9 game-changing electric pickup trucks WORTH waiting for [Update]

The ‘electric’ pickup truck is about to explode this decade with most models, if not all of them, ditching their conventional engines for a cheap to run, torquey, maintenance-free and emissions-free solution. The Tesla Cybertruck may have well sparked a new generation of pickups and in this story we investigate the 9 electric pickup trucks that you will be able to buy within a few years.

1. Tesla Cybertruck – 2021 launch – 3,500 lbs (1,587 kg) payload

Tesla Cybertruck

As far as being a game-changer is concerned, the Tesla Cybertruck takes the cake and runs off into the horizon. It’s the most polarising new car launch in the current age since cars like the Pontiac Aztec, Chrysler PT Cruiser and the Hummers, with a design that probably would’ve only required a ruler to sketch.

Not only is it unique on the outside, but the promised power figures obliterate anything stock with a pickup bed on the back. In the most performance-oriented version with tri electric motors, the Cybertruck can do 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds. It can also be had with a single motor and dual motor to bring the price tag down. In its most efficient trim, the Cybertruck is claimed to exceed 500 miles on a single charge, with lower models able to do over 250 miles. Prices range from $39,000 to $69,900, depending on the motor choice and options ticked. Production of the Cybertruck is expected to begin sometime next year.

Tesla has again managed to spark off a big debate with the Tesla Cybertruck. The Cybertruck has a radical design that has split the opinions right through the middle – you either like it or hate it.

Prices for the Tesla Cybertruck start from $39,900 and goes till $69,900. The single motor variant has a base price of $39,900 while the dual motor and tri motor variants start from $49,900 and $69,900 respectively. And if you think $69,900 is a bit too much for a pick-up, you aren’t keeping up. Tesla will be launching the top end variant first and it is reported that fewer customers are inquiring about the low-end variants.

The average transaction price of the Cybertruck, according to a report by CybertruckTalk.com, will be $62,554. The report was based on data collected from over 1,800 members to estimate the price. CybertruckTalk.com has stated that most of the reservations have opted for the variants with Full Self-Driving options (FSD) that costs an additional $7,000. The bookings show that 79.25 per cent have opted for Tri-Motor with FSD, 64.94 per cent wanted Dual Motor with FSD and 58.74 per cent opted for Single Motor with FSD.

Elon Musk has tweeted that there will be a Plaid variant for the Cybertruck apart from the already confirmed Model S and Model X Plaid variants, with the Plaid Model S expected to be launched later this year. The Plaid Cybertruck could follow two directions – the greater possibility is an extreme off-roader topped-off with knobby off-road tyres, a winch, higher ground clearance and a beefier suspension; another version is a street-performance truck with a lowered body and sticky wide tyres.

According to Cybertruck Owners Club, the Tesla pickup has received an overwhelming response with the pre-orders standing at over 622,000 as of March 2020 and are still coming at 1,000 per day. The pre-orders are expected to reach one million before the launch of the electric pick-up, slated for next year. Elon Musk disclosed that the Cybertruck had 250,000 pre-orders in November 2019.

Though initially it was thought that the Cybertruck could be had in different colours, that now seems a distant possibility. Elon Musk has tweeted that the truck will have to be wrapped for different colours and patterns if customers seeks individualization.

Elon Musk has now confirmed that the Cybertruck will have the exact same dimensions as what was shown at the premiere last year. The prototype was 5885 mm long, 2027 mm wide and 1905 mm tall.

American media is reporting that Tesla would be looking to Austin, Texas to put up its factory to build the Cybertruck. The company was reported to pick either Austin or Tulsa in Oklahoma before Texas, the land of pickups, became the front runner, though the company has not announced a decision. Along with the Cybertruck, Tesla would also be assembling Model Y at the site which is expected to be the largest assembly plants in the United States.

2. Rivian R1T – 2021 launch – 800 kg (1,763 lbs) payload

Rivian R1T electric pickup truck front three quarter view

Given that the Cybertruck has generated more criticism than fandom, other more ‘subtle’ electric pickup trucks have started to gain traction. One of them is the R1T from American electric startup Rivian, which made its debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show. Pricing for the Rivian R1T is expected to start from $69,900 and could reach over six figures for the top-end model when deliveries commence in 2021.

