GM unveils Chevy Blazer EV to challenge Tesla Model Y – TechCrunch
GM on Monday night unveiled the Chevrolet Blazer EV, an all-electric SUV with up to 320 miles of range and a starting price of $48,000 that CEO and chairman Mary Barra hopes will boost its bid to overtake Tesla in car sales. electric vehicles in the United States by 2025.
The Chevrolet Blazer EV, which will go on sale in 2023 as a 2024 model year, isn’t the only GM electric vehicle on the way. A slew of Cadillac and Chevy electric vehicles are also making their way onto the market. But the Blazer, at its more affordable price and in the lucrative SUV segment, could boost GM’s sales targets.
Internally, confidence is high. Blazer is going to be a massive statement and illustrate how GM can hit big volume segments, according to Scott Bell, Global Vice President of Chevrolet.
The Blazer, which was unveiled at a splashy premiere in Hollywood, Calif., will sit on GM’s new Ultium architecture, the modular electric platform that offers up to 200 kWh of storage, an 800 volt architecture and is at the heart of the automaker’s EV strategy.
Details of the Blazer EV and its many versions were scarce. But enough has been shared to give customers more than a hint of what to expect next year.
The Blazer EV will launch with five available versions: 1LT, 2LT, RS, SS and the Police Pursuit version, which Bell says is a first for the company. The rollout will be staggered, with LT and RS versions going on sale next summer and SS and Police Pursuit versions coming in Q1 2024. However, orders opened tonight for interested buyers. of one of the toppings.
“It’s sort of a first, I think, the first that we’ve ever done all three configurations in one product,” Bell said. “We’re going to be very transparent with consumers and try not to over-promise and under-deliver. We would like to try to keep this aligned as best we can. We are working hard on the manufacturing side of the house to make sure we can build enough to meet demand.
Bell says it also expects demand to be strong, although it won’t disclose sales targets.
“Blazer is going to be a massive statement about how we can hit segments that are real segments, high-volume segments, and you know, Silverado, Blazer, and, and soon Equinox, the three biggest segments in the industry. “, and there’s a shot to make volume. We’re going to have a big, big piece of that puzzle,” Bell said.
Shaking up the electric SUV market
The Chevy Blazer returned to the United States in 2018 and sold well; although it shouldn’t be, it’s not its best-selling SUV. The Chevy Equinox, which will also be electrified in 2023, obtains this distinction.
And recently, sales have faltered, in part due to supply chain constraints. In the second quarter of 2022, GM said it sold 14,296 Blazers, down 31% from comparable data last year.
Still, analysts believe the Blazer EV is poised to become second (after Tesla’s Model Y) next year with 6.6% of sales in the compact and midsize electric SUV segment.
Bell expects the different versions of the Blazer to appeal to different customers.
“The first ones to move and shake are fidgeting a bit, trying new things. This SS variant will be one of those things, right. There will be performance enthusiasts buying this car. Not because it’s a mid-size crossover, but because it goes from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds,” Bell said.
(Some) of the Blazer EV specs
Pricing for the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer starts at $47,595 for the 2LT. The RS will start at $51,995, has optional rear-wheel drive and a range of 320 miles. Meanwhile, the high-performance SS (coming later in 2023), will start at around $65,995 and can go around 290 miles on a single charge.
The 1LT, which will arrive in the first quarter of 2024, will start at $44,995 and have an estimated range of 247 miles.
Super Cruise, GM’s advanced driver assistance system that enables hands-free driving on select highways, will be available in select versions of the Blazer EV.
JThe 2023 Blazer will come with 11.5kW charging capacity as well as DC fast charging up to 190kW, which the company says would add 78 miles of range in 10 minutes. The Blazer EV’s front lighting will indicate charging status as the SUV charges, increasing in speed and intensity as the charge increases.
Inside the Blazer, customers will get a 17.7-inch color touchscreen along with an 11-inch color driver’s information cluster.
There’s no start button on the Blazer; all you have to do is hit the brake pedal after closing the door, and the Blazer EV will wake up. Chevy also says that through the MyChevy app, owners can trace and locate charging stations along a defined route. The Blazer EV will also receive GM’s Ulitifi technologywhich will enable over-the-air updates and further customization of applications and services desired by customers.
The top of the line, SS or Super Sport Blazer EV SS, features an exclusive performance AWD setup that produces up to 557 horsepower and up to 648 lb-ft. of torque, and offers what Chevy calls, a “unique WOW (Wide Open Watts) mode allowing 0-60 sprints of approximately under 4 seconds (based on GM estimates).”
And then there’s the Police Pursuit version, specifically designed for law enforcement.
According to Bell, Chevy worked closely with police from different municipalities to create the Police Pursuit version of the Blazer EV. He said he would get the same charge rates and ranges as the consumer model, but the interior is designed specifically for police needs.
It will be available in rear-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel drive and will receive Brembo brakes. Chevy also said it will offer commercial versions of the Blazer EV that will also meet the needs of pharmaceutical and rental companies.
Chevy has been in the electric game longer than most automakers, starting with the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, which landed in consumer hands in 2010. Bell said the company plans to continue to capitalize on learnings from its previous efforts in the Space EV, including the Volt, Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, to continue expanding Chevrolet’s electrified offerings.
“Our part is to push the consumer into this space,” Bell said, “We have work to do to engage the conversation in the masses, and we’re definitely going to leverage our 3,000 dealerships who have consumers where 87% of our population lives within 10 miles of them.
One of the biggest challenges to EV adoption, Bell acknowledges, is public charging infrastructure and EV costs. Bell said that with the launch of Blazer, the company will continue to work to install faster charging at dealerships across the country and work to find local community electricians and installers for home charging. Chevrolet and GM will also leverage the dealer network to improve access to charging, Bell said.
Last week GM announced a partnership with Pilot and Flying J, to also collaborate on a national fast charging network.
The Blazer EV will be built at GM’s Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico, where the current version of the Blazer internal combustion engine is built.