While Chevrolet is making waves with its top-of-the-line opening Silverado EV RST First Edition, there is another important model that will debut in 2023, and that is the entry-level WT trim aimed at fleet customers. Chevrolet hopes this truck will be the vehicle that introduces electrification into its fleet, and while it’s similar to the consumer-grade Silverado EV, there are a number of differences that will make the Silverado EV WT a truck it’s made to work with.
The Silverado EV WT shares the same Ultium platform with a 24-module battery pack as the rest of the Silverado EV lineup and will offer the same approximate 400-mile 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. This will also be done without a Wide Open Watts (WOW) setting, as most fleet owners don’t want the responsibility of their employees driving a truck that can drag a sports car on the way to the job site.
Charge and Distribute
The Silverado EV WT will come standard with DC fast charging 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 in up to 10 outlets. One 120-volt outlet is located on the eTrunk, one 120-volt outlet is on the center console, and four 120-volt outlets are located on the bed, along with one 240-volt outlet. The PowerBase power bar accessory, which plugs into the charging port, adds two 120-volt outlets and another 240-volt outlet. The Silverado EV can export up to 10.2 kW of power and can charge any other Silverado EV WT, or just about any other EV, for that matter.
With a focus on fleet customers, the crew-cabin-only Silverado EV interior is slightly downgraded from the consumer-class RST but looks distinctly business-like in its all-black finish. The 11-inch center screen replaces the 17-inch screen on the RST, while the reconfigurable driver screen shrinks to 7 inches from the 8-inch screen found on the RST. WT has also lost its glass roof for one made of 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. Each WT model will come with a Tow/Haul mode, hitch provision, and an integrated trailer brake controller. Hitch Guidance will also be available on the main screen. While towing is down to 8,000 pounds from the RST, the next 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 cargo-carrying capabilities. Payload dropped by 100 pounds from the RST to 1,200 pounds, but Chevy is planning a series of accessories that will take advantage of the Silverado EV WT’s unique architecture to charge, carry, and store gear in the bed and on the eTrunk. Despite the swoopy style, we think it looks pretty good for the task with a bed rack.
To keep the price low, Chevrolet did a little decontenting on the WT, some visible and some not. For example, the WT got an unpainted fascia that was cheaper to manufacture and more resistant to bumps and scratches. The air suspension was lowered in favor of non-adjustable steel spring adjustments and four-wheel steering was avoided in the WT. The large 24-inch wheels found on the RST were swapped for 18-inch steel wrapped tires with taller sidewalls.
Fortunately, the LED headlights and taillights are retained, only without the animations or charging indicators present in the RST. The charging progress will still be shown in the charging port and in the accompanying app. Lastly, eTrunk won’t unlock power, relying on the user to open it manually, something we don’t think will bother blue-collar professionals.
When Will It Arrive?
Chevrolet promises the WT will arrive in the spring of 2023 with a base price of $39,990 plus a destination fee of $1,695. It’s within spitting distance of F-150 Lightning’s initial price. While Ford will be available sooner and have more payload at 2,000 pounds, the Silverado EV is worth the wait with more 100 miles of range, an extra 300 pounds of towing capability, and a slight edge over the 9.6 kW Lightning. power output. The Chevrolet Silverado EV will be assembled at GM Detroit Factory ZERO at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center.