The Chevrolet Silverado EV May Be the Most Incredible Pickup Truck Ever 

Yes, the Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup truck is innovative, with 450 miles of range and up to 754 HP. It's fun to drive and has "WOW" mode. But its rear seat is a game changer.

Ta-Da! The Chevy Silverado Ev
Ta-Da! The Chevy Silverado EV Credit: Scotty Reiss

I wasn’t ready to be so wowed. But then I learned about the “midgate.”

Please pardon my fan girling here, but the Chevrolet Silverado EV simply delighted me. This innovative electric pickup truck’s 440 mile range, 754 horsepower, 10,000 lbs. of tow capacity, 4 wheel steering and dual-motor four wheel drive are a great reason to put it on your wish list.

Priced from $74K to about $95K and eligible for US federal tax incentives (as well as any state, local and utility incentives that might be available to you), the Silverado EV has a distinct look with a light bar across the front of the truck and a lighted Chevy bowtie badge. “Sail” panels fill the corners between the bed walls and the rear wall, adding to its aerodynamics and streamlining the look a bit. And then, there’s the midgate.

Related: Towing While Using Hands-Free Driving? Yes, with Chevrolet Super Cruise

The Midgate Is A Flat-Folding Rear Wall In The Chevrolet Silverado Ev
The midgate is a flat-folding rear wall in the Chevrolet Silverado EV Credit: Scotty Reiss

Meet the Midgate, a Game Changer in Pickup Trucks

The mid-gate, which for now is only available on the top of the line RS trim, essentially creates a fully open fourth wall of the cabin by folding the seats and wall flat on the floor. This also creates a huge amount of contiguous open space—nearly 11 feet—from the cabin to the tailgate. You can remove that 4th wall to carry almost anything. Put the windows down and the Silverado EV becomes a pickup truck convertible

Expect to see this concept copied and touted in trucks everywhere. It’s just so good. Here’s how it works:

  • As with most pickup trucks, flip the rear seats forward to move them out of the way
  • Pull the strap loops on the floor to fold the rear seat backs into the floor 
  • Unlock the window clips (similar to the clips used to unlatch a convertible car top) in the ceiling to remove the rear window
  • Stow the window in a dedicated storage space in the rear wall just below the window opening
  • Tap a button under the window storage and the wall releases; lower it to fold it flat
  • You can also leave the window in and simply open one or both panels below it for extra space without opening the entire wall
  • There are tutorial images on the rear seats that are visible once the seats have been moved out of the way
  • The entire process can be managed by one person and done in less than 2 minutes. And I got it down in just a couple of tries. It’s actually pretty easy to use

Related: The Ford F-150 Lightning is Finally Here and It’s All It’s Said to Be

The Front Seat In The Chevrolet Silverado Ev
The front seat in the Chevrolet Silverado EV Credit: Scotty Reiss

Driving The Silverado EV Is Fun and Easy

The other unique thing about the Silverado EV is that it’s all electric. As you’d expect, it’s quiet and powerful. It’s powered on by pressing the brake pedal and it’s powered off by walking away with the key fob, though you can also press a button on the touch screen to power down. And it has true one pedal driving, as well as a regenerative braking paddle that allows you to recoup unused power on the go when you don’t want to use one pedal driving. Let me explain.

Tap the one pedal driving icon on the touch screen—it appears in the fixed panel of icons just to the left of the main screen when the truck is in gear—and the system is active. You can set it for “normal” or “high” or turn the system off if you decide you don’t want to use it.

I really like the “high” setting because this allows you to regulate your speed and braking just using the the accelerator. When I used it I hardly touched the brake, even coming to a full stop. 

Another notable detail is that this system acts as brake hold, too; when it’s active and you come to a full stop, you’ll remain in that position until you tap the accelerator. There is not a brake hold or auto hold button, so you have to be in regenerative brake mode in order to avoid holding your foot on the brake at a traffic light or stop sign.

For those times when we want to have a bit of fun with the novelty of the instant acceleration that EVs offer, Chevy added “WOW” mode, or Wide Open Watts. Just tap the Mode button, then tap the WOW Icon on the screen and floor it for all 754 HP at once. We tried it and, yes, it’s fun, if a bit scary to get up to top highway speed in just a few seconds. 

Related: Super Cruise, Blue Cruise and More: Hands-Free Driving Systems

The Rear Of The Chevrolet Silverado Ev
The rear of the Chevrolet Silverado EV Credit: Scotty Reiss

Even With All That Range, The Silverado EV’s Battery Seemed Very Efficient 

I’m not sure if it was my great use of regenerative braking or just the efficiency of the Silverado’s Ultium system, but our efficiency was pretty good. We started out with about 80% battery charge and drove for about two hours and still had more than 65% of the charge left despite heavy use of the air conditioning. But, with a range of 440 miles on the RS edition we were driving, we didn’t have any anxiety about running down the battery. 

Then, we sat in the truck with the air conditioning running most of the afternoon. It was a very hot, humid day and we kept the A/C on so we could hop in and cool off. Despite about more than two hours of this we only used 8 miles of battery range. 

