2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV With 250-300 Miles, Target Base Price $30,000

The Silverado, Equinox, and Blazer are Chevrolet’s three best-selling nameplates across the three strongest market segments in the US If all goes to plan, (and when did that not happen recently?) by the end of 2023, all three badges should be available on electric equivalent batteries. The Silverado EV was unveiled in January 2022 and the Blazer EV was shown in July. Ahead of the 2022 Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet presents the third member of the triumvirate, the Equinox EV.

The Equinox EV is in many ways the most important of the trio as it fits well into the Chevy lineup and the expected price tag. Full-size pickup trucks are America’s best-selling vehicles but they’ve also gotten a lot more expensive in recent years, with new electric versions getting very expensive. Ford recently raised the price of the F-150 Lightning to $8,000 due to rising material costs for batteries and the GMC Hummer EV jumped $6,250 in June this year. Final pricing is not yet available for the Silverado EV, but it will probably be at least as expensive.

On the other hand, Chevrolet slashed the price of the Bolt EV and EUV by around $6,000 in part to revive sales after the recent battery recall and also in anticipation of the upcoming Equinox next year. For some time now, GM executives including CEO Mary Barra have been touting that the Equinox EV will start at just $30,000 excluding any incentives.

Assuming that Chevrolet can actually hit that price point, that would put the Equinox EV’s starting price at least $10,000 cheaper than many similar-sized competitors like the Toyota bZ4X and Hyundai Ioniq 5. The 2023 Base Volkswagen ID4 now starts at $37,500 but only has a 208 Range. miles compared to the projected Equinox base of 250 miles.

So, what exactly does Chevrolet have to offer the most mainstream EV? It looks like it could be quite a lot, though Chevrolet officials are still tight-lipped about many details. Chevrolet’s designers and engineers are leveraging a new dedicated electric platform to expand the Equinox’s passenger volume although it’s unclear exactly how much. In profile, the windshield is clearly pushed forward and the wheels are pushed into the corners. The wheelbase of the Equinox EV is 9 inches longer than the gas version and the overall length has been extended by 7.4 inches. That makes it only about an inch shorter than the current gas-engined Blazer. It’s also 2.8 inches wider and 1.9 inches lower. The result is a bit more like a car, dare we say station wagon like proportions.

Chevrolet didn’t reveal what passenger volume is now, but it will likely exceed the current edition’s 104 cubic feet. Interestingly, the maximum cargo area with the seats folded flat is actually reduced by 63.9 cubic feet to 57.2 cubic feet. We’ll have to wait until we take a closer look in person to judge where that space has gone though the nearly two-inch roofline no doubt takes up a lot of that volume.

Overall, it looks more athletic than the gas model but aerodynamics played an important role in shaping this new model. Aero is especially important for EVs because aerodynamic drag increases as a function of the square of speed (for the non-math nerds out there it goes up exponentially with speed) which is why range starts to drop significantly at greater highway speeds.

On the other hand, when you release the gas pedal, you don’t want the aero drag to slow down the vehicle so as much energy as possible can be recovered through regenerative braking. To that end, the Equinox has features such as flat door handles and meticulous detailing around the perimeter to facilitate airflow.

Inside, the Equinox shares a lot of DNA with its bigger sibling, the Blazer EV. It starts with an 11-inch instrument cluster display and an available 17.7-inch center infotainment touchscreen. The large screen is standard on the 3LT and 3RS trims and optional on the 2LT and 2RS. The base configuration has a still fairly spacious 11-inch touchscreen that all uses the new Android Automotive GM-based system with a set of Google services built in. At the outer end of the instrument panel are the same circular vents found on the Blazer while the center vent is rectangular. A row of physical climate control switches sits just below the vent.

One feature available not available on any of its current competitors is Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free driver assistance system. Like other Super Cruise apps, it retains the steering wheel light bar, infrared driver monitoring system and will be available for use on over 400,000 miles of road in North America. However, this system cannot drive itself and neither can any other system on the market regardless of how the company might brand it.

Underneath the body, the Equinox uses various components from the Ultium device including motors, power electronics, and battery modules. The Equinox will be offered in front or all-wheel-drive configurations and two battery sizes. Given the expected range of 250 miles for the base FWD variant, this is likely to contain a battery pack with eight modules that should add up to between 67 and 70 kWh. The extended range version may have a ten-module package with around 83-85 kWh.

All Equinox configurations get the same 210-hp, 242 lb-ft permanent magnet motor used on the Blazer’s front axle. The AWD variant adds what may be the previously mentioned AC induction motor for a total of 290-hp and 346 lb-ft. For now at least, Chevrolet isn’t saying anything about SS variants like the Blazer has, but the beauty of electric architecture like this could easily be added to by swapping out another motor from the Ultium family.

A new feature that GM first discussed in the context of the Equinox EV was the vehicle’s ability to load (V2L). The top 3RS trim level will be available with an optional 19.2 kW two-way on-board charger. With an 80-amp wall charger at home, this charger can add up to a charge of 51 miles per hour. However, this device can also put out up to 3kW of power for other devices. For now, Chevrolet has not provided any other details such as whether an adapter with an AC outlet similar to the V2L system offered by Hyundai and Kia will be required. While GM officials declined to confirm whether this capability will be available on other EVs, it appears that at least those with 19.2 kW chargers will be able to provide power.

Other Equinox variants will come with a standard 11.5 kW charger that can add range to 34 miles per hour. They will also support 150-kW DC fast charging which is quickly becoming the minimum standard for new EVs. That’s almost triple the charging speed of the Bolt EV though not as fast as the 240-kW available from Hyundai-Kia EVs.

The Equinox EV will be produced starting fall 2023 at GM’s Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant alongside the Blazer EV. GM plans to start with the 3RS trim for which no pricing is available and plans to make all trims available within 12 months of launch. That means the $30,000 Equinox EV probably won’t be offered until sometime in 2024, at which time, GM expects more supply chain challenges to be addressed. If GM really wants to be a leader in bringing EVs into the mainstream, they’ll want to make as many affordable Equinox EVs available as soon as possible.

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