Chevrolet launched the all-electric Equinox as a tool that it hopes will help parents General Motors Co. to persuade the masses to go electric.
The Equinox, announced Thursday, lands in the middle of a competitive compact SUV segment that GM wants to rock with an electrified version of Chevy’s second flagship in the back of the Silverado pickup.
“We think this is our big opportunity here to really start getting mass adoption… we have that hope,” Chevrolet Vice President Scott Bell said during a media event highlighting the new Equinox EV. “We believe Chevrolet will have the broadest and best EV portfolio of all of our competitors, and we truly live up to our motto of putting EVs out there for everyone.”
GM expects the Equinox EV’s starting price of the entry-level trim at around $30,000 will drive the high-volume adoption it’s taking company-wide. The automaker hopes to have the capacity to make more than 1 million EVs in North America by 2025 and then sell them. The 2024 Equinox EV will serve the automaker’s goals when it arrives in fall 2023, starting with the limited edition 2RS trim model.
The Mexican-made Equinox EV will effectively put the cherry on top of Chevy’s electric lineup. It will hit the road once the electric Chevy Blazer arrives in the summer of 2023. The electric Silverado Work Truck for fleet customers is coming in the spring of 2023, with a consumer-facing RST model, $105,000 arriving by the end of 2023. And while they are built on different electric platforms, the Bolt EV and EUV will still be available until GM finally stops production at the Orion Assembly Plant to make EV trucks there.
“Every vehicle they launch over the next few years and 18 months is a step forward towards that goal, so they will all have unique importance depending on what segment they are in and what their targets are,” said Stephanie. Brinley, principal analyst for S&P Global Mobility.
“With the Equinox EV, the $30,000 price point puts them in the highest volume segment in the US at an accessible price point. It has the ability to make electric vehicles available to more people than they do now.”
Chevrolet chose not to use the return of the North American International Show in Detroit next week to unveil the Equinox EV. But the brand’s upcoming and current lineup of EVs will be on display there.
“The Detroit Auto Show will be the first time that Chevrolet will showcase the totality of our EV portfolio over the past year,” said Chevrolet Marketing Director Steve Majoros. “Detroit will be an important player for us when we see the first public and celebration of General Motors launching the Chevrolet.”
Instead of using auto shows, Chevrolet wants to show its vehicles to more people with a commercial run during Thursday’s NFL kick-off game featuring the Buffalo Bills at the Los Angeles Rams.
“When you’re a mainstream vehicle, you have to talk to the rest of America,” Majoros said. “Everything this product has to offer is closely aligned with what customers are looking for. So we’re using a massive media platform to help provide that broad start.”
Price and range
The Equinox EV will start at around $30,000. Pricing on the high-end trim levels was not released. Whether the Equinox EV will qualify for tax incentives under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act qualifications is still under review.
GM has been touting a $30,000 price tag since early 2022 and recently lowered the price of the Bolt EV to under $30,000 ahead of the arrival of the Equinox. The 2023 Bolt EV starts at $26,595, down from its 2022 starting price of $32,495. The 2023 Bolt EUV starts at $28,195, down from last year’s initial price of $34,495. Blazer 1LT trim and GM police fleet models will be offered starting at $44,995.
“We don’t always see them competing with each other,” Bell said. “We think they’re all going to do a great job bringing some new people into this segment.”
The fully electric Equinox is priced to match its top competitors in the compact SUV segment. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid starts at $29,575 and the 2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts at $32,010.
The Equinox EV comes at a lower price than the all-electric 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, which starts at $39,950, and the Volkswagen ID.4 2023, which starts at $37,495.
“If they could actually offer that vehicle starting at $30,000, it would be a very attractive product at that price point with the features that would be there,” said Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Guidehouse Insights.
And if Chevy can keep the higher trim levels of the Equinox EV in the low $40,000 range “so it doesn’t cross too much into Blazer territory, that makes it a very attractive offering against any competitor, especially the BEV Competitor,” added Abuelsamid.
The range of the Equinox EV depends on the trim level and drive system. The larger battery size combined with front-wheel drive will give the Equinox EV up to 300 miles of range. The all-wheel drive option gets 280 miles. The base model with the standard battery pack gets 250 miles on a charge based on GM estimates.
The standard front-wheel drive system gets GM’s estimate of 210 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque and the all-wheel drive system gets 290 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque.
Single-pedal diving comes standard and is paired with regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery for maximum driving range.
Design and technology
The Equinox EV will be available in various trim levels with different design options and technological capabilities. The base trim of the 1LT features an 11-inch diagonal infotainment screen, an 11-inch diagonal driver information center and 19-inch front aluminum alloy wheels.
The 2LT and 2RS versions will have a 17.7-inch diagonal infotainment screen and an 11-inch diagonal driver information center. They also have front LED light bars and roof rails. GM’s Super Cruise autonomous driving technology will be available on this trim, along with the 3LT and 3RS models.
The Equinox EV comes with a list of standard safety features as part of the Chevy Safety Assist, including lane keep assist with lane departure warning.
On the styling front, the Equinox EV has an “expressive design” with athletic and bold accents with different features for each trim.
The 2LT model is available with a white roof and a blue and black exterior with a blue accented interior or a Sky Cool Gray interior, for example. The 2RS and 3RS are available with black and red accented interiors or Adrenaline red interiors.
The interior seats five and has up to 57 cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the rear seats folded.
Further details and ordering information will be available closer to the start of production.