Will the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV be a viable contender?

The first of the company’s electric vehicles to be announced this year was the full-size truck, the Silverado EV. Later it was the midsize SUV, the Blazer EV. Now, a third model has been introduced this year: the Chevrolet Equinox EV.

The Chevrolet Equinox EV looks very attractive – with a starting price of around $30,000 on the 1LT, the Equinox jumps right into the compact SUV with a very attractive price tag. The company expects it to be the most affordable electric vehicle (EV) in its class, even excluding any potential government or tax incentives.

At $35,000 less than the Tesla Model Y, the Equinox should have real competitive power, at least on the price side. General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra said last year that the company could “absolutely” catch up with industry leader Tesla in US electric vehicle sales by 2025.

It is a motivational concept. But — can the Equinox really compete with the Tesla?

General Motors (GM) is holding firm on the advertised price of $30,000, even with historic inflation and supply chain constraints eating away at profit margins. This entry-level price range has been hard to come by for most automakers, as the costs of building electric vehicles and the batteries needed to power them confuse pencil-pushers.

Pricing also aligns the Equinox with gas-powered compact crossovers/SUVs at an average price of $35,300. “We have every intention of building and selling the vehicle that will debut in this price range,” said Scott Bell, Chevrolet vice president of worldwide sales. “So that’s critical to the success of what we do at Chevrolet – building an electric vehicle for everyone.”

The Equinox EV will go on sale in fall 2023.

This all-new model now complements the company’s electric vehicle catalog, along with the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV compact SUVs. “Chevrolet is now able to offer a wide range of electric vehicles,” Bell said. “We know truck and SUV customers better than anyone, and we’ve channeled that insight and experience into our new electric vehicles. »

The company places particular emphasis on safety as a priority for families in hopes that the model will become a best-seller for the company. “We are at a crossroads where electric vehicles will be the primary choice for the next generation of customers, and Equinox EV will lead that charge for us,” Barra said. “With the flexibility of GM’s Ultium platform, we bring vehicles to market at almost any price point and for any purpose.”

The Chevrolet Equinox is billed in a press release as “an affordable all-electric SUV designed to help modern families make a seamless, confident, and uncompromising transition to an electric vehicle.”

The Chevrolet Equinox will help new EV drivers make this transition to charging with a selection of range capabilities. It has two battery sizes. The entry-level 1LT trim offers the small battery and associated GM-estimated range of 250 miles. The larger battery has a range estimated at 300 miles by GM available on a full charge. When equipped with the large battery and all-wheel drive, 280 miles should be achievable, according to the company.

The new compact SUV offers the following load specs, along with GM estimates:

  • Standard Level 2 (AC) charging of 11.5 kW, which can add up to 34 miles of range per hour of charging
  • 19.2kW Level 2 (AC) charging available on 3RS eAWD, which can add up to 81 miles of range per hour of charging
  • Standard DC fast charging capability up to 150kW, adding approximately 70 miles of range in 10 minutes

Other incentives for new EV owners are navigation and route planning available through the MyChevy app, which will help drivers locate and plot routes to charging stations.

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox ranked in the bottom half of the gas-powered compact SUV category. It lost major points on poor passing power and poor interior quality, with one review saying that “it doesn’t compare as well to many rivals”. Another reviewer decried “the lackluster 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder with a 6-speed automatic”.

Fortunately, its name beside the point, the Equinox EV has little in common with its gasoline counterpart. It looks more like the recently unveiled Chevrolet Blazer. The Blazer, however, offers up to 557 horsepower and 648 pound-feet of torque and a commensurate price of $45,000.

Does the Chevrolet Equinox have what it takes to compare to its rivals?

Two distinctive Equinox personalities – LT and RS – are offered in multiple trims, drive configurations and lineup options. (Pricing for each trim level will be revealed at a later date.)

A front-wheel-drive system with 210 horsepower and GM-estimated 242 lb-ft of torque is standard, with an eAWD system rated at 290 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque available.

The Chevrolet Equinox EV will use Ultium Charge 360, GM’s holistic approach to EV charging, with information and access to 110,000 publicly available charging stations in the United States and Canada.

Technology features include a large infotainment screen – including an available 17.7-inch diagonal system – a solid suite of standard and available driver assistance technologies, and hands-free driver assistance technology Super Cruise available for compatible routes, compared to the current Equinox.

One-pedal driving is standard and allows the Equinox EV to accelerate and decelerate to a complete stop, using only the throttle. It’s paired with regenerative braking, which can convert the kinetic energy of the vehicle’s forward momentum into electricity stored in the battery to maximize range.

Super Cruise, the industry’s first true hands-free driver assistance technology, is an option that will allow drivers to travel hands-free on more than 400,000 miles of compatible roads across the United States and Canada.

GM’s quest for an all-electric future

General Motors has taken over to transition to an all-electric future. “Climate change is real,” Barra acknowledged, “and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle.”

The company claims to be “aggressively tackling” all aspects of what it takes to deliver viable battery-electric models to its loyal customer base. Recognizing that “we need millions of electric vehicles on the road to have a meaningful impact on building an emissions-free future,” GM is repositioning its design, engineering and production components for electric vehicles, in the hope to offer “all styles and all prices”.

GM is building a coast-to-coast electric vehicle charging network in partnership with Pilot and Flying J truck stops and operated by EVgo. Their maximum power will be 350 kW, installed under awnings to avoid rain and sun much more easily during a charging station. Where possible, stations will be arranged in a walk-through configuration so electric vehicles pulling trailers can effectively use the stations without having to unhook.

The company continues to re-examine and re-conceptualize its business model by creating a competitive battery electric paradigm in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and customer experience.

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