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First Drive: 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition

by | May 23, 2024

After an unexpectedly long wait, Chevrolet finally brings the retail version of its new, all-electric pickup to market with the arrival of the 2024 Silverado EV RST. The initial First Edition package is loaded with an array of features that should  grab potential buyers’ attention. It’s now the longest-range EV pickup on the market at up to 440 miles per charge, and delivers up to 750 hp in WOW mode. It’s also targeted at those with deep pockets – until later, more affordable trims arrive.

2024 Silverado EV WT

Until now, Chevy only has offered the WT, or Work Truck, version of the Silverado EV.

The battery-electric pickup market suddenly is getting quite crowded. Buyers now can choose from entries like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck. Ram is getting to ready to roll out the 1500 REV. GMC already has the Hummer EV and will follow with a battery-electric version of the Sierra in the coming year. And still more offerings are on the way.

As the second best-seller in the traditional pickup segment, Chevrolet is finally weighing in, as well. To be more precise, the bowtie brand began selling the all-electric Silverado EV last year, but only in commercial work truck form, the no frills WT. Due to a variety of issues, including early snags at parent General Motors’ Ultium battery plant, the retail model was pushed back until now.

As with the conventional version of the truck, the Silverado EV will be offered in a variety of trims, from the base, commercial WT up to the lavishly equipped Silverado EV RST that launches the pickup into the retail market. Following the path GM has taken with its other new battery-electric vehicles, sales launch with the limited-run First Edition. And it’s clearly designed to draw attention with pretty much everything Chevy could load it up with.

Overcoming EV Obstacles

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition - with trailer

Chevrolet intends to ease concerns about EV pickups, among other things by delivering extended range, even while towing.

Eventually, we could see a dozen or more all-electric pickups on the U.S. market, Headlight.News has calculated. But, after signs of strong early demand, sales have fallen far short of expectations. Ford, for one, has repeatedly slashed production of the Lightning and, despite claims of over 1 million advance reservations, the Cybertruck isn’t delivering much of a boost for Tesla.

A variety of concerns have scared off many potential buyers, including range anxiety, as well as the lack of a robust public charging network. Chevy, however, believes it can reassure customers with the Silverado EV’s list of features.

For one thing, the Silverado EV RST First Edition will deliver the longest range of any electric pickup now on the market, at 440 miles. Even with the anticipated loss of range when towing, it still should yield more than 200 miles when hooked up to trailers of all but the biggest trailers during the winter. And, when connected to the latest high-speed public chargers, Chevy claims, the RST line can add another 100 miles of range in about 10 minutes.

Now, all this doesn’t come cheap, the First Edition package starting at a steep $96,395 – but it’s better than it could have been. With competitors like Ford engaged in an EV price war, that’s $10,500 less than what the bowtie EV was originally set to launch at.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition - rear 3-4

The Silverado EV shares not a single body panel with the conventional version of the truck. Among the distinctive features, it boasts flying buttresses.

The basics

The Silverado EV rides on the largest of the various Ultium platforms General Motors is rolling out for its expansive battery-electric family. It’s roughly the same size as the existing gas- and diesel-powered Silverado line-up but features some distinctive design cues that readily let you tell them apart, as they share not a single body panel. The battery model spent plenty of time in the wind tunnel, aerodynamics critical to an EV’s range and performance.

The Silverado EV has a shorter nose and more streamlined features. The conventional grille is gone, though smaller air intakes feed air for cooling the low-mounted battery pack and motors. Seeing the EV come up in your rearview mirror you might note the distinctive headlamps connected by a lighted crossbar and backlit Chevy bowtie emblem.

Another visual cue is the flying buttresses behind the cab. If anything, that brings to mind the old Chevy Avalanche model.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST

An overhead view showing the 2024 Silverado EV RST’s Multi-Flex Midgate, holding a kayak.

Plenty of storage space

Like the Hummer EV, the electric Silverado rides atop a skateboard-like “Ultium” platform placing motors, batteries and other drivetrain components below the load floor. The design lowers a vehicle’s center of gravity to make it more stable, especially at high speeds. It also means space normally taken up by an engine compartment can be repurposed for passengers and cargo.

That includes a huge “frunk” where the traditional engine compartment would be located. It’s big enough to hold a week’s groceries for a large family – or the custom tool box that Chevy offers work truck buyers.

One of the unique features of the Silverado EV is a “Multi-Flex Midgate,” a fold-down bulkhead between the passenger compartment and cargo bed. When open, said Chevy in a statement, “it improves storage capacity from 5 feet, 11 inches to 10 feet, 10 inches.”

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition - frunk

The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition features a 10.7 cubic-foot frunk.

The EV also boasts a power-open frunk where a conventional Silverado would have its gas or diesel engine. It’s rated at 10.7 cubic feet, just slightly smaller than the front trunk in the F-150 Lightning.

Gaining access to the cargo bed also is easier thanks to the multi-function tailgate which provides a foothold in one position, and adds a backstop in another, helping to prevent cargo, such as a kayak, from flying out.

More Pickup News

WOW power

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition - in WOW Mode

During our track test of the Silverado EV RST First Edition it hit 60 in just over 4 seconds using its 754-hp WOW Mode.

Going forward, Chevy promises it “will roll out a suite of Silverado EV trims for retail customers, offered with a variety of range options.”

At launch, the 2024 Silverado EV First-Edition RST will be powered by a twin-motor drivetrain making 754 horsepower and 785 lb.-ft. of torque – using what GM calls Wide Open Watts, or WOW, Mode. That’s actually almost 20% more than the automaker initially promised at launch.

To put things into perspective, the gas-powered version of the Silverado tops out with a 6.2-liter V-8 making 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.

