The family SUV is finally going electric
General Motors is introducing an electric version of its top-selling Chevrolet Equinox SUV with a roughly $30,000 base price aimed at families who want an EV but haven't been able to afford one.
Why it matters: A relatively affordable SUV that runs on electrons, not gasoline, could open the floodgates for EV adoption in the U.S., a market that so far has been dominated by $60,000 Teslas.
"Having a vehicle in that size class, at that price point, with at least 250-300 miles of range — there's nobody even close to that," says Sam Abuelsamid, head of e-mobility research at Guidehouse Insights.
- For example: The average transaction price on a comparable Tesla SUV, the Model Y, is $68,079, according to Kelley Blue Book. Ford's Mustang Mach-E sells for an average $59,693.
Details: The 2024 Equinox will come in a variety of trim levels, with the base model 1LT starting at around $30,000, per GM.
- It will have a range of up to 300 miles, depending on the battery size. All-wheel-drive versions will have slightly less range.
- The Equinox will also be available with Super Cruise, which enables hands-free driving on 400,000 miles of compatible roads in the U.S. and Canada.
The midsize Equinox is the latest in an EV blitz from GM, which includes the electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup, the Blazer SUV and the Bolt EUV crossover, as well as the Cadillac Lyriq SUV and the GMC Hummer.
- The Equinox will arguably be GM's most important EV because it falls squarely in the heart of the U.S. market.
Yes, but: The Equinox doesn't go on sale for another year, and the first versions will be fancier models. The $30,000 base Equinox should be available in early 2024.
- Plus, whether GM can deliver on its value promise remains to be seen.
- Soaring inflation and widespread supply chain constraints have been driving up prices for EVs, which rely on expensive batteries containing nickel, cobalt and lithium.
What they're saying: "We have every intention to build and sell the vehicle that will start in that price range," Scott Bell, Chevy's vice president of global sales, told reporters during a virtual press briefing.
The big picture: Every segment of the vehicle market is going electric: cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and delivery vans.
- Jeep said Thursday it will launch four all-electric SUVs by the end of 2025, including a Wrangler-inspired Jeep Recon and a premium midsize Wagoneer S. A smaller Jeep Avenger is aimed at the European market.
- Also Thursday, Rivian and Mercedes-Benz announced a joint venture to build electric commercial vans.
The bottom line, summed up in a statement from GM CEO Mary Barra: "We are at a turning point where EVs will be the mainstream choice for the next generation of customers, and Equinox EV will lead this charge for us."