The 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV isn’t the General Motors brand’s first electric model, but it might be the most consequential. Chevy has plenty of EV experience, but with the Equinox EV, which is scheduled to go on sale in fall 2023, it’s prioritizing mass-market appeal.
The third electric vehicle unveiled by Chevy this year, following the Silverado EV and Blazer EV, the Equinox EV aims for greater affordability with a targeted starting price of around $30,000. Its compact crossover SUV form factor is also more suited to American tastes than the current Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV.
In fact, the current gasoline Chevy Equinox is the brand’s second most popular model, after the Silverado pickup truck. So the Equinox EV brings electric power to a type of vehicle a lot of people are already buying. And based on what we saw in an online preview of the Equinox EV, it should be an improvement on the gasoline version in many ways.
While it shares a name with the gasoline Equinox, the Equinox EV is a clean sheet design that makes use of GM’s Ultium modular battery architecture. That allowed designers to give the Equinox EV better proportions than its gasoline sibling.
Dimensions were largely determined by the battery pack, which sits between the wheels and required a 9.0-inch wheelbase stretch over the gasoline Equinox. That should benefit passenger space (Chevy isn’t quoting figures just yet), and, in photos at least, helps give the Equinox EV a sleeker appearance than the somewhat pudgy gasoline model. The look, which Chevy designer Sam Bell calls “Americana Cool,” also incorporates some aerodynamic features like flush door handles.
The EV is about 7 inches longer, 1 inch lower, and 3 inches wider than the gasoline Equinox. When it comes to automotive design, the longer, lower, and wider, the better. Yet the Equinox EV is still recognizably an SUV, so the styling might suit buyers’ tastes better than the hard-to-categorize Volkswagen ID.4 or Hyundai Ioniq 5.
Chevy plans to offer 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, 2RS, and 3RS trim levels, with the RS models getting sportier styling elements. Two-tone exteriors will be available, with a black roof on RS models and a retro-looking white roof for LT models. Fairly large 19-inch wheels are standard, with 20-inch and 21-inch wheels also available.
The Equinox EV gets bigger screens than the current gasoline version. The standard infotainment system includes an 11.0-inch touchscreen and 11.0-inch digital instrument cluster, while higher trim levels get a 17.7-inch touchscreen. A head-up display and rearview camera mirror will also be available as options.
Chevy hasn’t specified whether the Equinox EV will have wired or wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but given that wireless versions are already available on the gasoline Equinox, we expect that to be the case here as well.
Unlike the gasoline version, the Equinox EV is also available with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driver-assist system, but not as standard equipment. Still, it should offer more capability and a greater margin of safety than driver-assist tech on competitor EVs. Previously seen on GM models ranging from the Bolt EUV to the Cadillac Lyriq, Super Cruise can steer, accelerate, and brake on designated stretches of pre-mapped highway, but also monitors the driver to guard against misuse.
Chevy also includes the expected array of standard driver aids, such as automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system are options.
The Equinox EV comes standard with front-wheel drive and a single motor producing 210 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque. An optional dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain ups output to 290 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque. Both versions are more powerful than the gasoline Equinox.
Chevy will offer two battery pack options of undisclosed capacity. The smaller standard pack yields an estimated 250 miles of range and is only available on the base front-wheel-drive 1LT model. A second larger pack will be good for 300 miles of range in front-wheel drive models and 280 miles in all-wheel drive models, according to Chevy.
A standard 11.5-kilowatt AC onboard charger will add 34 miles of range per hour of charging, according to Chevy. A more powerful 19.2-kW charger available on all-wheel-drive 3RS models ups that to 51 miles per hour of charging. All models also get standard 150-kW DC fast charging, which can add 70 miles in an estimated 10 minutes. Chevy is also planning a number of features, including a built-in charging-station finder and in-car and mobile route planning, to make public charging easier.
SUVs also must have a decent amount of cargo space. Chevy quotes a maximum 57.0 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is less than the gasoline Equinox and the similarly sized VW ID.4 EV. In fact, it’s exactly the same as the smaller Chevy Bolt EV. The Equinox does at least get a dual-level cargo floor to make maximum use of what space is available.
Chevy won’t release full pricing until closer to the Equinox EV’s fall 2023 launch, but it’s worth noting that the circa-$30,000 base price only applies to the base 1LT model with front-wheel drive and the smaller battery pack and touchscreen. This version also won’t be available right away. Chevy plans to kick off production with a limited edition based on the 2RS model, followed by other trim levels, with the entry-level 1LT arriving toward the end of the model year.
Another question relates to the federal EV tax credit. As a 2024 model, the Equinox EV will need to meet requirements for North American-sourced content laid out in the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The Equinox EV will be assembled in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, and while Chevy isn’t saying where its battery cells will be sourced from, GM has multiple U.S. battery plants in the works under a joint venture with LG that should meet the IRA requirements. But Chevy isn’t ready to confirm anything.
“There’s still a bit of clarification that’s yet to be figured out,” Chevy global vice president Scott Bell told Digital Trends and other media during the Equinox EV online preview. Still, depending on how pricing for the full range of trim levels shakes out, Chevy could field a more affordable alternative to current electric SUVs like the VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Kia EV6, and an SUV with more power, style, and tech than its gasoline counterpart.
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