Chevy hasn’t provided launch times for the updated RST First Edition package but it originally said the truck would launch from 0 to 60 in less than 4.5 seconds. Based on a couple of runs down the track at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, something a bit closer to 4 seconds seems more likely now.

For many buyers, the more critical numbers are these: the Silverado EV RST will tow up to 10,000 pounds and boasts a 1,500-pound cargo capacity.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST

A close-up view of the 2024 Silverado EV RST charging at a GM Energy charging station.

Range and charging

Here’s where Chevy hopes to gain a leg up on the competition – and ease buyer concerns.

The RST First Edition boasts the longest range of any all-electric truck on the market, 440 miles under ideal conditions, according to the EPA. Based on my first drive, it appears likely to come in reasonably close, even when you’ve got a lead foot, as I do. Of course, range will depend upon other factors, including payload, weather and trailering.

The closest competitor is the 400-mile version of the Rivian R1T. The Ford F-150 Lightning manages just 320, depending upon trim, and The Tesla Cybertruck Cyberbeast also musters 320 miles – substantially less than what the EV maker once promised. There will be a variant of the upcoming Ram 1500 claimed to reach even higher numbers. But that’s misleading. The Ramcharger package is actually a range-extender pairing its battery drive system with a gas motor serving as a generator.

Using one of the latest public quick chargers, Chevy said the Silverado EV will be able to add 100 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes, though getting up to 80% — the normal max on a fast charger – will take more like an hour. The automaker hasn’t released charging times using the Level 2 240-volt chargers found at most homes and workplaces. But expect it to take the better part of a day with a completely drained battery.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition - Multi-function Tailgate

A closer look at the Silverado EV’s multi-function tailgate.

Moving mass

In the RST First Edition, Chevy will offer only a 210 kilowatt-hour battery pack. By comparison, the Lightning’s pack is around 120 kWh. Some quick math suggests that the Ford EV is actually more energy efficient, yielding about 2.7 miles per kWh compared to less than 2.1 for the Chevy. That came as a bit of a surprise considering the Silverado EV is a ground-up design using a dedicated skateboard platform. Ford went with a heavily modified version of the conventional F-150.

The other surprise is that the First Edition comes in just short of 9,000 pounds, about 2,000 more than the heaviest Lightning. The battery back is bigger, of course, but doesn’t completely explain why it’s so heavy.

Driving impressions

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition - driving

Taking the new Silverado EV RST First Edition out on the trail.

All that added weight does create some challenges. Even in WOW Mode, it cuts into launch times, for starters. And you can feel the mass a bit in sharp corners. It may also explain why, when engaging that high-performance mode the Silverado EV experienced some truly unexpected torque steer.

Otherwise, it proved to offer a pleasant and comfortable ride. Chevy engineers have done a good job with the Silverado EV’s suspension, and it soaks up most of the bumps you might experience on pavement – no easy task considering the rough condition of Michigan roadways.

I didn’t have the opportunity to tow a trailer – something I hope to report on in the near future. As to off-roading, that was limited to a pair of light gravel and dirt trails. The First Edition package had no trouble handling either, though you could again feel the truck’s mass when hitting deep ruts.

Overall, however, the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV offered a reasonably pleasant driving experience.

More welcome features – and one that’s missing

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST

A view showing the driver using the Super Cruise hands-free system on the 2024 Silverado EV RST.

And it has a lot of other things to offer that could win over potential buyers. For one thing, it features the latest version of GM’s Super Cruise. This hands-free system now operates on almost 750,000 miles of U.S. roadways, including some two-lanes. By comparison, most similar systems, such as Ford’s Blue Cruise offer more limited opportunities for use. And despite widespread expectations, Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving systems are not truly hands-free.

Better yet, Super Cruise now can activate passes all on its own if it comes up on a slower vehicle and conditions are safe. It surprised me how well it handled an incident when another driver raced ahead of me to merge onto a freeway.

Another delightful feature is the fact that the truck has bidirectional charging. In other words, you can plug in to the various outlets to draw power at camp or worksites. GM also offers a more advanced home charging system that can be used to automatically back up your home in the event of a grid failure.

One complaint: amidst the various other create comfort and safety technologies on the Silverado EV, GM has chosen to abandon both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The explanation is complex and, frankly doesn’t fully justify the move. It could be a game-changer for some buyers, though the truck’s infotainment system does have many of the features of those two packages built in.


2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition - V2H

Bidirectional charging allows the electric truck to run a camp or worksite, even provide backup power to a home.

Chevy has delivered an overall impressive product with the 2024 Silverado EV. And the RST First Edition has plenty to brag about, including its WOW Mode and class-leading range. It can charge up reasonably quickly, as well.

There are plenty of other welcome features, including the onboard power capabilities and various creature comforts.

It’s not cheap, at nearly $100,000, but that is less of a detriment when you compare it to the top-line offerings from competitors, such as the Tesla Cybertruck Cyberbeast and Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum Edition. Still, a lot of potential buyers are likely to wait on the sidelines until less expensive versions of the Silverado EV appear in showrooms. That is planned to begin later this year.

There are some things to complain about, starting with the RST’s mass. But for those looking for an all-electric pickup with tremendous features and capabilities, the 2024 Chevy Silverado RST First Edition is going to stand out.


  1. GM needs to clean house. Why design a truck only the top 1% can afford. They’re likely to sell as many Silverados as they fo EV Hummers, about 10/year.

    • Dave, let’s dig a bit deeper. There’s no question that demand for the initial version of the Silverado EV, the RST First Edition, will be small…though likely a lot more than 10. But this is just the launch model, an approach that GM has taken with a lot of prior products…and it’s not unique to GM. We can argue the strategy but the more important point here is that they have a number of more affordable versions of the truck coming, the first of them this year. And the quite competent WT is available now to retail, as well as commercial, buyers.


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