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An upcoming black Silverado PHEV RST is shown charging near a Chevy dealer.

Here’s What We Expect From the Silverado PHEV

The future of the automotive industry is always in flux. New technologies, new systems, and new ways of propulsion are always at the forefront of certain automaker’s intentions, and rumors are now swirling that we could be seeing something big from Chevy. We may be getting a Chevy Silverado PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) to compete with the alternative fuel offerings from Ford, Ram, and Toyota. With Chevy already committing to the alternative fuel market with the Silverado 1500 EV, adding a Silverado PHEV to the line-up shows that they want to give truck shoppers even more options when it comes to shopping outside of the traditional internal combustion engine offerings.

But what will the Chevy Silverado PHEV feature, and what can you expect as a shopper? As you can readily expect, just about every Chevy dealer is eager to have a new alternative fuel Silverado sitting on their lot in hopes of selling them like hotcakes, but there also has to be a reason for them to sell like hotcakes. And what would get people to buy a Silverado PHEV over the competition or a traditional gas-powered iteration of the Silverado? Well, here’s where it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of the features when it comes to expectations, even though details are scant at the moment.

GM Is Committed to a Silverado PHEV

Autoweek recently reported that GM is fast-tracking the development of a Chevy Silverado PHEV and GMC Sierra PHEV to the market, but no details about specs were released. What does that mean for Silverado 1500 shoppers who are still thinking about getting a Silverado 1500 EV? Well, it’s still an option, but the Silverado PHEV is going to be a stop-gap choice between the current line-up of gas-powered Silverado 1500 models and the all-electric Silverado 1500 EV.

If you were interested in a Silverado light-duty pickup but weren’t quite convinced that an all-electric Silverado was right for you, then a Silverado PHEV makes sense as a good way to dip your toe into the alternative fuel segment with a full-size pickup. This basically means that you still have some form of an internal combustion engine and a battery pack that you will be able to recharge via a charging port located on the vehicle. This also means that you will get both dedicated electric-only travel and gas-only travel, not unlike PHEV utility vehicles.

The upcoming black Silverado PHEV RST is shown towing a trailer.

Expectations on the Powertrain Configuration

Since the start of the fourth generation of the Chevy Silverado, there has been a commitment by the engineers to focus on improving and optimizing the 2.7-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder for the Silverado and Colorado to provide maximum performance output and the best tow ratings possible. The 4-cylinder’s efficiency has been calibrated to the point where it also manages pretty good fuel economy for the kind of performance and utility it provides. That’s why a strong candidate for the base powertrain to headline a light-duty Silverado PHEV would absolutely be the 2.7-liter 4-cylinder, which was renamed to the TurboMax in 2024.

At present, the TurboMax outputs 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. It’s married at the moment to an eight-speed automatic transmission. While some potential shoppers have expressed reluctance at even looking to buy a Silverado with a turbocharged 4-cylinder, those who have bit the bullet and purchased a Silverado trim with the TurboMax have been mostly impressed with its performance. It’s a cost-effective powertrain with scalability that can be appropriately tuned and paired with a continuously variable transmission, a battery pack, and electric motors for some serious performance output. This makes it the perfect foundation for a hybrid, not unlike the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that powers Jeep’s 4xe PHEV models.

If the Chevy Silverado’s TurboMax can be paired up with a battery pack between 50 and 80 kW, along with an electric motor (or two), then we could definitely see some serious performance output from the Silverado PHEV. It would be powerful enough to tow at least the equivalent or more than the TurboMax, which currently sits at 9,500 lbs, and it would be balanced enough for decent fuel economy range, possibly topping out at 25 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway, depending on how it’s configured, balanced, and how much it weighs. This would be on par with the F-150’s PowerBoost hybrid but with added all-electric capabilities and range.

