The truck wars are escalating, but it’s no longer a battle among the Detroit Three. A new crop of pickups are coming, and they’re all electric. Many new automakers are entering the space, vying for a piece of the lucrative pie. Here are six electric trucks on the horizon.
One of the most highly anticipated all-electric trucks is Tesla Inc.‘s unconventional Cybertruck. It’ll be available in three versions: a single-motor rear-wheel-drive model (with 402 kilometres of electric range and 3,402 kilograms of towing capacity), a dual-motor all-wheel-drive (with 482 km of range and 4,536 kg towing capacity), and a tri-motor AWD (804 km range, 6,350 kg towing capacity) that can go from zero-to-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds. It’ll have adjustable air suspension with up to 16 inches of ground clearance.
Prices range from US$39,900 to US$69,900. (Add another US$7,000 for the self-driving technology). Canadian prices haven’t been announced yet, but you can reserve one for $150. And the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t appeared to hamper sales. According to the Cybertruck Owners Club, more than 713,000 Cybertrucks have been preordered since its launch on Nov. 21, 2019.
Production is still on track, beginning in late 2021 for the AWD versions, followed by the RWD in late 2022.
One of the most expensive electric trucks comes from a new player, Michigan-based upstart Bollinger Motors LLC. For a newcomer, the all-electric B2 pickup doesn’t come cheap – it’s priced at US$125,000. And it’s pretty barebones, with few safety and convenience features. But it’s functional, with foldable and removable body panels, including the doors, windows and windshield and roof, as well as a “frunk” – front trunk – with 244 litres of space. The bed length extends from 6 feet to 8 feet and 2 inches by removing the rear cab wall and the rear seats, so you can carry up to 16-foot-long cargo in its full-length centre pass-through.
Dual electric motors produce 614 horsepower and 688 lb.-ft. of torque, which will enable it to tow 3,402 kilograms and carry a payload of up to 2,268 kg. Range isn’t the longest – only about 322 kilometres.
Production is set for later this year, founder and CEO Robert Bollinger says. “We are on track at Bollinger Motors. Some of our vendors are delayed, and we are still working with them to get back on track. Some delay may happen, but we’re still hoping it’s minor.”
Another new player in the electric vehicle (EV) truck segment is Rivian. The American startup’s truck, designed to be an adventurer’s dream, is called the R1T.
Three battery-pack options are available, with ranges from 370 to 644 kilometres. The fully loaded top model with the largest-capacity battery pack (180 kilowatts) has up to 750 hp and can tow up to 4,990 kilograms. From zero, it’ll hit 100 km/h in three seconds. Inside, it’s luxurious. It seats five passengers, has a trunk in the front, 340 litres of lockable storage to hide valuables, and a flexible crossbar system that expands and collapses so you can mount gear on the roof, the truck bed or the bed floor. For off-roading, it has adjustable air suspension and can wade through water more than 3 feet deep.
Rivian was aiming to be the first EV truck to go to market later this year, but it’s now delayed to 2021. Production will start with the 180 kWh R1T model, followed by the other two trims in late 2022 and early 2023. Prices start at US$69,000.
Arizona startup Nikola Corp. recently unveiled its Badger truck. It’ll be available as either a battery-electric or a hydrogen fuel-cell pickup, designed to go head-to-head against the Ford F-150.
Built for the construction site, the hydrogen fuel-cell truck is expected to have 906 hp and 980 lb.-ft. of torque, a 965-km range, towing capacity of 3,629 kilograms, and a 0-100 km/h time of about 2.9 seconds.
Despite COVID-19 and the recent drop in auto and EV sales in North America, the company is still moving forward quickly; it’s opening up online reservations for its hydrogen-powered Badger on June 29. Prices haven’t been announced yet.
The publicly traded company plans to roll out the battery version in 2021, followed by the fuel cell in 2023. But that may be ambitious, since the company hasn’t even finished building its factory in Coolidge, Ariz.
GMC Hummer EV SUT
Here’s a blast from the past – the Hummer. GM is resurrecting the legendary nameplate under its GMC brand. While details are still sketchy, the all-electric pickup is expected to have up to 1,000 hp and 11,500 lb.-ft. of torque, according to GM.
It’ll have an open-air design so you can remove the four roof panels and front T-bar for a convertible-like feel.
It’s expected to launch in late 2021 as a 2022 model and arrive in Canada in the fall of 2022. “GM has been focused on manufacturing efforts to assist in the fight against COVID-19 while also dedicated to maintaining the development of this important product on schedule, with as little impact as possible. We expect little to no delays on development and launch timing,” says GM Canada’s product communications manager, Michelle Burnham.
Prices will be announced closer to the launch date.
Ford F-150 Electric
Ford is going electric with Canada’s best-selling pickup truck, the F-150.
The F-150 Electric pickup will arrive in “mid-2022,” Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer, said in a recent interview on CNBC. There aren’t many details available on the truck yet, but it’s expected to be built in-house and roll off the line with the current gas-powered F-150.
A new F-150, in gas and hybrid versions, is set to debut virtually on June 25, 2020. The electric F-150 will follow within 24 months. Prices will be revealed closer to the launch date.
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