The new all-electric 2024 Chevrolet Blazer revealed Monday night will come in variations and price points designed to appeal to everyone from daily drivers to the police, Chevrolet executives said.
General Motors will start production of the midsize SUV next year. It will be the second all-new EV to enter Chevrolet's lineup after the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, but those eventually will fade away to be replaced by newer EVs on GM's Ultium propulsion system.
The Blazer EV is one of those new electrified vehicles coming in the next few years. Earlier this year, GM introduced the 2024 Silverado EV light-duty pickup, which is expected to start at $39,900 when it comes to market next year. In September, GM will unveil the Equinox EV SUV, expected to start at $30,000 when it comes to market in the fall of 2023. GM said it will bring an electrified version of the Corvette out next year.
But the Blazer is being touted as a sports performance EV. Its base trim level will start at $44,995, pushing it up-market from where its gasoline-powered counterpart starts now at $34,800. But with 557 horsepower and 648 pound-feet of torque in the SS version, the Blazer is marketed as a top-performance car that can go 0-60 mph in under four seconds.
"I don't know that we see one shining star," Scott Bell, vice president of Global Chevrolet, told the Detroit Free Press in reference to the new EVs coming to the lineup. "Certainly Equinox will have a price, this (Blazer) will have capability and performance. The Silverado has a whole different set. We're optimistic in all and we're ramping up to be a competitor in all segments and in volume."
Price and range
The Blazer EV scheduled to be shown to the world Monday is the SS all-wheel drive performance version in Adrenaline Red. It is the top of the line of four trim levels that Chevrolet will offer.
“The Blazer EV SS has the soul of a true sports car,” said Bell. “And while it represents the pinnacle of performance for Chevy’s EV lineup, all models offer stirring capabilities that will surprise and delight true performance devotees.”
The Blazer EV uses GM's proprietary Ultium propulsion system with three battery pack sizes.
"With the largest battery pack, we set the wheelbase so that we're going to have the longest wheelbase in the segment. We have great track width and a low center of gravity," said Doug Houlihan, executive chief engineer. "And we've got a flat, low floor" for a smooth ride.
Here are the Blazer EV trim levels with prices and range on a full charge:
1LT: Starts at $44,955. Gets 247 miles of range.
2LT: Starts at $47,595. Gets 293 miles of range.
RS: Starts at $51,995. Gets 320 miles of range.
SS: Starts at $65,995. Gets 298 miles of range.
The vehicles have 11.5 kilowatt level 2 (AC) charging and standard DC public fast-charging capability of up to 190 kilowatts, depending on the model. The fast charging can produce 78 miles of range in 10 minutes, Houlihan said.
The LT and 2LT use 19-inch wheels, the RS uses 21-inch wheels and the SS has 22-inch wheels. The SS version will have the "WOW" mode, which stands for "wide open watts," for maximum power, Houlihan said. It releases more energy for extra speed.
The base LT is front-wheel drive, the 2LT is FWD or AWD. The RS is rear-wheel drive and AWD. The SS is performance AWD with GM's hands-free driving Super Cruise standard on it.
Made in Mexico
The vehicles will start production in summer 2023 with the trims rolling out "in waves," Houlihan said. The Blazer EV will be made alongside the gasoline version at GM's Ramos Arizpe Assembly plant in Mexico.
Bell said the gasoline versions of Blazer, Silverado and the others will remain in the marketplace and overlap with the EV offerings because Chevrolet, as a mainstream brand, has to offer both to meet a widespread customer base.
GM has not confirmed whether other EV variants will roll down the assembly line at the plants that currently make internal combustion versions. For example, GM will build the Silverado and GMC Sierra EVs at Orion Assembly in Orion Township and Factory ZERO in Detroit and Hamtramck.
But GM makes the internal combustion light-duty pickups at Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana and Oshawa Assembly in Canada and no decision has been announced yet as to what those plants will build as GM segues to an all-electric vehicle line up by 2035.
GM makes its heavy duty full-size pickups at Flint Assembly. Bell stopped short of saying where GM will make the electric heavy-duty pickups, saying Chevrolet has not discussed it at this point.
Bell also declined to say where an electric Equinox will be assembled. The internal combustion Equinox is made in Canada and Mexico.
“The intent by 2035 is everything will be gone from an internal combustion engine perspective and we plan to leverage our capacity as best we can and leverage that capacity for the EV space," Bell said. "But we’ve got to be in a position to play in both camps and keep those plants doing what they’re doing and have the ability to transition. At this point, it’s got to play out a little better."
Police vehicle to take on Mach-E
Chevrolet wants the various trims and configurations of the Blazer EV to appeal to customers from retail to fleet, even the police.
Houlihan said Chevrolet will do a Blazer EV police pursuit vehicle in RWD and AWD.
"We've been working with them ahead of time to modify the interior to meet the needs of their safety equipment," Houlihan said.
For many years, Chevrolet has made Tahoe police vehicles, which are lucrative. In the first quarter, GM reported sales of Tahoe police vehicles to government customers increased 243% over the same period a year earlier. Bell said police have long wanted something electric.
"It's gonna be good. We don't have orders yet, but it's going to be good," Bell said of the Blazer EV police vehicle. "It's highly sought after in this space, an EV."
Its main competitor will be the Mustang Mach-E SUV. In September, the 2021 Mach-E became the first all-electric vehicle to pass Michigan State Police testing for acceleration, top speed, braking and high-speed pursuit and emergency response handling.
The Mach-E GT can go 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
In December, New York City spent $11.5 million to buy 184 Mach-E SUVs for law enforcement and emergency response workers. The vehicles cost about $62,500 each because of the significant retrofitting police require for safety and equipment.
No more tax credits
GM currently does not have any eligible EV tax credits. The current $7,500 federal tax credit on EV purchases phases out after any automaker hits 200,000 vehicles sold. GM hit its cap by April 2019. Tesla has also reached its cap.
Bell said the Blazer EV is priced at the "core" of the average transaction prices in the segment. Still, to incentivize a purchase, GM will offer payment toward home charger installation on the Blazer EV. GM started offering the home install on the 2022 Bolts, which covers up to $1,000 for the install and $250 for permits.
"The home install program has been a phenomenal program," said Steve Majoros, Chevy's vice president of marketing. "It goes to the barriers of EV adoption. We're going to continue that with our EV products because the statement we want to make is that Chevrolet is here to make your EV journey much easier."
Chevrolet will market the EVs similar to how it advertises gasoline versions so as to "normalize" EVs as more people show interest in them, Majoros said.
"EV, as a percent of market, is now about 5% across the industry so the EV percent is growing," Majoros said. "But what we really see is, the percent of EV consideration is skyrocketing. So the days of having to convince people to entertain this new technology ... they're getting close to over. The barrier now is who can capitalize on that demand."
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: 2024 Chevy Blazer EV revealed: Mid-size SUV starts at $44,995