What to Expect From the Silverado PHEV Trim Configurations

The current trend from most automakers when it comes to PHEV options is to have a base trim that is one size fits all. That makes a lot of sense in many ways because alternative fuel vehicles can be very expensive to build; keeping them fitted to one trim reduces costs while still giving shoppers options with the availability of the other traditional trims. Much like how Jeep keeps the 4xe models to a single trim configuration, we could see the same thing from the Silverado PHEV, especially if it’s going to be released in a timely fashion.

Like many other hybrid utility PHEVs, it would also make sense if it came standard in all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive in terms of the drivetrain. The TurboMax potentially powers the rear axle, and the electric motor(s) power the front axle via the battery pack. While it would make some sense that the battery could be a variation of the Ultium platform that GM has been working on tirelessly for years, there’s really no telling if that will be the basis for the PHEV’s battery pack, but since there are different battery sizes available within the Ultium platform, having different trims with different battery or electric motor configurations would add a lot to the versatility of a Silverado PHEV if Chevy did decide to offer multiple trim options.

A smaller battery pack that prioritizes range and performance would make for a great entry-level trim for shoppers looking for something affordable and functional. A larger battery pack working in conjunction with the TurboMax or a variant would help with more utility-focused functionality such as towing and trailering. We see similar trim variations with other alternative fuel vehicles, such as the GMC Hummer EV Pickup Truck, the Tesla Cybertruck, or the Ford F-150 Lightning. The likely scenario is that the Silverado PHEV will be a trim of its own that sits alongside the more traditional model year trim offerings of the Silverado.

A close-up of the wheel on an upcoming Silverado PHEV is shown.

Expected Design, Features, and Target Market of the Silverado PHEV

GM isn’t new to experimenting with a hybrid Silverado. There was the 2005 Silverado 1500 that featured light hybrid capabilities with an electric flywheel, as well as a 2007 model year Silverado Classic Hybrid that helped improve fuel economy by 10%. The most ambitious of GM’s previous hybrid pursuits for the Chevy Silverado came with the 2009 Chevy Silverado Hybrid, featuring a 300-volt battery powering electric motors, with the Silverado Hybrid capable of speeds at up to 30 mph on electric-only power; the hybrid also featured regenerative braking.

The new Silverado PHEV would also likely come equipped with multiple ways to stay fueled and charged, including the classic refilling at the gas pump and getting a bit of battery power back through regenerative braking, just like the older Silverado hybrid models. That’s in addition to powering up the vehicle through Level 1, Level 2, and potentially Level 3 charging, with the former two charging options being available for in-home use. That would mean you could get electric-only travel out of the Silverado PHEV with electric-only charging, which would be really useful for saving money at the gas pump for short trips to the store or quick daily errands.

One thing that was also common with the hybrid Silverado models was that they were typically available in two-row cab formats, either as double cab or crew cab formats, which is also how the Silverado EV is configured. So, that would likely be the basis for the Silverado PHEV, as it could be used as a daily driver, work truck, or family truck. The interior, infotainment, and accouterments would also likely be somewhere between the current fourth-generation Silverado 1500 LT trim, with a few luxury elements from the High Country, such as Super Cruise, and some of the infotainment and tech suite features from the Silverado EV, such as the touchscreen size. Keeping most of the features centered around the LT trim means it stays relatively affordable for what it has to offer, which would make it more expensive than the LT but cheaper than the High Country and the Silverado EV, so technically, it would be a hybrid-priced equivalent of the LTZ trim.

What Do You Expect From the Silverado PHEV, and Would You Shop for One?

Now that you have an idea of what our expectations are, what are your expectations? And what would you like to see from a Silverado PHEV that would make it viable for you to drive? And even more important than that, would you shop for one if it met your travel range and performance expectations and was moderately priced? If it were essentially a PHEV equivalent of the Silverado 1500 LTZ, would you add it to your shopping list, or would it have to fulfill some other qualification to be considered part of your shopping criteria? Whatever the case, you still have plenty of time to research an alternative fuel Chevy Silverado as more information is unveiled closer to its launch. Nevertheless, there is a lot to potentially be excited about when it comes to a Silverado PHEV and what it could offer.