Chevrolet Silverado EV 3WT Driven Until It Died. It Didn’t Meet Its Advertised Range

By automotive-mag.com 5 Min Read

The Chevrolet Silverado EV is one of the five American-made battery-powered pickup trucks that are trying to get people to switch to electric. With a massive battery pack, official range figures around 400 miles, and a healthy towing capacity, the Silverado EV can hold its own against competitors and offers a pretty compelling package.

But how far can the Silverado EV go on a full charge in the real world? We know from previous range tests that the 4WT version, which has the big, 24-module battery pack, can cover over 400 miles, but Chevrolet also sells a version called the 3WT, which is cheaper and has a smaller, 20-module pack.

According to the EPA rating, the Chevy Silverado EV 3WT has a combined range of 393 miles on a full charge, courtesy of a battery pack that has roughly 180 kilowatt-hours (the 24-module pack has approximately 215 kWh.) Out of Spec Reviews, however, put the 3WT through its paces on a 70 MPH test loop and the result was a little underwhelming.

As always, the team’s test began with the battery fully charged from a DC fast charger, the air conditioning was on, and the fan speed was set to medium. The ambient temperature was around 60 degrees on the day of the test but there were brutal headwinds and almost no tailwind during the test. The car was riding on stock wheels and it didn’t have a tonneau cover.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that regular people can’t currently buy the Silverado EV. The 4WT and 3WT are only sold to fleet customers–the car you see in the video embedded above was a rental from Hertz–while the private customer-oriented RST trim isn’t being delivered yet. That will happen sometime this year.

With the adaptive cruise control set to 70 MPH, the car drove without issues until the battery state of charge reached 4%. At that point, the range estimate disappeared from the digital instrument cluster and an “acceleration reduced error” appeared. A few miles later down the road, with just 1% remaining, the car seemed to limit the top speed to 60 MPH even though the accelerator was pinned to the floor.

A few moments later, the power cut off completely, and the driver needed to pull over, putting an end to the range test. The car was then recovered thanks to a mobile diesel generator hooked up to a 40-kW fast charger strapped to the back of a trailer.

At the end of the trip, the Silverado EV 3WT had covered 329 miles, which is 69 miles less than the advertised figure. Bear in mind, however, that the EPA estimate is for the combined driving cycle, while the 70 MPH test is arguably a highway test.

The car died before checking the final energy consumption figures and the 3WT’s results aren’t yet on the Out of Spec Studios website, but we got a glimpse of the figures at the 320-mile mark, where the truck had an average efficiency of 1.7 miles/kWh, which is 58.8 kWh/100 miles or 588 Wh/mile. By comparison, the Silverado EV 4WT had an average efficiency of 2.0 miles/kWh or 500 Wh/mile during the range comparison test undertaken by Out of Spec Reviews last month.

The team mentions during the video that the Silverado 3WT, which has a starting price of $74,800, could potentially drive 350 miles on a full charge if there were no headwinds, but until we see that figure in reality, we’ll call it speculation.

What’s your take on this? Let us know in the comments below.

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