In 2018 the top 3 pickup truck manufacturers sold a combined 2 million trucks in the US according to this report on vehicles sales. With such a large slice of the new vehicle sale pie, it’s no wonder electric truck manufacturers are popping up and hoping to join the party. Ford’s F-series of trucks, American’s perennial best selling vehicle, sold over 230,000 vehicles in the second quarter of 2019 alone; and they carried an average price of $47,500. Those numbers don’t include heavy duty trucks. By some accounts, nearly 1 million heavy trucks were sold in 2018 alone.
Battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, are fully electric vehicles powered by batteries, usually lithium-ion. Fans of EVs love their quiet power and lack of gasoline. When done right, a BEV can also have a tremendous amount of power and torque. Both of these attributes bode well for trucks. For small and large businesses alike, fueling costs for fleets represents a required but hard-to-estimate budget item. Municipal fleets, in particular, may desire the lessened environmental impacts of going electric. Fleets may also have the ability to install and utilize level 2 chargers overnight. The parcel shipping industry, forever changed by online shopping, could easily benefit from quiet vehicles with lower fuel costs. Even individuals who choose to own pickup trucks may see great benefits to going electric.
So who makes or intends to make electric trucks?
Perhaps the most well known of the electric truck manufacturers starting up right now, Rivian is now taking preorders for their R1T pickup truck and R1S full-sized SUV. The R1T pickup truck boasts up to 400 miles of range, a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds and up to 750 horsepower. At 217 inches long and 79 inches wide, the RT1 measures right in between the length of the 2020 Ford F-150 Limited’s 6.5 and 8′ box options.
Let’s ride. pic.twitter.com/XRc5Yh3j4d
— Rivian (@Rivian) August 5, 2019
Earlier this year, Ford announced a $500 million investment in Rivian. This partnership aims to deliver an all-new Ford BEV that Ford will build using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform. It also teased a video of a prototype electric F-150 towing 10 double-decker rail cars and 42 F-150 trucks. Linda Zhang, chief engineer of the F-150, has shared that Ford’s research indicates that customers are interested in an electrified full-sized pickup.
Bollinger hopes to bring “the world’s most capable sport utility truck” to market with its B1 utility truck. With a utilitarian, if not glamorous design, this truck aims to be the last truck you’ll ever need to buy. At 89 inches wide and 171.5 inches long, the Bollinger is quite different than even Rivian’s R1S SUV and evokes thoughts of military equipment. Bollinger’s B2 is a pickup truck and lists various bed length options. Like Rivian’s preorder, reserving a Bollinger will cost $1,000. Indivuals and businesses looking to save on fuel costs by going electric might want to skip this one, as they are expected to have an MSRP of $125,000.
Oh, hey. pic.twitter.com/bWjAhzSE2A
— Bollinger Motors (@bollingermotors) November 14, 2019
GM President Mark Reuss reportedly said at the UBS Global Industrials and Transportation Conference that “We will have a complete electric lineup, including a pickup truck that’s in development.” The Chevy Silverado is the second best-selling pickup in America, so it’s no surprise GM is getting in on the electric vehicle game. With experience producing the Volt and Bolt, GM may just have an edge over Ford in this arena. Little else is known about their truck offering, including specs, prices or timelines.
We are less than one week away from Tesla’s pickup truck unveiling event. In fact, Tesla recently registered the names CYBERTRUCK and CYBRTRK with the US Patent and Trademark Office. This hopefully means that the truck will start production soon and that we’ll be made aware of price, specs and production timeline. CEO and Twitter favorite Elon Musk has already tweeted that the truck will have dual motor all wheel drive, crazy torque and suspension that will dynamically adjust for load – standard. He also mentioned the ability to power tools all day in the field, without the use of a generator. Most notably, he’s hinted that its looks will be Blade Runner Cyberpunk and not for everyone. The below tweet includes the first teaser image of the truck. During a podcast in June, Elon Musk mentioned that the company hopes to be able to deliver a really great truck for under $50,000. There will surely be many variants are higher prices, possibly substantially higher. Range and performance variants will matter.
About a minute in, we flashed a teaser pic of Tesla cyberpunk truck pic.twitter.com/hLsGsdyuGA
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 16, 2019
Rivian hopes to deliver its first vehicle in late 2020. It also has high hopes of having six vehicle models on sale by 2025.
While I’ve found no timeline for a Ford electric pickup, nor official word that the Rivian partnership will be used for it, I can bet it will create instant buzz. The chief engineer has gone on record recently and saying the truck will go on sale “in a few years.”
Bollinger expects first deliveries to be in the United States some time in 2021. Like Ford, GM has no published timeline for its electric truck offerings. At the Tesla unveiling event next week, we expect to learn when it will start production.
The How Much
Although details from the electric truck manufacturers are scant at this point in time, I’ve rounded up what little info I could on starting price:
- Rivian R1T – $69,000
- Rivian R1S – $72,500
- Ford F-150 – TBD
- Bollinger B1/B2 – $125,000
- GM – TBD
- Tesla – $50,000 (mentioned but not confirmed)
Ready or not, here they come. Electric trucks are in our future. Exactly which truck reigns supreme is still a mystery but my hope is that by 2022, there will be several to choose from. They’ll all have a lot to prove including range, towing capacity and utility. I for one am excited to see how they stack up.