General Motors wants to be the biggest electric vehicle seller in the world, and the new 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV is set to play a major role in that effort. Built on GM’s Ultium platform, the midsize SUV will have up to 300 miles of range and will start at “around $30,000” – an affordable price meant to drive wider EV adoption.
This means that when the Chevy Equinox EV hits dealerships in the fall of 2023, it will start at a price that will be $13,000 cheaper than the Ford Mustang Mach-E, $35,000 cheaper than the Tesla Model Y and nearly $1,000 under the Hyundai Ioniq 5. And it will join Chevy’s fast-growing electric vehicle lineup, which includes the Silverado EV, Bolt EV and EUVand Blazer EV.
It’s been nearly nine months since GM CEO Mary Barra took the stage at CES in Las Vegas and announced that the Chevy Equinox EV would start at $30,000. And a lot has happened since then, including historic inflation and supply chain constraints, which have led many automakers to raise prices for their entry-level electric vehicles. But Chevy insists the $30,000 price tag is more than just an aspiration.
“We have every intention of building and selling the vehicle that will start in this price range,” said Scott Bell, vice president of worldwide sales at Chevy, during a recent briefing with reporters. “So that’s critical to the success of what we do at Chevrolet – building an electric vehicle for everyone.”
Most EVs on the market today are more expensive than their gas counterparts, although EV sales numbers continue to rise as new models become available. GM hopes that a more affordable electric vehicle with a nameplate as recognizable as the Equinox could help accelerate the move to electric. Other EV makers have promised affordable options only to be tripped up by battery costs, supply chain issues and other external factors.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and the Equinox EV goes on sale that could upend GM’s plans. Chevy is also playing coy on the exact price of the Equinox, refusing to disclose the cost of each trim level and promising those numbers at a later date.
Just a cut
The 2024 Chevy Equinox EV will be available in a range of trim levels with different battery sizes and range estimates. The base 1LT model, which starts at around $30,000, will come standard with front-wheel drive with an EPA-estimated range of 250 to 300 miles. Upgrading to an all-wheel-drive format will reduce range to 280 miles.
There will be two more LT versions, 2LT and 3LT, as well as two of the higher-performance RS variants, 2RS and 3RS, with a darker interior and more tech inside. Each version will also have the option to upgrade to AWD.
Interested buyers can also add Super Cruise, GM’s driver-assist feature that enables hands-free driving on 400,000 miles of roads in North America. Super Cruise options for around $2,200 for the Chevy Bolt EUV, for example, but prices vary by model.
What does it look like ?
The exterior design of the LT trim is similar to the gasoline version except for two distinct changes. The front end is entirely different, with a thin light bar across the width of the vehicle and additional horizontal styling that, oddly enough, closely resembles the Ford Mustang Mach-E. For RS versions, the lower half of the front fascia is completely black, with the recognizable red RS label in the upper right corner. Chevy also offers a two-tone roof on LT models and an optional black roof on RS trims.
The less expensive models, 1LT and 2LT, will be perched on 19-inch wheels, the 2RS will have 20-inch wheels, and the 3LT and 3RS will have 21-inch wheels. Bigger wheels mean a higher ride height, but they also tend to reduce range.
Like most electric vehicles, the Equinox will come standard with one-pedal drive, which allows the vehicle to speed up and slow down to a complete stop using only the throttle. When paired with regenerative braking, drivers can use single-pedal driving to feed energy back into the battery, improving range.
The standard front-drive Equinox EV will get 210 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque, while AWD versions gallop at 290 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque. Chevy did not provide the vehicle’s 0-60 mph acceleration time.
Chevy didn’t provide key details on battery capacity, so we’ll have to wait to find out how much usable power these things have.
The charging port is located on the driver’s side fender. The Equinox EV will come standard with an 11.5 kW charging module, which should add up to 34 miles of range per hour of charging. The 3RS model with AWD comes with a 19.2kW module, which can add up to 51 miles of range per hour of charge. All models will be able to accept fast charging speeds of up to 150kW, adding around 70 miles of range in 10 minutes.
gm said that most of its Ultium-powered vehicles will have 400-volt batteries and fast-charging capability of up to 200kW – but, in an effort to keep the Equinox EV price low, it looks like it’s opted for a slightly smaller and less powerful architecture.
When it comes to charging, GM is in the process of build a “coast-to-coast” electric vehicle charging network in partnership with Pilot and Flying J truck stops and managed by EVgo. GM does not have its own charging stations similar to Tesla’s Supercharger network. But the company has its own vehicle apps and software called Network Ultium Charge 360 for use with a variety of third-party charging services, such as Blink, ChargePoint, EVgo, Flo, Greenlots and SemaConnect.
Inside, the Equinox EV smacks of functionality, much like its gasoline-powered namesake. 1LT and 2LT trims will come standard with an 11-inch dash and 11-inch infotainment screen, while 3LT, 2RS and 3RS models will have a larger 17.7-inch infotainment screen.
It has two rows with space for five – however, comfort remains to be seen, although most EVs are roomy enough thanks to the lack of a transmission tunnel. The Equinox EV will have a maximum cargo space of 57 cubic feet (1,614 liters) with the rear seat folded down, which is less than the gasoline version’s 64 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.
Chevy said the electric Equinox would have a longer wheelbase than the regular version by about nine inches, but wouldn’t disclose exact dimensions.
GM said it plans to spend $30 billion by 2025 creating 30 new plug-in models as part of its bid to overtake Elon Musk’s company as the world’s top electric vehicle company. Tesla still dominates the relatively small EV market in the US, with around 66% market share, while GM has only around 6%. This year, the company was even surpassed by legacy auto competitors like Ford and Hyundai, according to CNBC.
The Chevy Equinox EV will be built at GM’s plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. This means he meets one of the new requirements to qualify for the $7,500 tax credit. Whether it will meet other sourcing requirements for its battery materials remains to be seen. Beginning January 1, 2023, certain GM vehicles will once again be eligible for the tax credit for the first time since 2019, after the company sold its 200,000th electric vehicle, triggering a phasing out of the incentive.
In a furious bid to catch up with Tesla and become more vertically integrated, GM is trying to better control its supply chain, which includes battery manufacturing. The company said it would spend more than $4 billion building two battery factories in North America in partnership with the South Korean LG Chem.
GM also said it would explore locating a cathode production facility with LG Chem by the end of 2025. It also recently locked down 950,000 tons of cathode material in an agreement with the South Korean battery manufacturer.
Additionally, GM has resisted the urge to raise the prices of its lowest-priced electric vehicles, the Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV, even while other electric vehicles increased in the price. Indeed, the company has decided to keep its reduced price for the Bolts through the end of the year.
All of this should be good news for the affordability of the Equinox EV when it starts rolling off the assembly line in late 2023.