Is the $30,000 Electric Chevy Equinox the Mainstream EV We Need?

Let’s face it; electric SUVs are expensive. They’re still, generally, premium vehicles that carry premium price tags of $50,000 or more. That prices many of us out of the market unless we’re willing to suffer a short range and a cheap-looking interior. But Chevy’s new 2024 Equinox EV will not just sell for $30,000 new, but also have a useful interior, traditional SUV good looks, and range that won’t make you sweat a longer drive.

Could the new electric Chevy Equinox be the first mainstream EV?

A blue 2024 Chevy Equinox EV
2024 Chevy Equinox EV | Chevrolet

Today’s Equinox is Chevy’s best-selling vehicle so it makes sense that Chevy would redesign it for mainstream EV Duty. The base 1LT trim should start at a reasonable $30,000 when it’s available in the fall of 2023, GM said in a release. That base trim has an 11-inch infotainment screen and n 11-inch driver information screen, as well as manually-adjustable front seats in this five-passenger EV SUV. It will come standard as a front-wheel drive vehicle, but all-wheel drive will be optional, as well as battery packs that boost the base range from the standard 250 miles to up to 300 miles on a charge.

Though its range and price certainly make it competitive, GM is going right after the meat of the market with the 2024 Equinox EV. General Motors president Mary Barra said, “EVs will be the mainstream choice for the next generation of customers,” and that sounds for all the world like GM is making its new EVs more than just electrified versions of its existing cars or halo products. For example, the GMC Hummer EV is cool, but it’s a $110,000 truck that most of us will never drive. Instead, it seems like Barra is putting a lot on the Equinox to drive the market.

Chevy’s Bolt EV and Bolt EUV are on sale now, but the Equinox will look less like an EV and more like a conventional SUV

A light blue 2023 Chevy Bolt EV electric hatchback model parked on the driveway outside of a small home
2023 Chevy Bolt EV | Chevrolet

Sure, the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV are competent electric SUVs. The Bolt name is the latest iteration of Chevy’s electric push that started with the Volt series several years ago. With the Bolt line, Chevy has gone all-in on EVs. Both Bolts are 100% electric and they look like futuristic EVs, but the Equinox looks more like Chevy’s regular gas-powered Equinox SUV. Many are expecting the electric Chevy Equinox to replace the Bolt.

Both EV crossovers seat five and have the same 200-horsepower permanent-magnet single-motor driveline. They both have independent front suspension and a torsion beam rear suspension. They both have available large 10.2-inch touchscreens with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, as well as fast charging capabilities and some driver assistance aids. Essentially, the EUV is the SUV, while the EV is the subcompact, and the EV starts at $28195, while the EUV starts at $32,695.

They are inexpensive, compared to most EVs, which according to Electrek have an average price of $66,000.

What makes an SUV a mainstream success?

2024 Equinox 1LT interior
The 2024 Equinox 1LT interior | Chevy

To make a small SUV competitive, take one look at the Toyota RAV4 Prime. The RAV4 is Toyota’s best-selling vehicle and the plug-in hybrid Prime version starts at $40,300. It puts a lot of utility in sport utility, including a large cargo hold, plenty of options, a comfortable ride thanks to a sophisticated suspension, and all-wheel drive. While the RAV4 has up to 69 cubic feet of space for your stuff, the electric Chevy Equinox will have 57 cubic feet.

The all-electric 2024 Equinox EV could undercut that, but will likely match the Prime’s price in higher trim levels. It will come in 2LT and 3LT versions, which will come with heated seats and steering wheel, a larger touchscreen, and Super Cruise will be an option. Step up to the 3LT and 3RS and you can get larger 21-inch wheels, an available heads-up display, a power liftgate, ventilated seats, and a heated windshield. Prices haven’t been announced yet.

The Equinox EV will undercut other compact EV SUVs by about $10,000

The stylish Kia EV6 checks a lot of the right boxes and reviewers consistently rank it highly. While Kia calls it an SUV, it’s a lot more like a tall wagon and its cargo hold is smaller than the 2024 Equinox EVs. Its MSRP is about $41,000, and it has a 310-mile range, but in that base trim, it offers just 167 horsepower. Still, it looks futuristic and cool and many buyers want a traditional-looking SUV, not a spaceship.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is also in a similar class, though it will likely compete with the upcoming larger Blazer EV. Still, Ford should be worried that its hot-selling EV SUV, which starts at $43,895, could be cross-shopped with the new 2024 electric Chevy Equinox EV.

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