Pickup trucks are the most favorite personal vehicle of America, whereas Ford F-series being the bestseller for several decades. Except for California and Florida, the most popular vehicle of every state is an SUV or a pickup.
Today, the pickup truck industries has become the most profitable and leading industry in America, lead by Ford. But due to the electric vehicle revolution taking place in the automobile industry, electric automakers like Tesla, General Motors, Rivian, Bollinger, and many others have planned to build electric pickup trucks. Though electric vehicles are not as surprising to people nowadays, the biggest challenge for electric vehicle manufacturers would be pickup trucks.
The combination of the toughness of pickup trucks and the advancements of electric vehicles can lead to a modern-day toy to play around with. These can be an alternative for truck drivers without polluting the environment. Talking about the present situation of the market, this segment currently has a void. But in the upcoming few years, there will be more than half-a-dozen electric trucks available on roads, all battling to set up their mainstreams in this segment, proving their novelty.
After many decades of evolution, pickup trucks are going through a significant revolution. The announced models comprise:
- Tesla Cybertruck
- Rivian R1T
- Nicola Badger
- GMC Hummer EV SUT
- Lordstown Endurance
and even including the electric version of F-150 by Ford.
It would be good to see that if loyal pickup truck drivers will switch to electric ones. So let’s have a look at the contestants in the race of the Pickup Truck 2.0 manufacturing having a look at their respective products.
Auto Companies in this Race
The American electric vehicle company has already introduced their beast in the market of electric pickup trucks. They introduced the weird spearhead shaped Cybertruck with a complete change of idea in people’s mind about pickup trucks.
- The machine comes with a stainless steel body capable of towing up to 14,000 pounds exceeding 500 miles in one charge, as claimed by the company. Cybertruck will have a longer range than any EV in the market and have more capabilities than the current F-150.
- The electric pickup has some spectacular performance reaching the mark of 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds. It also dispenses a ground clearance of 16 inches with an adjustable and adaptive air suspension.
- Tesla professes the machine to be a more effective off-road vehicle than Jeep, faster than Porsche, and stronger than all other pickup trucks out there. The truck body is dentproof, allegedly bulletproof, and scratchproof and will definitely save you from a Zombie Apocalypse if ever happen.
- It has exterior lockable storage of 100 CU FT. The first demo, though, didn’t go well for the glass test of the vehicle; CEO Elon Musk gave out another video illustrating the tough Armor Glass made with ultra-strong glass and polymer-layered combination and claiming to be secured as long as a person is inside the Tesla Cybertruck.
Talking about the interior, it has a spacious and futuristic design with a sitting capacity of six people comfortably.
- With an all-new customized user interface, the massive 17-inch touch screen has all the advanced features needed.
- It also consists of additional storage space under the rear seats.
- The engine comes with three driveline options- Rear Wheel Drive (RWD), All Wheel Drive (AWL), and Tri-motor AWD.
- The start of production for the vehicle is expected around 2022, with a price range starting from $39,900. They will be available for booking by ordering online and in Tesla Stores.
Another Electric Vehicle Startup Lordstown is an Ohio based American company and is launching the 2022 Endurance in the electric pickup segment with expected production and deliveries till January 2021.
They announced their electric pickup hours before Tesla Cybertruck and became the first one to enter the U.S. market in this segment. The company came to headlines after buying the shuttered Lordstown Plant from GM.
- Lordstown Endurance produces 600 hp and can range up to 250 miles, which definitely shorts up to the range of the competitors in this segment.
- The machine features a four-wheel-drive set up with an electric motor mounted on each wheel, which, according to the company, becomes more reliable and less expensive to maintain. Like many other companies, Lordstown has not revealed much about the specifications, but still, the prototype revealed by the company confirms that the vehicle is ready to manufacture.
- Endurance can tow up to 6000 pounds, and the payload capacity is not yet revealed.
The rendering of the vehicle’s interior doesn’t say much about how the space will look like, but the exterior will consist of four-doors with a cab-crew body. The passenger space would be similar to the competitors in the segment. The vehicle looks more enlightened than Bollinger B2, which propound more comfort and be more contemporary.
It will certainly feature an infotainment system with a touch screen and hoping for a former layout by Lordstown. Since the availability of features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi hotspots are popular among the segment, Endurance might include them all. Driver-Assistance Features and Safety are not yet confirmed for the vehicle.
GMC Hummer EV SUT
Reviving the name Hummer after being discontinued in 2010, General Motors is going to launch the electric variant of the pickup truck with a badge of the GMC sub-model. Claiming the number of 1000 hp and torque of 11,500 lb-ft, the vehicle is a setup of three electric motors and is set to battle the EV pickup truck automakers.
- The torque power figure, though considered being misleading, the actual torque must be between 1000 and 1500 lb-ft, as per GMC insiders. The model can also be considered as an SUV.
- With 800 volt design and fast-charging capabilities, the company has not revealed most of the features of the truck. The 0-60 mph estimates a time of 3 sec, which is achievable according to the company.
