The Chevrolet Equinox EV Is the Best Chance Yet at Mainstreaming EVs

front 34 view of a 2024 chevrolet equinox ev lt in riptide blue metallic with a summit white roof parked on the roof of a parking garage
The Chevrolet Equinox EV: The Everyday ElectrifiedChevrolet

The Chevrolet Equinox EV stands out in the market for, well, not standing out. It looks nice, handsome even, but it will never catch glances in the way that a Hyunai Ioniq 5 does. It is possible, though, that this is a fully intentional aspect of Chevy’s approach. By looking normal but putting up big range estimates – 319 miles in front-wheel-drive form and 285 with all-wheel drive – and at a gas-powered price the electric Equinox is positioned to nudge mainstream crossover buyers toward the plug-in life.

Judiciously, Chevy axed its initial plan for lower lower-range model with a smaller battery pack. An admission, of sorts, that our charging infrastructure is not yet able to convince buyers that they’ll be just fine with 250 miles or less. Most charging takes place at home, but the gas-centric mindset balks at the prospect of half-hour charging sessions (assuming the station works), no matter how infrequent.

drivers side view of 2024 chevrolet equinox ev 3lt in riptide blue parked in front of a lake
2LT and 3LT trims offer the option of a white roof, while a black roof is optional on RS models.Chevrolet

These higher range figures shift the psychology to a place where you don’t need to plug in more than a few times a week, the 11-kW onboard charger capable of filling the Equinox’s battery on a 240-volt feed in any overnight scenario. A 400V electrical architecture means the Equinox’s fast-charge speed tops out at 150 kW. Hyundai, Kia, and a handful of other automakers (including Tesla with the Cybertruck) are on 800V systems that allow max charging speeds around 350 kW, but it's not yet the industry standard. Fast charging is also highly dependent on how long the car stays at higher power levels, as charging curves vary widely from car to car. In the Equinox, the medium-fast speed is still enough to 77 miles of range in 10 minutes according to Chevrolet. Enough to get you home and back to driving the Equinox EV without much worry about range, much like its gasoline-powered namesake.


In terms of size the EV is the bigger of the two siblings, riding on a dedicated EV platform that's 7.4 inches longer and 2.0 inches wider compared to the upcoming 2025 Equinox, with 8.8 inches of additional wheelbase to house 85 kWh of batteries. And, of course, those batteries come with a weight penalty of around 1500 pounds for a total curb weight estimate of 4895 to 5050 pounds. Offsetting the heft is more power, 213 horsepower for the FWD EV and 288 hp in AWD, versus 175 hp from the 1.5-liter turbo in the gas version.

interior photo of 2024 chevy equinox ev showing the drivers seat steering wheel and digital screens with red inserts in the seats
Road & Track

Inside, the internal-combustion Equinox is slightly more roomy, but not enough to notice. Both cars have Chevy’s new standard 11-inch screen for the driver info display, while the EV’s center infotainment screen is larger, at 17.7 inches measured diagonally versus 11.3. From the driver’s seat the biggest tell-tale of the EV is the lack of a start button.

All it takes to get rolling in the Equinox EV is a press of the brake pedal to wake up the system and a pull of the column-mounted shifter. Our test drive, in a front-wheel-drive model, took us from downtown Detroit up to the shore of Lake St. Clair before driving westward for some highway miles. If somewhat sedate, the route was at least accurate to the typical crossover duty cycle. Our sole thrill came at a stop light in front of an on-ramp, where a stomp of the accelerator pedal and the full 236 pound-feet of torque from the motor produced a gentle tug of torque steer on the wheel. A brief drive in an AWD model failed to offer a similar opportunity, but the extra 65 hp from the induction motor driving the rear wheels did seem to provide more lively responses. It also shaves the 0-60 time from 8.0 seconds down to 6.0, according to Chevrolet’s estimates.

rear 34 view of 2024 chevrolet equinox ev 3lt in riptide blue driving towards sunset preproduction model shown actual production model may vary visit chevycomequinoxev for availability

The novelty of silent, smooth running, and instantaneous response quickly gives way to normalcy. Like other EVs, driving the Equinox EV isn’t all that different from driving a gas-powered car. Again, that’s kind of the point. Give the Equinox keys to an EV virgin and they should feel right at home, as long as you leave the one-pedal driving off. That’s controlled via a touchscreen button on the left edge, closest to the steering wheel. A drive further into the settings lets you choose between two levels of regenerative braking. And whether you slow down with the brake pedal or just by lifting the accelerator, there's also a steering wheel paddle to convert momentum into reclaimed electrons.

There are also three different drive modes: Tour, Sport, and My Mode, the latter of which can be programmed with individual settings for steering, pedal response, and simulated sounds. What cannot be customized is Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which GM famously dropped from its current generation of new EVs. Owners can take solace in the fact that they get eight years of support for the built-in Google Maps system, and they can still play their Spotify tunes over the Bluetooth connection. Setting that up might require a look at the phone, and those who can’t do that while stopped or hand the task to a passenger may want to option SuperCruise, which can be added to any trim level above the base 1LT specification.

view of rear cargo space in 2024 chevrolet equinox ev 3lt in riptide blue preproduction model shown actual production model may vary visit chevycomequinoxev for availability
There’s 26.4 cubic feet of storage in the cargo area, and up to 57.2 cu ft with the second-row seats folded.Chevrolet

That base model, available to order later this year, starts at $34,995 before the federal tax credit; Chevrolet says the Equinox EV will be eligible for the full $7500. That undercuts the Tesla Model Y Long Range RWD, with 310 miles of EPA range, by almost $10,000. That Ioniq 5 that gets all the looks? It starts at $41,800 and gets you 220 miles. If you want to order an Equinox EV right now, the cheapest option is the 2LT at $43,295. The most expensive Equinox EV 3RS costs $46,795 before the tax credit and without SuperCruise. AWD adds $3300 to the window sticker across the board.

Chevy hasn’t announced pricing on the 2025 Equinox, but the outgoing 2024 starts at $27,995, or $500 more than the Equinox EV after the tax credit. That, more than anything else, is the main appeal of the Equinox EV. It’s offering the electric life at a gasoline price while minimizing the compromises of range, space, and charging speed that kept the (successful) Bolt from winning over more converts.

front view of 2024 chevrolet equinox ev 3lt in riptide blue parked in front of a lake preproduction model shown actual production model may vary visit chevycomequinoxev for availability

The marketing angle for EVs thus far has generally been some combination of futuristic, flashy, and fast. The Equinox EV has all of those traits, but to a lesser degree than many EVs that preceded it. Its potential success and brilliance lie in bringing amazingly ordinary, copying the unassuming, practical traits that make conventional crossovers so popular.

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