As standard, it will have electric motors on each wheel, but the battery pack sizes will vary: 105kWh, 135kWh and 180kWh. The top-end 180kWh is claimed to do 0-60 km/hr in 3.2 seconds and can do 400+ miles on a single charge. With electric AWD, tough styling and plenty of torque to boot, the Rivian hopes that its off-roadability will be one of the R1T’s USP. The vehicle also comes with a camp kitchen!

Check out this video of the team at Rivian building a R1T testing vehicle.

3. Lordstown Endurance – January 2021 launch – 6,000 lbs (2,721 kg) payload

Lordstown Motors, an EV startup that got the name after it bought the Lordstown factory from GM, has announced that it will push the launch of its first vehicle, Endurance electric pick-up, to 2021, owing to the coronavirus outbreak. CEO Steve Burns has stated that the company will start delivering the keys of the vehicle to fleets starting from January 2021 following the product’s unveil likely in late June (as per Freep.com). The company has released new renders (displayed above) and expects to collect pre-orders for all of the first year’s production volume of 20,000 units.

At the moment, Lordstown has only released claimed specs to attract attention. The base model will start from $52,500, have a range of over 250 miles (400 km), electric AWD with four in-wheel hub electric motors producing around 600 hp, seating for five and a towing capacity of 7,500 lbs (3,402 kg). The battery can be charged in 10.5 hours to its full capacity with an AC charger and in 1.5 hours with a Level 3 DC charger. The Endurance pick-up truck will have a maximum speed of 128 km/h and a greadability of 30 per cent at GVW.

The Lordstown Endurance will come with wheel hub motors, and will target commercial buyers before personal car owners. Pictured is a chassis mule under testing.

Lordstown recently announced that they have received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from a Florida-based company Innervations, which specializes in DC fast chargers and Level II EV chargers. Innervations have asked for 1,000 Endurance electric pick-ups to be given to their clients and make their fleets completely electric. Lordstown has already received similar LOIs from FirstEnergy for 250 units of Endurance and from Clean Fuels Ohio for 500 units.

Lordstown has revealed that they have signed an exclusive licensing agreement for the in-wheel hub motors with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies and the motors will be manufactured at the former’s Ohio plant. Production of the motors will begin a few months before the production of the vehicle, which is now scheduled to begin in January 2021. Initial work has already begun which Elaphe would support and manage and it would take 9 months for the production line to get to full capacity. Lordstown is expected to begin beta-testing and pre-production within 6 months.

4. Ford F-150 pickup – 2022 launch – 3,500 lbs (1,587 kg) payload

Ford F-150

For now, Ford Motor Company has only confirmed that they’re making an electric version of the Ford F-150, one of the best-selling vehicles in the world. It is expected to arrive in 2022, with pre-production testing currently underway. The first mules have been spotted with an independent rear suspension, and that coupled with the smooth and silent electric motor could provide an entirely different driving feel to the customer.

Ford released a video showcasing the upcoming electric F-150’s towing capability by getting a prototype to haul one million pounds of train carriages. Given that the F-150 is a household name in the U.S, an electric version with a big lump of power, quick sprint times and a long electric range of at least over 300 miles will attract big attention when it arrives in early 2022.

5. Bollinger B2 – 2021 launch – 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) payload

If the Cybertruck was an alcoholic-based vapour inhaled from a balloon, the all-aluminium Bollinger B2 is a neat glass of aged whiskey. Michigan-based EV startup Bollinger plans to lure the rich masses with a product that banks on ruggedness and old school styling. The full-size pickup with a 15-inch ground clearance is confirmed to start from an eye-watering $125,000, so don’t expect to be seeing too many of them rolling down the interstate.

The Jeep-inspired pickup truck borrows the same powertrain from its SUV sibling; a dual-motor electric drivetrain with AWD producing a combined power output of 614 hp and a maximum torque of 905 Nm and a 120 kWh battery pack. An optional 180 kWh battery pack will be on offer to extend the range. The B2 will have a hydropneumatic suspension system, a large front truck volume and the company’s patented pass-through doors for moving long items. Speaking of moving, the B2 will be a Class 3 truck with a towing capability of 5,000 lbs.

Features of the Bollinger B2 will include hydraulic power steering, electronic traction control, integrated thermal management system, hydraulic ABS, electronic stability control, portal gear hubs and 5-15 kW on-board charger.

