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2024 Chevy Silverado EV RST First Drive: Not Worth Its $96K Price Tag

Less expensive versions are coming, and they’re worth waiting for

2024 Silverado EV RST lead image
  • The 2024 Chevy Silverado EV RST First Edition is a fully loaded electric truck that only comes one way and costs nearly $100,000.
  • It has two electric motors and a massive battery pack, giving it up to 754 horsepower and a claimed 440 miles of range.
  • The Silverado EV RST joins the fleet-only Work Truck for the 2024 model year, with more trim levels to come next year.

The fully loaded RST First Edition will be the only version of the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV that regular customers can buy this year (the stripped-down Work Truck is fleet-only). It costs $96,495 including destination, only comes in black, and has quite an impressive stats sheet. But after driving the truck for the first time, it's only the 440-mile EPA-estimated range that impressed us. Chevy will roll out cheaper versions of the Silverado EV starting next year, and we recommend you wait for those.

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2024 Silverado EV RST front angle

Beneath the beast

The RST First Edition promises up to 754 horsepower and more than 785 lb-ft of torque when using the Wide Open Watts launch control mode. That's an impressive amount of thrust, and about 200 hp more than the most potent Ford F-150 Lightning.

More impressive than the power is Silverado EV’s exceptional range. With its massive battery pack, the RST can travel 440 miles on a full charge, according to the EPA. This makes it the longest-range electric pickup in the game, outrunning the F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T. We look forward to putting the truck through our Edmunds EV Range Test and seeing how the Silverado performs in the real world.

Under the Silverado’s skin is an 800-volt architecture that allows the pickup to draw up to 350 kW of charging power, which is the current maximum afforded by the newest DC fast-charging stations. This means that, in an ideal situation, the Silverado can charge up to 100 miles in just 10 minutes. For comparison, the F-150 Lightning has a maximum draw of 155 kW and can add 41 to 54 miles in 10 minutes, depending on which battery pack you specify.

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition front

Driving the Silverado EV

With roughly the same footprint as a Silverado 1500 and a much heavier 9,000-ish-pound curb weight, the Silverado EV is a beast on wheels. Hopping into the driver’s seat, you are immediately aware that this is a serious piece of machinery.

Our first drive experience started on a closed road about an hour outside of Detroit, where we had the chance to do a few acceleration runs. There’s a bit of a pre-flight checklist to go through, which includes setting up the My Mode driving profile to Sport across the board, dropping the ride height to its lowest setting, and hitting the Wide Open Watts (WOW) button. After that, it’s right foot down as hard as you can. With over 750 hp racing to all four wheels, this behemoth can boogie, provided you push all the right buttons first. GM says this truck should hit 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds.

Back out in the real world, and without WOW activated, the RST is a much more tame animal. Chevy engineers wouldn’t disclose how much power the truck produces in Normal mode, but it’s certainly less than the advertised 754-hp figure. The RST has enough juice to get up and move without a problem, but it doesn’t feel anywhere as quick as the quad-motor Rivian R1T or tri-motor GMC Hummer EV.

Author=Chevrolet

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV

While it might not have the raw acceleration to match all of its rivals, the RST has a leg up when it comes to range. We drove for hour after hour racking up tons of miles and barely felt like we put a dent in the truck’s battery. There’s a real sense that a product like this can quell even the most severe case of range anxiety, which is exactly what Chevy is banking on.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, this big, heavy truck is a bit of a handful when you take a corner with some enthusiasm. The chassis feels strong, and the air suspension works hard to prevent body roll as much as the laws of physics will allow. Michigan isn’t known for having dynamic driving roads, but every time we turn in to a corner hard, it's evident the tires want to give up before the chassis. Low-speed corners, on the other hand, are less of an issue, with the Silverado EV’s excellent rear steering system keeping the turning circle nice and tight.

Let's talk about those 24s

The Silverado EV RST rides on 24-inch wheels and weighs a ton — well, actually 4.5 tons. These two factors, along with the need for great efficiency, mean that Chevy has to run the tires at crazy-high pressure — over 60 psi — to perform.

When these very-inflated tires come into contact with any bumps in the road, they let you know. This isn’t a product of bad suspension tuning — the Silverado EV’s air suspension is really nice — but this truck would likely be much nicer to drive with smaller wheels and bigger sidewalls. Chevy will offer those two things on future trim levels like the LT. But for now, its RST and its 24s are mandatory if you want a Silverado EV.

Author=Chevrolet

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV

Practical, not pretty

The Silverado EV’s cabin has all the hallmarks of a true truck interior, including huge passenger space, tons of cupholders, and a decent list of creature comforts. The plus here is that even your tallest friends can be comfortable in any seat on a long journey. Short of a Maybach S-Class, this truck has some of the best legroom we’ve ever experienced in a back seat.

But that’s about the only thing about this interior that rivals a luxury vehicle. For nearly $100,000, the Silverado EV’s cabin simply isn’t nice enough. Instead of wood and premium materials that you’d find in a Silverado 1500 High Country, the EV is filled with sections of hard black plastic and random red stitching. The upcoming Sierra Denali EV looks to remedy all of that, albeit for a lot more money.

2024 Silverado EV midgate

The truck comes with comes with a typical 5-foot bed and can handle up to 1,500 pounds of payload. Chevy also installed a clever midgate that allows the rear seats to fold down flat and provide access to the bed. That means items up to 9 feet long, like a kayak, can fit with the tailgate up.

There’s one more party trick, too: a power-operated front trunk. This space has extra plugs for charging devices and is big enough to handle a suitcase or two on its own.

When it comes to towing, the Silverado EV can take on 10,000 pounds. That puts it behind the Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck’s maximum weight of 11,000 pounds, but better than the F-150 Lightning’s 8,600 pounds. It’s also worth noting that the Silverado is the only truck in the bunch that can tow while using a hands-free driving system.

Author=Chevrolet

2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV

Because the RST First Edition is fully loaded, that means a 17.7-inch touchscreen is standard. And like the Chevy Blazer EV and Equinox EV, the infotainment system within does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Chevy's insistence on EV customers only using the native Google-based system is still a bit perplexing, but it does offer a nice experience, including Google Maps and Google Assistant.

The RST also comes standard with Super Cruise hands-free driving tech. GM is expanding the system’s capability to work on over 750,000 miles of mapped roads across the country. Super Cruise is our favorite hands-free driving system in the business, and it keeps getting better with time.

Edmunds says

The Silverado EV RST First Edition can do a lot of things, but for $96,000, it's kind of a hard sell. We'll happily wait for a lower-priced model, especially if it can keep the RST's impressive range.