- The company does not reveal the payload and towing capacity of the machine, but as compared with the competitors like Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian’s R1T, the towing capacity can range from 7,500 to 11,000 pounds, whereas payload capacity may range between 1,500 to 3,500 pounds.
- The engine has an estimated driving range of 350 miles per charge with a 350 kW fast charging potential, which adds up to 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. Apart from DC fast-charging stations, the vehicle can be charged on public charging terminals or even at home through a given charger, but the charging times being relatively slower.
The cabin is almost similar to GMC’s Sierra crew cab. A removable roof is availably reintroducing the T-top-esque design well known in GM’s muscle cars. In place, the see-through panels on the rooftop have a panoramic glass, which gives the truck a convertible look and vibe.
The infotainment is served by a 13.4-inch display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. The company also contracted with Epic Games to create the graphics of the infotainment system of the EV. The connectivity features include all standard capabilities, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The launch is yet to be confirmed, but the expected starting price is about $70,000. The most expensive model of the Hummer Edition 1 will be on sale, fall 2021, followed by the other less expensive ones in 2022.
The Michigan based American Startup Company Rivian is probably the second most exciting startups after Tesla. The company is launching its electric truck R1T in the latter half of 2020.
Now being almost a mid-sized pickup, the truck has multiple battery and power levels to be chosen from.
- It includes all the standard characteristics and specifications of a pickup, such as an all-wheel drive, towing capacity of 11,000 pounds, a payload capacity of 1760 pounds, autonomous driving capabilities of Level 3, and an adjustable air suspension.
- The available range of battery packs includes 105.0-kWh, 135.0-kWh, and 180.0-kWh, with an estimated range of 230, 300, and 400miles respectively per charge.
- The company claims the 180.0-kWh battery pack equipped models can hit 0-60 mph in just 3 seconds. The air suspension can adjust from 8-14 inches of clearance height.
- The all-wheel-drive consists of an electric motor at each of the wheels, which allows rotating the left wheels in the opposite direction of the right ones, which Rivian named The Tank Turn, which rotates the truck on its axis.
The interior of the R1T’s cabin is made of wood, leather, and large displays for both the infotainment system and the gauge cluster.
- It consists of a large trunk underneath the front hood, giant storage space behind the cab, and a total of 12 cubic feet of lockable storage. The infotainment system comes with standard features like media, climate control, and navigation at the bottom of the display.
- The company does not reveal the complete infotainment features, but as of other EVs can also consist of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with available Wi-Fi hotspot.
- It would be outfitted with all the sensors required for Level 3 autonomy, but the software won’t allow drivers to drive on its own under certain circumstances. Though, it includes safety features like Standard lane-departure warning, Standard Automated Emergency Braking, and Available Adaptive Cruise Control.
Electric Ford F-150
Undoubtedly, the best-selling pickup truck manufacturer in the country, Ford has come up with an all-electric version of the iconic F-150 to cope up with the electric pickup trend.
The vehicle is expected to appear sometime in 2021, making its debut in the market of next-generation truck manufacturing. The company already manifested its capabilities in a stunt where the vehicle prototype towed a chain of 42 F-150 pickups weighing nearly one-million pounds.
Ford hasn’t released many specs about the machine, but it will probably feature a dual electric motor, each for an axle, promising it to be an all-wheel drive.
- The company does not yet reveal the engine’s power and emission norms, but the Electric F-150 will surely be the most powerful F-150 out there. We have to wait until the test of how quick it is, but surely it will provide a quite brisk performance.
- Undoubtedly, the towing capacity will be top-notch, as its prototype towed a car train weighed 1,000,000 pounds in the demonstration made by the company in July 2019. The official capacity would surely be more than that but will be better than many competitors in this segment.
- The company does not yet reveal the information on battery capacity and driving range, but like others, in this segment, it might have big battery packs with 300 miles of range, at least. Buyers can charge the batteries at home through 220-volt outlets with an option of DC fast charging as well. The EPA ratings are not available with the F-150 electric until now as the vehicle is still in the developing phase.
The teaser photo released by the company is front faced, so not having much information about the interior. But as a regular gasoline-powered model, it will have all the basic accommodation characteristics.
Ford can go with a cab crew body type with regular electric configurations or can even switch to high tech configurations with all advanced digital features and a digital display layout that’s popular among most competitive EVs. The infotainment system will surely include Ford’s latest Sync-4 software, but the company does not mention the display size. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with Wi-Fi hotspot must be included; they can offer optional in-dash navigation and a premium stereo system.
Nicola is an American company with a reputation for manufacturing big trucks and alters them into a human-sized vehicle. The company is launching its new pickup, the 2022 Badger, unlike others in this segment, has a dual segment variety. It has a pure EV version and also a fuel-cell version. It is one of the most stylish looking electric pickup trucks.
- Nicola states that the two vehicles will cover a distance of 300 and 600 miles, respectively, from a 160.0-kWh battery pack and 120.0-kW fuel cell.