6. GMC Hummer electric – Late 2021 launch

The Hummer name is back, although it needs to have a ‘*’ because of how it was revived, which will ‘shock’ any Hummer fan. It will be a sub-brand of GMC that will focus solely on electric propulsion. GMC is yet to fully reveal the Hummer pick-up; so far just showing a teaser of its front fascia. The truck’s unveil is reportedly pushed back due to the Coronavirus pandemic while the release stands in the Fall of 2021 (September – December 2021) in the United States. General Motors filed for a trademark of the new logo on 2nd April 2020.

The future Hummer pickup is reported to have a small bed and double cab, removable Targa tops that can be stored in the front trunk and squarish styling heavily influenced by the old H2 and H3. The Hummer EV will be based on GM’s third-gen EV architecture with a lot of flexibility for different configurations. To be built on GM’s BT1 EV platform, the Hummer pickup is estimated to do over 400 miles on a single charge thanks to the new ‘Ultium’ battery packs. A Hummer SUV on this platform is believed to be the next derivative around 2023.

General Motors has recently announced that the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, which will produce the Hummer electric models and other EVs, will be powered completely by renewable energy by 2023. GM has partnered with DTE Energy to source 500,000 MWh of solar energy and this along with 300,000 MWh of wind energy the company already purchased in 2019 will be sued to power GM’s facilities in Southeast Michigan.

7. Atlis XT – Late 2021 launch – 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) payload

Atlis XT

A future rival to the Rivian R1T, the Atlis XT electric pick-up truck is expected to hit the market in Q3 2021. It is claimed to be one of the most capable and heavy-duty pick-up trucks to go on sale soon.

The XT can be had with a 6.5 or 8-foot long bed, towing capability between 5,000 lbs – 20,000 lbs, and a payload capacity ranging between 1,000 lbs – 5,000 lbs. This will depend on the battery pack option chosen, of which there is claimed to be multiple. As far as range is concerned, the base XT will be able to last 300 miles on a single charge, while the most efficient model can do 500 miles. It will have four independent electric motors to power each wheel.

Atlis Motor plans roadmap company
Roadmap of Atlis Motor Vehicles as revealed in April 2020.

CEO and Founder Mark Hanchett has revealed that the battery of the XT pickup, which will be offered up to 250 kWh capacity, can be charged to 100 per cent capacity under 20 minutes. For this, the charger should be putting out 1.5 megawatts of power, which is four times more than the energy output of the fastest DC chargers with 350 kW capacity. The battery packs use nickel, cobalt, manganese (NCM) chemistry and rated for 2,000 cycles or 1.6 million km.

8. Fisker Alaska – 2022 launch

Fisker Alaska

Although yet to be explicitly confirmed, Fisker is expected to release an electric pick-up truck based on the Fisker Ocean SUV in 2022. The pick-up and its name were teased by company founder, Henrik Fisker, but was momentarily taken down. What Fisker has confirmed is that the platform will underpin a further two models.

There aren’t many details on the Fisker Alaska pickup, but the teaser revealed a familiar design with what seemingly looked like a small pickup bed and bold styling. By the looks of it, Alaska might be sold as a lifestyle vehicle, so expect average towing capability and payload.

If the Alaska borrows the Ocean’s electric drivetrain, expect it to come with AWD as standard, a power output of around 300 hp, and fast charging capability with 321 km of range in just 30 minutes.

9. Karma EREV

Karma EREV

Karma has also yet to confirm that a production-spec pick-up is in the works but haven’t dismissed the idea of putting one in the market. The EV startup teased the EREV pick-up design study concept at the 2019 LA Auto Show but hasn’t revealed further specifications or images.

Karma has unveiled the E-Flex platform that offers dual-motor all-wheel-drive and extended range EV (EREV) architecture. Equipped with Karma’s new Silicon Carbide (SiC) inverter e-drive system, the platform gets an 80 kWh flat floor battery that offers a range of up to 386 km. Depending on the configuration and commercial application, the range can be extended up to 796 km with the EREV. Karma has announced that the electric platform, true to its name, is flexible for several applications like pickup trucks, SUVs, last-mile utility solutions, etc.

Developed at Karma Innovation and Customization Center (KICC), the E-Flex platform features Revero GT drive motors that can be had in various configurations.

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