Electric Trucks Explored: From Pickup Trucks To Cybertrucks
There’s no denying the power of pickup trucks, but electric trucks are built different (literally). Like electric SUVs and other cars, there’s a demand for electric pickup trucks — or any type of electric vehicle, to be completely honest.
Multiple electric trucks are currently in development, with most of them due to release at some point this year. In other words, it’s never been a better time to bone up on your electric truck knowledge.
Moreover, the competition in the pickup EV lane is heating up, with automakers like Ford, Chevrolet, Fisker and Nissan all getting in on the action.
You’ve probably heard of Tesla’s Cybertruck already, but what would this exploration in electric trucks be if we only focused on one vehicle?
Today we’ll be looking at electric trucks in full — covering everything from standard pickup trucks to those spaceship-like Cybertrucks you keep hearing about.
We’ll also be looking at the benefits of owning a pickup truck to emphasise the advantages of owning an electric version. After all, they perform a little better from what we’ve been told than their combustion engine counterpart.
The First Electric Pickup Trucks
Both Ford and Chevrolet released Ford produced electric trucks in the 90s. However, you don’t hear about them a lot due to their failures to outsell or outperform standard versions of similar trucks.
In short, EV tech wasn’t nearly as advanced back then as it is in the present day. Interest in EV wasn’t nearly as prominent as it is today, either.
Still, it’s fun to talk about, as people think that the upcoming Rivian R1T will be the first electric truck to market, which simply isn’t true. Unless you mean all-electric truck, that is.
Anyway, the first electric pickup truck was the Chevrolet S-10 EV released back in 1997 — followed closely by the Ford Ranger EV (1998). Both made it to the public but would later pull production; Chevrolet in 1998 and Ford in 2002.
So what caused their downfall specifically? The Ford Ranger EV suffered from battery heating issues during bouts of warm weather. The Chevrolet S-10, on the other hand, suffered due to dismal sales, selling only 60 of 492 built.
Despite their shortcomings, Ford and Chevrolet will soon come out with brand new electric pickup trucks; ironically, around the same time. The Ford F-150 EV (2022) and Chevrolet Silverado EV (2022) are all but guarantee to succeed.
Ford F-150 EV
The updated, greener F-150 is said to be one of the most powerful Ford vehicles to date. You might remember the video where it towed 10 double-decker rail cars, weighing in at 1 million lbs total (allegedly).
All we know right now is the release date — that being 2022 — and the fact that it will come with dual motors. Visually, it shares similarities with other Ford vehicles, so don’t go expecting something crazy (cough, Cybertruck, cough).
Chevrolet Silverado EV
We know slightly more about the Chevrolet Silverado EV. We know that it can drive over 400 miles on a single charge as an all-electric pickup truck; talk about impressive. The Silverado EV will take advantage of General Motor’s novel Ultium battery technology — hence the milage.
Other vehicles showcasing this technology include the GMC Hummer EV SUC and Hummer SUT. Expect to hear more about these electric pickup trucks as time goes on.
We’ll know how Ford and Chevrolet fare against the Tesla’s and Rivian’s of the world once they announce a price point. After all, a cheaper option could prove beneficial in the long run.
Expect Multiple Electric Pickup Trucks This Year
The year is 2021, and we have a lot to get excited about, mainly when it comes to electric trucks. Many companies will look to make up for poor sales last year, which could very well happen given the quality of some EVs we’ll touch on.
Understand that, right now, no electric pickup trucks are available; they’re all in development, waiting for the green light. Some will only enter production stages this year, with a 2022 delivery date in place.
Here is a quick list of electric pickup trucks due to launch in 2021 (in no particular order):
- Rivian R1T
- Tesla Cybertruck
- Lordstown Endurance (production only)
- GMC Hummer EV
- Bollinger B2 (production only)
Quick disclaimer: Covid could still change the release date for some of the vehicles shown below; it’s difficult to say at this point.
The US will be the first country to launch certain electric trucks. Why is that? Short answer: a lot more Americans drive pickups or require electric pickup trucks over places like the UK.
Besides, the US has over 7,000,000 battery-powered vehicles on the road, making sense to launch there first to create as much buzz as possible.
We know why a lot of you are reading this. You want to know, “when does the Tesla Cybertruck come out?”
We’ll refrain from giving you an answer for now, as we’re going to cover the Cybertruck in a moment. We’ll also look at other electric trucks you might find on a road near you very soon.
The General Benefits of Owning a Pickup Truck
Owning a pickup truck is like owning a pack camel, except you don’t feel as bad having it lug around a lot of weight. These vehicles are built to handle the slack, turning any heavy-duty task into a light breeze (depending on what you’re hauling, that is).
