As the arrival of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV approaches, General Motors continues with several validation tests and towing is a priority for truck owners. So far, there hasn’t been an all-electric pickup truck for sale that can tow as much as gasoline and diesel trucks, but the goal is to eventually make that happen.
According Teslarati, GM has shared that some versions of the top-of-the-line Chevrolet Silverado EV RST ($105,000) will be able to tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped. However, the automaker is hoping to increase towing capacity up to 20,000 pounds for the WT model, which makes a lot of sense for a work truck. However, the base WT will be valued at just £8,000.
The Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Truck has a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. The smaller but arguably sturdier Rivian R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds. Meanwhile, the colossal GMC Hummer EV is only valued at up to 7,500 pounds. Keep in mind that gas-powered half-ton pickup trucks like the F-150 and Ram 1500 can pull around 13,000 to 14,000 pounds. That’s not to say electric trucks aren’t capable of just as much, if not much more, but there is one notable caveat.
While most truck owners probably don’t need to tow 10,000 pounds on a regular basis, having a larger capacity ensures that towing a typical load is “easy”. With range anxiety still a major impediment to EV adoption, aiming for the right towing capacity is a balancing act. Automakers probably want to brag about the impressive towing capacity of a class-leading or electric truck, but if that means the truck can only travel 100 miles while towing the heavy load, it’s arguably not that impressive.
Chevrolet’s recent towing capability validation test used the entry-level 2024 Silverado EV WT to tow a 7,700-pound trailer. While it wasn’t £10,000 being tested, or at least publicly shared, and certainly not £20,000, it’s a good start. Tests were supposedly performed at various speeds, and GM engineers noted that the electric truck handled the load very well.
Similar to reports on other electric trucks including the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T, the Silverado EV was said to offer a smooth ride and handle road conditions and driver feedback responsively. The Chief Engineer of the Chevy Electric Pickup Truck Nichole Kraatz shared via Teslarati:
“It’s really important for large truck customers to be able to carry two people, transport and do everything they can do in a traditional truck. And I think we really set the bar and really created an amazing product.”
Chevy says the Silverado EV will have a maximum range of around 400 miles per charge, which should help with towing, as we’ve learned that electric trucks tend to lose about half their range when pulling a heavy load.