner, which ties into some of my wild speculation down below.
Educated Guess – Medium or Heavy-Duty
Although the Chevy eTruck being full-size is pretty much guaranteed, there hasn’t been any official comment on what class it will fall into beyond that. My educated guess is that it will likely be a medium-duty pickup, comparable in weight to the Silverado 2500HD, rather than the light-duty flagship Silverado 1500. Batteries are heavy and make electric vehicles heavier than comparable models with an old-fashioned engine. The early word is that the Tesla Cybertruck will be classed as a medium-duty truck, so it makes sense that Chevy’s pickup will follow suit.
Educated Guess – High Performance
I would also place bets on the performance of the inevitable Chevy electric truck being quite a bit higher than a conventional truck. Not just in terms of payload and towing, which are classic specs for a pickup, but also in terms of top speed and going from 0 to 60. This is one of those things in which electric vehicles really excel, and if Chevy wants to compete, they’ll need to be able to deliver.
For example, the Tesla Cybertruck is advertised as being able to go from 0 to 60 in less than 4.5 seconds with its standard single-motor configuration. The tri-motor AWD builds, however, can supposedly go from 0 to 60 in less than 2.9 seconds. Not every truck driver is going to care about that, but if you can deliver monster towing and payload alongside heart-pounding acceleration, then you’ve really got something.
Educated Guess – All-Wheel Drive Available
Based on the Cybertruck and other market trends, I expect all-wheel drive to be at least available, if not standard, on the electric Chevy truck that’s in the works. AWD is important to a lot of truck owners, so not offering it would be a mistake – and the Cybertruck has two models with AWD. Plus, from what we’ve seen of the GMC Hummer EV, electric RWD and AWD performance are both already well within GM’s reach.
Wild Speculation – Off-Road Performance
Here’s where I make stuff up: I think the Chevy EV truck will have some, if not amazing, off-road performance. I don’t expect it to be a huge focus, but I think it will be there, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one trim – probably not a launch trim – with an off-road focus. The Cybertruck is advertised with a 35-degree approach angle and 28-degree departure angle plus up to 16 inches of ground clearance.
Chevy is going to want to beat that, and with the existing ZR2 trims, they’ve already shown their commitment to off-road pickup design. I fully expect the standard EV truck from Chevy will have some light off-road functionality, with more to come later. Considering what the Hummer EV has to offer, the engineers at Chevy have plenty to play with.
Wild Speculation – Hummer EV Platform
Speaking of the Hummer EV, with the recent announcement that we could get the Chevy EV truck sooner than expected, I have to wonder if that means they’re using the Hummer EV platform as a jumping-off point. It would certainly be easier than starting from scratch, and the Hummer EV already looks quite promising. With the right improvements, it would be the perfect place to start for a truck to join the Chevy electric vehicle lineup.
Wild Speculation – “Silverado” Nameplate
Although it’s entirely possible that Chevy will come up with a completely new name for their EV truck to set it apart from its other models, I really wouldn’t be surprised to see it get the “Silverado” name in some capacity. Whether that’s “Silverado EV” or “EVerado” or something else along those lines, it seems to me that Chevy will want people to feel comfortable with their new electric truck. And using an established name is a great way to do that.
We’ve already seen this from Ford, with their calling their EV model an “All Electric F-150” or “F-150 Electric.” Rather than try to come up with a new brand, they’ve simply built the EV model onto the F-150, which Ford fans already know and trust. So I think we’ll see something similar from Chevy – or maybe they’ll bring back the “Avalanche” nameplate. Oh – Chevy EValanche! Excuse me while I place a call and get hired by GM’s marketing division.