Standard pickups separate the bed and cab of the truck, allowing the chassis to be a lot more flexible. This leads to some pretty unique designs, designs that are exclusive to these types of vehicles. In other words, owning a pickup separates yourself from other drivers in both the visual and practical department.
To recap, the general benefits of owning a pickup include:
- They’re versatile, allowing you to haul heavy objects from point A to point B.
- Pickups are built for safety, with frames made out of strong metals to handle any situation.
- Designs are unique to pickups, adding to the overall strength of the vehicle.
These vehicles are incredibly versatile, perfect for a weekend adventure or towing something heavy. Electric trucks are like Swiss army knives in vehicle form, capable of going the extra mile whilst simultaneously performing other tasks. So, with that in mind, just how different are electric trucks in comparison?
The Untapped Power of Electric Trucks
In this section, we’ll be breaking down why electric trucks are receiving such a push from leading brands and what makes them so unique, to begin with.
As you know, electric vehicles are a lot easier to maintain as they have fewer moving parts internally. The lack of an internal combustion engine drives down the costs of keeping it maintained.
No need to pay for standard fuel is a big help too.
Yes, the up-front cost might be steep, but electric vehicles are an investment in the future. So, where do electric pickup trucks fit in with all this?
Well, pickup trucks are incredibly popular in the US and in the UK to a lesser extent, meaning there would always be interest from a select crop of people.
The outlined electric trucks we’ve seen all display high towing values and appear solid and reliable. Some electric trucks are designed to work off-road too, which only adds to their appeal.
We should also highlight the high torque power of electric vehicles. Most EVS — including electric trucks — can go from 0-60 mph in mere seconds. In fact, the Tesla Cybertruck is said to do that in 2.9 seconds, which is nearly as fast as other electric cars in their inventory!
Now we know speed isn’t an essential requirement for a pickup, but you can’t deny how impressive that is.
Pickup trucks heading in the same direction as electric SUVs and cars was inevitable — filling that heavy-duty vehicle spot perfectly in the electric vehicle market.
Remember, 2021 is the year of the electric truck, with multiple vehicles set to launch. Coming out of the gate first will be the Rivian R1T, with deliveries set for June of this year.
Electric Trucks Explored
As stated, multiple electric trucks are on the cusp, ready to launch in the next few months/years. In this section, we’ll be rounding up a couple to share with you.
You might have heard of these electric pickup trucks before. Some you could call a rival to Tesla’s Cybertruck. Not every contender is a household name either; you’ll find many startups are coming for the throne.
Multiple automakers have announced their intent on crafting an electric pickup in the future, so expect the number of electric trucks to grow in the next few years.
Again, release dates will vary depending on where you live in the world. Americans, you’re the lucky ones; you can get your hands on these electric trucks before the rest of us.
© Credit to Rivian
Release Date: June 2021
Tow Capacity: Up to 11,000 lbs
Electric Range: 250 to 400 miles
The first electric truck on our list here is also the first out of the gate full stop, due to release in June. American startup Rivian has made it their mission to develop an all-electric truck with a lot of functionality; this is where the R1T comes into play.
Multiple versions of this electric truck are coming, a 400-plus mile version and a cheaper 250-mile version later down the line. There will be three versions available to buyers initially, each ranging in price. The cheapest is valued at $67,500 (£47,700), and the highest at $75,000 (£53,000).
The R1T can, apparently, go from 0 to 60mph in 3.0 seconds — as long as you purchase the 180 kWh battery version; that’s nearly as good as most electric sports cars for reference. Inside you’ll find a spacious cabin capable of fitting five adults easily.
With all that said, there’s no better electric pickup truck to kick things off than the Rivian R1T.
© Credit to Tesla
Release Date: 2021 (no date set as of yet)
Tow Capacity: Up to 14,000 lbs
Electric Range: 300 to 500 miles
You knew it was coming. Tesla’s Cybertruck is rewriting what we know about electric pickup trucks already, and it’s not even out yet. It’s one of the most powerful electric pickup trucks there is; then again, what did you expect from a Tesla?
Visually, the Cybertruck looks like a mix between the DeLorean and a 3D puzzle from the future. It’s dent-proof, scratchproof and bulletproof, apparently; we don’t talk about the broken window.
This EV can tow up to 14,000 lbs, travelling up to 500 miles on a single charge. Performance-wise, the Cybertruck can go from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds — similar to the R1T.
Will the Tesla Cybertruck defy all expectations when it comes out? We think so. Still, it will take some getting used to seeing an electric pickup truck like this out in the open.
GMC Hummer EV
Release Date: Late 2021 (no date set as of yet)
Tow Capacity: Unknown
Electric Range: Up to 350 miles
Hailed as “the world’s first all-electric super truck,” the GMC Hummer EV will look to provide healthy competition to the Cybertruck and R1T. Hummer’s boxy style makes a return here; only this electric pickup truck is of the sustainable variety.