Related: Cadillac Escalade IQ Electric 3-Row SUV: Innovative Luxury for the Electric Age

The Multimedia Touch Screen In The Chevrolet Silverado Ev
The multimedia touch screen in the Chevrolet Silverado EV Credit: Scotty Reiss

The Chevrolet Silverado EV Has a Fancy New Multimedia System

Chevrolet is midway through the rollout of its new multimedia system, which takes center stage in the Silverado EV. While you’ll find it functions the same as systems in other newly redesigned Chevrolets—the Traverse and the Colorado, for instance—the beauty of this system is that it’s customizable to the particulars of the vehicle. So the system in the Silverado EV has specific screens and functions for an electric car, including charging information.

Among them, a one-pedal driving button that, when the car is in gear, pops up on a fixed menu just to the left of the main screen. Tap it and you can turn on one-pedal driving and set your preferred level of regeneration. 

This fixed set of icons is also where you’ll find the headlight function, rather than a dial or on a stalk, and it’s where you’ll find the off button. 

Unlike the versions of this multimedia system in Chevy’s gas-powered cars, the setup in Chevrolet’s EVs don’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This may be an inconvenience to some, especially those who have grown used to using these systems, but there are work-arounds. You can log into your Google account to get access to your maps and apps, and you can log into supported apps like Spotify. For music or messages, though, you’ll have to connect your phone to the system via Bluetooth. 

The new system is nicely organized and offers deep function for all aspects of this truck, from customized drive modes to organizing system settings the way you’d like them. 

The Chevrolet Silverado Ev Has A Fixed Glass Panoramic Sunroof
The Chevrolet Silverado EV has a fixed glass panoramic sunroof Credit: Scotty Reiss

All The Fancy Stuff Is Included in the RS Edition

We test drove the RS edition, the top of the line Silverado EV. In our model we had lots of fancy features including a digital rear view mirror, head up display, voice assistance and Super Cruise hands-free driving, which will be available on all trims of the Silverado EV. 

I particularly appreciated the digital rear view mirror. Not only is it great for being able to see behind the truck when you’ve got a full load, but it’s a great tool for towing and it provides a brighter image for better visibility at night. 

I also really appreciated the head up display. With turn by turn navigation directions in the HUD, your co-pilot is free to tinker with the screens, scan radio stations and more without disrupting the navigation. 

Other fancy features include the multifunction tailgate which folds out and down to form a stair, a full fixed glass panoramic sunroof (it does not have a screen but you can buy one as an accessory) and Wide Open Watts mode. 

Frunk Gating In The Chevrolet Silverado Ev
Frunk gating in the Chevrolet Silverado EV Credit: Scotty Reiss

A Huge Frunk Fit for Frunkgating, and Seats for Sitting

This was a pleasant surprise: The front trunk, or frunk, is large, about 10 cubic feet and big enough to hold a lot of stuff. But better than that, it has a low, flat front edge so loading things in should be easy, and you can even sit like you would a tailgate. Clearly that’s what Chevy’s designers were thinking; they included small cutouts for cup or bottle in the frunk area so if you’re there letting the hood shade you while you watch your kid’s lacrosse match, you’ll have someplace to place your iced latte. 

And true to pickup trucks, the cabin is roomy. Really roomy. I measured an astounding 35″ between the front and rear seats when the driver’s seat was set for me, and I’m 5’8.” Behind my drive partner Paul, who is 6′ I measured close to 33.” Then, the bench seat is nice and wide, with room for 3 kids car seats or some car seats and some people and still, lots of room to stretch out and enjoy the ride.

The Chevrolet Silverado Ev
The Chevrolet Silverado EV Credit: Scotty Reiss

Chevrolet Silverado EV Trims, Range and Power 

For now there are 3 available trims but Chevrolet has said that an off-road Trail Boss version is in the works, and there will likely be others as well. The two WT trims—for Work Truck—are intended for fleet owners and professionals for whom a truck is key. 

These models are less fancy, with an 11” screen instead of the 17.7” screen, and an 8” driver display. They also don’t include the midgate, but they do have the sliding center console cupholder; slide it back to reveal a huge well large enough for something like a cross body bag, a tablet, or maybe, your lunch. It’s huge. And it sits next to another huge console under the arm rest that also can hold a few large things. A 6 pack of water bottles, for instance. Just forward of all this cleverness is a wireless phone charge pad and USB ports so you can easily power all the things. 

The WT models also have the Google operating system with “hey Google” voice activation, as well as 3 outlets in the truck bed — two 120V and one 240V. And they have reverse charging so with the purchase of a wall box system you can use your truck as a huge battery on wheels for those times you need backup power. 

Also standard is the soft bed cover; cleverly, it attaches with velcro. Its a clever and simple solution for covering the truck bed. 

Here are how the Silverado EV trims line up: 

  • 3WT: 393 mile range, 510 HP, priced from $74,800
  • 4WT: 450 mile range, 515 HP, priced from $79,800
  • RST: 440 mile range, 754 HP, $96,495

If the price of the Silverado EV is a bit shocking, maybe the idea that the federal tax incentive applies to all models will help. Or, the fact that pickup trucks are expensive to begin with, so yes, you’ll pay a premium, but that’s part of the bargain of truck ownership these days. 

And, then, there’s this: You’ll drive away with the coolest pick up truck on the road. 

Disclosure: I was a guest of Chevrolet for this test drive. Travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss