In order, the top 3 best selling vehicles in the U.S. last year were the Ford F Series, Ram Trucks, and the Chevy Silverado. The pickup truck market is enormous and stands as the second largest vehicle segment. It’s pretty clear that manufacturers are focusing on entering the electric car market with crossovers, the leading segment, but where are the electric pickup trucks?
Battery costs are still too high to power a massive work vehicle capable of towing 8,000 lbs such as the Ford F150. Legacy automakers are taking a step back until costs come down and are comparable to current engine manufacturing prices. Who could blame them? Sure, EV sales are rising, but truck sales aren’t declining.
This leaves the segment as an open market since no one has yet to manufacture an electric truck. Below are 5 new electric trucks fighting to be the first. Some might be coming sooner than you’d imagine.
After making its debut at the 2018 L.A. Autoshow, the Rivian R1T might just be the most anticipated electric pickup truck on this list. This is a luxury truck at its finest but Rivian is also giving it the title of an “electric adventure truck”. With 600 employees, 4 facilities, and over a billion dollars in backing, this might be the first electric pickup truck to actually hit the mass market.
The Rivian electric truck is designed with off road and lifestyle intentions rather than work. While its aesthetic displays this in line with a Range Rover, the electric truck company is looking to make the Rivian truck more of a toy. Catering to both those who leave their weekend vehicles covered in mud or just need a massive machine to tow their jet skis.
The Rivian R1T truck appearance is mostly for aerodynamics but those headlights are definitely a statement on their own. What they’ve dubbed “Stadium Lights” and long “Position Light” are simply meant for you to recognize the car on the road above all others.
“We’re a new brand coming to the marketplace and we wanted something – maybe people wouldn’t recognize the name initially but you’ll certainly memorize that and remember it and remember that that’s a Rivian.”
Its general dimensions make it slightly larger than a Honda Ridgeline or Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab. Even with a massive battery pack, the Rivian pickup truck can safely travel through waters up to 3.3 feet in depth which is a foot more than the Mercedes G-Class. It has a payload of almost 1,800 lbs and can tow 11,000 lbs.
Rivian’s electric pickup truck is set to come with three battery options, a 105 kWh, 135 kWh, and a massive 180 kWh. These translate to 230 miles, 300+ miles, and 400+ miles of range. The largest battery currently on the market is made by Tesla at 100 kWh capacity and a 373 mile range. Surprisingly, the mid-range 135 kWh model is set to have the most performance at 754 hp and an impressive 0-60 of 3 seconds. The long-range 180 kWh battery is set to have 700 hp and a 0-60 of 3.2 seconds. The difference is most likely caused by the weight of the pack. The base model is set to go 0-60 in 4.9 seconds with 402 hp. All 3 models are capped at a 125 mph top speed but Rivian has stated the possibility of over-the-air performance upgrades as an option for its electric trucks.
What might not be the largest truck on the market definitely has an adequate amount of storage. The electric pickups bed is not the largest at 55 inches but Rivian has found other storage solutions. This electric pickup truck will also have a massive front trunk boasting 11.6 cubic feet of space. They’ve also gotten a bit innovative by adding a new storage space called a “gear tunnel” meant for things such as snow boards, fishing rods, or golf bags. It adds 12 cubic feet of space and the door can also be used as an outdoor seat or stool to easily access the roof racks. Under the bed is also a lockable compartment with a full sized spare tire. If you opt out of the spare, the compartment holds another 7 cubic feet of space.
The electric truck manufacturer is also working on modular gearbox and bed additions. The Rivian camper truck edition stores an entire kitchen in the gearbox with a popup tend converting the bed into a bedroom.
As every new car entering the 2020’s does, Rivian is also focusing on tech. The Rivian R1T has 3 massive screens. One replacing the traditional dash, another replacing the dials behind the steering wheel, and the third in the back for infotainment and climate control for rear passengers. The R1T truck is also equipped with cameras, LIDAR, radar, and ultrasonic sensors for level 3 autonomous driving.
The all electric Rivian R1T will have fast charging capabilities up to 160 kw with an on board 11 kw charger. That excels current standards and meets what will most likely be standards at time of release but we aren’t so sure it’s future proof with the ongoing 350+kw chargers being prepared. The Rivian R1T electric truck should charge at a decent speed of 200 miles in 30 minutes.
Right now, Rivian has the most promising future all electric truck. They’ll most likely be the first to hit the market and if the production version is anything like the concept revealed, it’s sure to be a hit. The Rivian electric truck price will start at $69,000 with no word on how high pricing will go. The Rivian R1T release date is expected in 2020 and preorders are already opened.
Alongside the electric pickup truck, the company is producing an electric SUV dubbed the Rivian R1S. R for Rivian, 1 for 1st edition, and S/T for SUV/Truck. With so much ambition and plans, many are calling Rivian the next Tesla. The company has even been commissioned by one of their backers, Amazon, to build 100,000 electric delivery vans.
This Arizona based company is considered the markets electric truck underdog by many. With a fraction of the workforce and very little funding, they have still managed to state some out of this world, almost comical, specs for the Atlis electric truck, the Atlis XT. Atlis plans to bring a 500 miles ranged work force truck to market by 2020.
The Atlis XT electric pickup truck will have a base range of 300 miles. Other range tiers are set for 400 and 500 miles. The electric pickup truck will be made available in a 2 and 4 door option. A 0-60 of 5 seconds and top speed of 120 mph isn’t breaking any records but sure is impressive for an electric truck. The Atlis XT price is set to start at $45,000.
“Our Atlis XT is a full-size pickup truck platform, with specifications and capabilities similar (or better) to what you expect out of full-size work trucks today – bed sizes, towing capacity, 5th wheel and gooseneck towing capability, payload capacity, 6 passenger capacity, ability to swap the bed for service bodies, up to 500 mile range, etc. Rivian is focused on a different market with different capabilities.”
Atlis Trucks makes it clear that they don’t want to enter the luxury market, instead they want to create a full-fledged electric work truck. A wide range of options are expected. From a 6.5’ bed to a 8’ dually, there’ll be a variant for every job. True four-wheel drive with independent power delivery for maximum traction control and independent air spring suspension will give this beast off road capabilities.
Maximum towing capabilities are set at 35,000 lb GCWR up a 6% grade while maintaining 65mph for the dually with a gooseneck. The standard trailer hitch will have options starting at 5,000 lbs up to 20,000 lbs. Payload capabilities range from 1,000 – 5,000 lbs.
Atlis also plans to add a bit of tech to their electric pickup truck. Replacing rear view mirrors with screens mounted on both sides of your steering wheel, you’ll have a better view of your surroundings. They also plan on having an adaptive cruise control option and adding advanced autonomous capabilities in the future for the Atlix XT and future projects.
In addition to a truck, Atlis is also looking to enter the infrastructure market with their own charging stations built specifically for electric trucks and EVs with towing needs.
“Today’s charging stations are primarily set up for pull-in, back-out use cases, where the addition of a trailer makes the station unusable or blocks multiple spots or passing traffic. The refueling stations built today have had significant time to solve these concerns, and our charging solution will similarly be a pull-through design to accommodate this need.”
While the current infrastructure market is looking into 350KW chargers, Atlis plans on making theirs a ludicrous 1.5MW. For some perspective, a Tesla Supercharger today is capped at 250KW. Atlis wants their 500 mile ranged trucks to charge from zero to full in just 15 minutes.
For a company with so many promises, they have yet to show any actual numbers. We have yet to see the actual battery capacity, horsepower, torque, or any pricing apart from the base. With the handful of employees and close to no funding, Atlis is nowhere near as prepared as others. But that won’t stop them from trying. The startup recently received $1.07 million in public investment to build their first prototype Atlis truck. If you’re a fan or believe in their future in electric trucks, keep an eye out for their next public offering.
B1 & B2
The new startup Bollinger actually has two electric trucks coming to market. The B2, an electric pickup truck, and the B1, what they call a “Sports Utility Truck”. Bollinger is a small Michigan based company but they don’t see that as a disadvantage. Catering to a very small niche, they definitely have their place in the market.
Both the Bollinger B1 and B2 are extremely rugged and simplified vehicles. These are the electric vehicles for the next generation of Jeep and Hummer lovers. With its massive 120 kWh battery, which is currently larger than anything else on the market, it only gets a 200 mile range. Mostly due to its weight and poor aerodynamics but that’s nothing new to lovers of box shaped vehicles. The typical Bollinger customer won’t go on road trips and instead use these trucks for work or off-roading.
The B1 and B2 both classify as Class 3 Work Trucks and will not have airbags. These electric trucks will be able to haul significant loads with a 5,001 lbs payload capacity, 7,500 lbs tow capacity, and 668 ft-lb torque on the B2. Doors, glass, roof, and seats are all removable making this one of the more versatile vehicles. It’s no question as to why some are calling this the electric Jeep Wrangler. The B2 will have a max bed length of 8’2” with its wall open and rear seats removed.
With its dual motors, 614 hp, and an all-aluminum body, the Bollinger B2 can reach a top speed of 100 mph with a 0-60 of 4.5 seconds.
Being a smaller company, Bollinger is not looking to make their own motors or batteries. Instead, they will off source most components and focus on the assembly and design of their electric trucks. It’s smart for Bollinger to start off small and humble rather than promise the unachievable. A Bollinger B1 release date is scheduled for 2020 with the Bollinger B2 electric pickup to follow shortly after. Due to their simplicity, this truck can very easily enter the European market soon after with a right-hand drive. The Bollinger B1 price was announced recently at an astonishing $125,000, well above the expected price point.
“Rivian’s extremely different than us. It’s more mainstream, more luxury — and that’s great. That’s their market, but it’s not ours.
I’m sure when Tesla comes out with their pickup truck, it’ll be great. But we’re still going to be different. I’m just happy that there are
more electric cars. I applaud them for doing a great job, and I believe that we can co-exist very nicely.”
The Workhorse W-15 will technically be the first electric truck on the market with deliveries set this very year. Although it’s not fully electric, it is a plug-in hybrid truck. It can go 80 miles on all-electric on a 60 kWh battery pack with an additional range extender supplying 310 more driving miles. The range extender, supplied by BMW, is just a gas generator that supplies power to the electric motors. It could possibly go even further on just electricity but 20 kWh are reserved for degradation. That means the manufacturer stated 80 mile electric range should remain the same throughout the majority of this vehicles lifetime.
You probably haven’t heard of Workhorse and their plug-in hybrid truck, and there’s a good reason. Workhorse typically produces trucks and vehicles for fleet use. Think utility companies or UPS. They don’t generally deal with the public. That is until now. Workhorse opened up reservations for their W-15 electric truck last year.
The Workhorse W-15 is nowhere near record breaking with its 5.5 second 0-60 or 80 mph top speed. Its 2,200 lbs max payload and 5,000 lbs tow capacity also don’t stand out against its ICE counterparts for its size but it’s not meant too. These fleet trucks are mostly used for service calls and rarely haul heavy equipment.
Being an electric work truck, you can obviously plug in your equipment into the Workhorse W-15 and its 7.2 kW charger. If you run out of juice, the generator will just kick on. Workhorse is working on a 14-kW module that will be able to power an entire house in case of an outage. The Workhorse truck is basically just a generator on wheels.
You won’t find much tech on this new electric truck. The basics such as lane departure warnings and emergency braking are there but you won’t see any autopilot or self-driving features. The interior looks just like what you’d expect from a truck built for fleet purposes, dull.
The Workhorse W-15 is based off a Chevrolet Silverado but the chassis is fully designed by Workhorse. If you want an electric pickup truck ASAP, deliveries are supposed to begin very soon. The Workhorse electric truck will start at $52,500 with very limited options. It is meant for fleet usage but is available to the public.
After much anticipation, the Tesla truck was finally unveiled in late 2019. Tesla has a long way to go before starting production for their truck. The Tesla truck could possibly be the furthest away on this list, as of today. It is expected to go into production in late 2021 and 2022 for the tri-motor option. Yes, there’s going to be a tr-motor option.
“Well I can’t talk about the details, but it’s gonna be like a really futuristic like cyberpunk, “Blade Runner” pickup truck. It’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be amazing. This will be heart-stopping. It stops my heart. It’s like, oh, it’s great. You know, I actually don’t know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not, but I don’t care. I mean I do care, eventually, you know. Like sure, I care. We wanna get gasoline, diesel pickup trucks off the road. But if I find, like, you know, I’m personally super-excited by this pickup truck. It’s something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. And I’ve been iterating sort of designs with Franz … It’s like I really wanted something that’s like super-futuristic cyberpunk. Which, if it doesn’t … if I’m weirdly like … if there’s only a small number of people that like that truck, I guess we’ll make a more conventional truck in the future. But it’s the thing that I am personally most fired up about. It’s gonna have a lot of titanium.”
And cyberpunk it most definitely was. The design drew up much controversy as many hated it and others loved it. The titanium was dropped for a bullet-proof ultra-hard 30X steel. Along with a proprietary transparent steel “Tesla Glass”, this truck will be one of the most durable vehicles available in the next few years. It’s basically a tank on wheels.
With the prior images and hints we were able to draw up pretty good speculation of what the Tesla truck would be. As it tuns out, most of it was wrong. Most notably, it starts at only $39,900.
|Single Motor RWD||Dual Motor AWD||Tri Motor AWD|
|Tow Capacity||7,500 lbs||10,000 lbs||14,000 lbs|
|Max Payload||3,500 lbs||3,500 lbs||3,500 lbs|
|Range||250 miles||300 miles||500 miles|
|0-60||6.5 seconds||4.5 seconds||2.9 seconds|
While we don’t have exact battery specifications yet, we do have range. The Tesla Cybetruck tops out at a industry leading 500 mile range. Musk did at one point state that the Tesla pickup could possibly go over the current 100 kWh battery packs and this basically verifies that as true. There’s some time between now and the release of the electric truck so battery technology can still drastically improve. EV truck competitor Rivian has stated a 180 kWh battery in their 400 mile range truck.
The new electric truck will have 220V power outlets for work tools, completely replacing the need for generators. It will also be equipped with 110V outlets and a built-in air compressor. It will be made all-wheel drive and have dynamic suspension that adjusts per load.
In terms of size, the Tesla truck is just about the same size as a Ford F150. Like the F150, the Tesla Cybertruck has seating for 6. It’s tow capacity, payload, speed, and range make it the current leading pickup truck overall. The Tesla Cybertruck certainly is a real truck.
|Tesla Cybertruck||Rivian R1T||Ford F150|
|Max Payload||3,500 lbs.||TBA||3,270 lbs.|
|Max Towing||14,000 lbs.||11,000 lbs.||13,200 lbs.|
|Max Range||500+ Miles||400+ Miles||500+ Miles|
|Top Speed||TBA||125 mph||110 mph|
|0-60 mph||2.9 sec.||3.0 sec.||5.1 sec.|
The interior is both modern and sleek. It’s fitted with a horizontal 17″ screen with an all-new interface. The truck is capable of charging at up to 250kWh speeds making the road trips on those 500 miles of range that much easier.
A new Tesla ATV was shown during the unveiling and is set to come as an option for the electric pickup truck itself. A special edition made using recycled steel from SpaceX’s MK-1 is also set as a future option. As for colors, only the standard steel and matte black have been confirmed.
From its own webpage, we can see that a camping option and trailer ill be made available. Like the Rivian R1T, Tesla’s camper option is fit with its own cooktop and built-in tent. Tesla has wasted no time in calling out Ford. A potential Ford vs Tesla competition is in the works.
There’s a reason every name listed here is unrecognizable. The legacy automakers just aren’t pushing any electric trucks yet. You might be asking, why? Trucks take up almost half of all car sales in the U.S. Sure, EV sales are on the rise but truck sales have not been impacted one bit by this.
These new electric truck manufacturers are taking advantage of the open market while the legacy automakers sit back and wait it out. There is no real reason for someone like Ford to enter the market with an electric F150 this early with manufacturing costs this high. As costs come down and demand increases, they’ll enter the market and take it over last minute. The Ford F150 has been the best selling vehicle in America for 35 years straight. Eventually, the electric Ford F150 will take over that title. These manufacturers have no reason to rush into the electric car business as they’ll always have customers.
In one hand, this is slowing down the electric car revolution but in the other, it has given new companies the opportunity to rise and enter this newfound market such as Tesla and Rivian. We don’t expect electric car sales to surpass traditional gasoline anytime soon but numbers are rising. EV sales are at a steady incline and legacy automakers will follow by easing into the new market slowly.
Electric Ford F150
Ford is scheduled to first have a hybrid F150 available by 2020. Rumors have stated that we could see a all electric Ford F150 released shortly after in 2021. The legacy automaker has committed to including an electrified variant of every model produced with 16 coming by 2022.
“Every Ford nameplate from the all-new Ford Focus onwards will include an electrified option. This includes new nameplates and new versions of existing vehicles. From Fiesta to Transit, either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric option will be offered, delivering one of the most encompassing line-ups of electrified options for European customers.”
“We are going to electrifying the F-Series with battery electric and hybrid and we are doing the same for Transit. We launched a PHEV version of Transit and that will be on a journey of electrifying Transit globally.”
Ford has made some important strides in electrification. Namely, a $500 million investment and partnership with Rivian. Additionally, the company has confirmed their intention of building an electric F-150 and have even released a video of a ford electric truck pulling a train.
The legacy automaker is taking their transition into electric cars slowly but surely. The first serious all-electric ford is scheduled to be unveiled on November 17th. Rather than start the journey off with a Ford electric truck, this will be an SUV inspired by Ford’s flagship vehicle, the Mustang. Ford’s sister company, Lincoln, will is set to produce another electric SUV based on this vehicle.
The company has partnered with another automaker making the drastic shift to electric cars, VW. Ford is expecting to sell 600,000 electric vehicles in Europe alone based on VW’s platform in the next six years.
Along with the newfound Rivian partnership, Ford has just about everything they need to enter the market of electric trucks. The automaker is seemingly taking electrification seriously so we expect to see a new Ford electric truck or even an electric F150 hit the streets soon enough.
Ram Electric Truck
The 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque technically has hybrid technology with a small electric motor for adding torque. Dodge has stated no plans to actually produce any electric trucks. They have however announced intention on producing four electric Jeeps running on a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
Chevy Electric Truck
Chevrolet’s parent company, GM, has gone back and forth originally stating no intentions to manufacture electric trucks anytime soon.
“The core business is going to be the core business for a couple of decades to come. There will not be any AV/EV pickups.”
“We intend to build on our truck leadership. And with that in mind I want to address media coverage of the various industry partnerships around battery electric vehicles and trucks. As you know GM has an industry-leading truck franchise and industry-leading electrification capability. I assure you we will not feed our leadership on either front. We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs including full-size pickups. And we will share additional information when competitively appropriate.”