As mentioned above, the GMC Hummer EV will use General Motor’s Ultium drive powertrain, utilising three motors built into two drive units. The GMC Hummer EV will have four-wheel-drive — able to travel more than 350 miles on a single charge.
Moreover, the Hummer EV has something known as a “Crab Walk” mode, which allows it to travel diagonally at low speeds. It also comes with 18 camera views — some are actually fitted underneath the truck.
It goes without saying, but this isn’t your standard Hummer — this is an electric truck full of surprises. The Hummer EV will be made in General Motor’s Hamtramck factory in Detroit, believed by many to be the capital of automobiles.
Release Date: 2022 (no date set as of yet)
Tow Capacity: 7,500 lbs
Electric Range: Up to 250 miles
It might not be as powerful as some of the other electric trucks shown, but what it lacks in spec, it certainly makes up for in other areas. Try not to write this off as another electric pretender. After all, the Endurance will be one of the cheapest electric trucks out when released, with its base price set at $52,500 (£37,000).
The top speed of the Lordstown Endurance is around the 80 mph mark, taking around 10 hours to charge the 109 kWh battery by 80%. It’s quite a powerful pickup; it only seems lower when comparing it to some of the other electric trucks above.
This EV an all-electric pickup truck capable of travelling over 250+ miles on each charge. Covid has caused the production of the Endurance to stall multiple times.
Right now, the first Endurance is expected to hit the assembly line this fall, with deliveries going out next year.
Release Date: 2022 (no date set as of yet)
Tow Capacity: 7,500 lbs
Electric Range: Up to 200 miles
Looking for something that could go up against the Cybertruck from looks alone? Meet the Bollinger B2, the King Kong to Tesla’s Godzilla. It’s a lot less angular, but it’s still a beast, known as “the world most capable pickup truck.”
It shares a few similarities with the B1 SUV, like in price and battery capacity (120 kWh). Both will set you back $125,000 (£88,400), making it one of the more expensive options for buyers.
There is a 20-inch gap between you and the ground when inside the Bollinger B2. So if you’re afraid of heights, you might want to pick another electric pickup truck.
The range is a little on the lower side at 200 miles per charge — especially when you consider the fact that it comes with a 120 kWh battery. It does, however, come with 614 horsepower and 668 ft-lb of torque. In other words, it’s a juggernaut that cares more about strength than stamina.
In Short: Electric Trucks Explored: From Pickup Trucks to Cybertrucks
The future of electric pickup trucks looks incredibly bright. We can easily see these types of EVs having the same, if not greater, success than electric SUVs, which are praised by many for being the ideal transport vehicle, the perfect balance between space and power.
You need only look at the Tesla Cybertruck to see how different electric SUVs genuinely are compared to electric trucks. Which you choose will come down to personal preferences at the end of the day.
Remember, electric pickups are sturdy as hell, built for heavy-duty tasks.
As a buyer, you’re going to have so many options when it comes to trucks in the next few years; it’s almost frightening. Car brands like Ford, Chevrolet and Hummer have already gotten involved, so don’t be too surprised when more enter the electric pickup game.
We know, it’s hard to say at this point in time which will lead the charge, but all signs point to the Tesla Cybertruck.
Electric Pickup Trucks FAQs
Still have a question on electric pickup trucks that we haven’t covered yet? Maybe this final section could help. Here we’ll be picking up on your frequently asked questions.
What will be the cheapest electric truck available?
Surprisingly, Tesla’s Cybertruck is believed to be the cheapest electric pickup when it’s released. You see, the Cybertruck will have multiple prices depending on the version you choose, with the cheapest priced at $39,900 (£27,600). Still, this remains to be seen. Tesla could increase the price whenever they wanted to really.
Is towing capacity stronger with electric trucks?
We’ve seen many claim their cars can tow up to 35,000 lbs — and in some cases, 1 million lbs — but it’s difficult to decipher what is fact and what is clever marketing. We tend to believe in realistic towing capacities, like anything slightly above 12,000 lbs. Remember, a lot of the stats you see are estimates; they aren’t fact, not yet.
Why choose an electric truck over an electric SUV?
From what we’ve been told, electric trucks have a lot more power than standard electric SUVs. Tow capacity is higher, and it’s safer to drive. However, no one truly knows how these EVs will perform until they’re out and driven by members of the public.
What will be the first electric truck for sale?
Rivian and their R1T will, hopefully, be the first company to launch an electric pickup. This vehicle will fit the all-electric archetype, with the ability to travel up to 400 miles per charge — depending on the version you choose.