A way to tell your R1Ts from your B2s from your Lightnings.
The best-selling vehicle in America is a truck. It's also the best-selling vehicle in the world. The second and third best-selling vehicles in America are also trucks. Therefore, it's no surprise that the truck market is the next segment both legacy and new automakers are looking to fully electrify. The reason for the wait is technological and frankly, logistical. Trucks are already heavy, and adding batteries makes them heavier, leading to diminishing returns in practical range. Trucks are also expected to work hard, and while electric motors generate a lot of torque instantly, using that consistently eats up range. And, you're not going to convince truck owners to move to electric if the range is going to be a problem when they use their trucks to do truck things, let alone daily things. However, we're getting close to prime time for EV pickups, and it won't be long before the first ones hit the market. Here's the first wave.
Rivian is often misidentified as a startup company, but in reality, it has been building up to the release of its first electric vehicle for over a decade. The development process has been long. Rivian skipped building smaller vehicles and went straight to a truck and SUV based on the same platform. Test drives start in August, and the first deliveries of the Rivian R1T Launch Edition are scheduled for June of 2021. In size, think bigger than a Ford Ranger but smaller than an F-150 and with a range of up 400 miles. Also promised are 750 horsepower and a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. It should start at $67,500 and top out at around $80,000.
Bollinger claims its truck will be "the world's most capable pickup truck," and it certainly looks utilitarian. However, its austere design contradicts its champagne-money base price of $125,000. There's no firm date for production to start, so all we know for now is sometime this year. Bollinger says the B2 generates 614 hp and 668 ft-lb and gets a total range of 200 miles in its dual-motor configuration. The B2 will be available with a six, eight, or 8.2-foot bed with a standard 5,000-pound payload capacity. Its tow capacity is rated at 7,500 pounds.
Inelectrifying the F-150, Ford had to get it exactly right. There's a reason it has been the best-selling truck in America for decades, and Ford can't let its core customers down. The first deliveries of the Lightning are due to begin around this time next year, and the price will range from $39,974 to $52,974 across four trim levels, before destination. The maximum range will be 300 miles, though we recently learned it might get more than 400 miles; it will have a 10,000-pound tow rating and a maximum 2,000-pound payload capacity. As it stands, the F-150 Lightning will be the benchmark for all-purpose trucks, but expect Chevrolet to have something to say about that when it reveals details of the electric Silverado.
Lordstown Motors was held up as a success story by the Trump administration, but it's looking less likely that the Endurance truck will go into production as promised in September of 2021. Currently, the company is under examination over allegations of misleading stock market investors and is looking for "strategic investors," and federal funding to get production started. If a miracle happens, Lordstown says it will deliver the commercial market targeted truck with 600 hp and a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. Even if it does get into production, it still has a base price of $52,500 - around the same price as the F-150 Lightning in its top trim level.
GMC's first all-electric vehicle looks like it's going to be an absolute brute. While more sophisticated in outward appearance than previous Hummer models, it's just as ostentatious in its "look at me!" attitude. It features a Watts To Freedom Mode (WTF Mode) that unleashes the full potential of its 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 lb-ft of torque, all-wheel drivetrain. GMC says the three-motor model can cover over 350 miles on a charge and hit 60 mph in 3 seconds flat. Don't expect to see the Hummer pickup as a work truck, but it does have some serious off-roading ability. It also has a serious price tag. The base model starts at $99,995, and the Edition 1 trim costs $112,595. The Edition 1 model is expected to arrive late in 2021.
Arizona-based Atlis Motor Vehicles grandiosely calls itself a "a start-up mobility technology company," rather than an automaker. It also has some grandiose claims for its upcoming electric truck, the XT. According to Atlis, customers will be able to choose between 300-, 400-, or 500-mile battery packs and the most powerful model will top out with 600 hp and 12,000 lb-ft of torque. Also touted for the truck are a 5,000-pound payload capacity and a fifth-wheel model capable of pulling up to 35,000 pounds. If Atlis hits its production target of early 2022, then the $45,000 base model price point will ensure it's competitively placed in the market.
"We'll make a few deliveries of the Cybertruck in 2021, but volume production is set for next year," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. We'll believe it when we see it. But we've also learned, like many, not to bet against Tesla either. So who knows? If it does ever go into production, Musk promises it will be capable of towing more than 14,000 pound and carrying a 3,500-pound payload. The tri-motor version will do 0-60 mph in a claimed 2.9 seconds, while anything up to 600 miles of range is on the table. If Tesla can deliver a base model with impressive specs for the promised $39,900 base price, we say bring it on. We're just not holding our breath on this one.