Chevy has unveiled the perfect Tesla Model Y rival.
The Chevrolet Equinox EV follows hot on the heels of the Blazer EV and Silverado 1500 EV. Chevrolet's EV range now covers the USA's three most significant vehicle segments. The Equinox faces the most formidable challenge out of the three, leading the mainstream charge. EVs will be the obvious choice for the next generation of entry-level new car buyers, and Equinox exists solely to meet that demand.
Chevrolet says it will have a starting price of just $30,000 when it arrives late next year. That's a long way away, and much can happen between now and then.
Manufacturers are struggling with raw material prices, but Chevy factored that in before unveiling the price to the media. It's confident that Equinox will be the most affordable EV in its class. Looking at average new car prices and EV prices in general, the pricing strategy is the most aggressive we've seen in years.
The Equinox is built on the same scalable platform as the Blazer, using GM's Ultium technology. This allows Chevy to sell it in multiple configurations.
The base 1LT uses a standard front-wheel-drive setup, with 210 horsepower and 242 lb-ft torque. AWD models add another electric motor to the rear axle, creating an eAWD layout. In this configuration, the Equinox has 290 hp and 346 lb-ft at its disposal. Performance figures are not available yet, but we suspect they will be brisk, given the immediate power delivery.
As for range, there are three options. The $30,000 1LT gets FWD and a smaller battery, which is good for 250 miles. A FWD with a larger battery is also available across all grades, and it can manage 300 miles. All eAWD models should be able to cover 280 miles.
These figures are Chevrolet estimates and have not been confirmed by the EPA.
Chevrolet went through a great deal of effort to make charging as easy as possible. Standard 11.5-kW Level 2 charging will add 34 miles per hour. A 19.2-kW charging system is available on the top-spec 3RS model, adding 51 miles of range per hour. These charging times are perfectly adequate for at-home charging.
The DC fast-charging capabilities are less impressive. Chevrolet only allows up to 150 kW, which adds 70 miles of range in 10 minutes. At least the battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty, in addition to the usual bumper-to-bumper coverage.
Tesla is on the verge of opening its Supercharger Network to rival products, but until then, customers will have access to more than 110,000 public charging points across the US and Canada.
Five trim levels will be available: 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, 2RS, and 3RS. Considering the base 1LT's price, you might expect fewer standard features, but the Equinox is handsomely equipped across the range. On the safety side, all models get automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, rear park assist, reverse automatic braking, rear cross-traffic braking, and blind-zone steering assist.
Owners can increase safety levels by opting for Super Cruise, adaptive cruise control (standard on the 3RS), a head-up display, and high-definition surround-view vision.
All models get an 11-inch digital instrument cluster and a large touchscreen infotainment system with all the latest connectivity features. The 1LT is equipped with an 11-inch interface, while 2LT and above get the same 17.7-inch diagonal screen that made its debut in the Blazer EV.
Chevrolet is not willing to comment on the pricing of the other trim levels, but looking at the standard specification, you could end up paying around $40,000 for the top-spec trim. From the 2LT trim, Chevrolet starts adding luxury features like a power-adjustable driver's seat and a heated steering wheel. The 3RS ship's standard with power-adjustable everything, 21-inch wheels, a power liftgate, and adaptive cruise control.
"The Equinox EV is an EV for everyone," said Scott Bell, vice president of Chevrolet. "It's an affordable game-changer, offering an uncompromising experience with more features, that won't change your daily routine - except that you will no longer have to stop at the gas station."
A limited edition 2RS will be the first to arrive in fall 2023. Additional details and ordering information will be available closer to the start of production, which will be handled by GM's Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, production facility.