- The machine will generate a peak power output of 906 horsepower and peak torque of 980 lb-ft. The company claims that the fastest version will reach the 0-60 mph in 2.9 sec, can operate on 40 percent grades, and can launch without stalling on a 30 percent grade from a standstill. The fully-loaded vehicle will weigh a rated 18,000 pounds.
Talking about the interior, it will have a conventional design with added styling elements, which definitely looks futuristic. The vehicle will be completely waterproof with seating for five people and a hidden fridge.
Many details, including the size of the cargo bed, are yet not revealed by the company. As per the rendering details, a big horizontally tilted screen can be seen with a row of physical knobs and buttons below it on the dashboard.
The pickup can tow up to 8000 pounds, whereas Nicola has not disclosed any details of the payload limit. Having a limited number of hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S., the company says of planning 700 locations in North America for better coverage. In terms of Driver-Assistance Features and Safety, Nicola again hasn’t revealed the terms yet.
2021 Bollinger B2 is the most expensive and wildest among all the upcoming electric pickup trucks in the market. The price is set at $125,000 and looks traditional with incredible capacity and versatility.
- It consists of a dual electric motor that delivers a combined power of 614 horsepower and a torque of 688 lb-ft. The company claims a 0-60 mph in 4.5 sec with a max speed of 100 mph.
- The machine has a two-speed transfer case for better off-road capabilities and having a ground clearance ranging from 10-20 inches. The vehicle can tow up to 7500 pounds with a huge payload capacity of 5001 pounds.
- Having a 120.0-kWh battery pack, the vehicle can range up to 200 miles. It can be fully recharged from a DC fast-charging output in just 75 minutes or 10 hours from a 220-volt outlet. The fuel economy is not revealed by the EPA yet.
The interior of the vehicle provides less comfort and more versatility than any other vehicle in the segment. B2 provides a hollow-out interior that allows 16-feet long space for an object to pass through. It includes a real foldable wall that opens up to increase the cargo-bed for more than two feet.
The body panels are removable, including windshields, doors, windows, and roof panels. The vehicle provides a rugged characteristic, so there are fewer expectations of an impressive list of features. But it, though, includes the highlight of the heated seat and air conditioning. The shortlist of infotainment and connectivity offers Bluetooth, six 110-volts outlets, and an uncertain audio system.
As per its Class 3 work, it will hardly include any driver assistance technology, but it surely bypasses the government regulations for the requirement of airbags and crash testing.
Barriers for Adaptation to Electric Pickup Trucks
The change in the automobile industry to electric vehicles is a great revolution towards advancement while not affecting nature at the same time with no emissions. But that’s surely not sufficient to encourage buyers to switch to electric vehicles.
In this developing phase of EVs and after all the hype and enthusiasm by news channels and reports, only 0.2 percent of the passenger vehicles across the globe have switched to electric. Due to some upcoming policy changes, the growth of these numbers is expected to get much bigger in the next 15 to 20 years.
One of the major barriers to adaptation to electric vehicles is the mindset of people who don’t think of electric vehicles while purchasing a new vehicle. That’s definitely not an easy task as people are used to a driving vehicle in the same way for more than 100 years. Moreover, people haven’t driven electric vehicles, and the thought of the problems with driving makes it a big concern among buyers worldwide.
Pickup Driver’s Points of Concern
In context to pickup trucks, introducing electricity is a much bigger concern. Pickup truck drivers are always loyal to their brands and segments, and they know their requirements. They are also concern about the logistics, mechanic aspects, and convenience of the electric pickup trucks and whether they could match the ruggedness of pickups ruling the market. They find the EVs more flashy and showy than being useful in the real world.
They also believe the electric pickups convey a luxury vehicle mentality than a useful working place machine. Due to this, Ford’s prototype is already ahead in the segment as his reputation to build tougher vehicles, and so buyers have trust in the brand, also after the electric pickup is named after the bestseller F-150. The company also conveys the motto, “build Ford tough” for the Electric F-150.
The truck makers hope for a turnaround from their customers to their electric vehicles; they have to convince them about the machine’s outcomes. On the other hand, electric vehicles are expensive as compared to gas ones. The auto manufacturers have to find a way to deal with it and satisfy customers about the products worth their money. Some major concerns of pickup drivers about electric ones are Vehicle Driving Range, Recharging time, lesser number of Charging Infrastructures, and also facing difficulties finding a mechanic.
Pickup manufacturers like Ford, with millions of potential and loyal customers, will always have a positive aspect against companies like Rivian, who are new to the market. New startups will have to face many challenges towards establishing the brand when competing against historical competitions and companies like Ford and Chevrolet.
Pickup drivers opt for vehicles having a greater level of practicality and freedom. But at the end of all, it’s a matter of time as within a few years, the Electric Vehicle market especially electric pickup trucks will grow on a greater margin resulting in being a driver’s prior choice.
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