The era of EV pickup trucks is about to begin.
Last week, Ford made the surprise announcement that it’s teaming up with US start-up company Rivian to produce an all-electric pickup. The news came as a blow to General Motors, as the automaker was previously in talks with Rivian to jointly develop their own electric pickup, but the deal fell through as GM reportedly wanted exclusivity.
Rivian, on the other hand, wants to make EVs for other companies and is already working with Amazon as part of a $700-million investment in addition to Ford. Now, General Motors has confirmed it will make its own electric pickup truck to rival the upcoming electric Ford F-150 and Rivian R1T.
The announcement was made during the company’s financial results call, where CEO Mary Barra confirmed that "electric full-size pickups" are part of the automaker’s future plans. Unfortunately, no further details were provided, so it remains to be seen whether GM’s electric truck will be badged as a Chevrolet, GMC, or an entirely new EV brand. What we do know, however, is that it will face some tough competition.
Unveiled at the 2018 LA Auto Show, the Rivian R1T rides on the company’s innovative skateboard platform that will also underpin Ford’s future electric pickup. When the production version goes on sale in late 2020, it will boast a combined output of 754 hp and 826 lb-ft of torque thanks to four 197-hp electric motors on each wheel. 0-62 mph takes just three seconds, while 100 mph takes less than seven seconds.
Impressively, the launch model includes a 135-kWh battery pack delivering a driving range of 300 miles. Upgrading to a 180-kWh battery increases the range to 400 miles, while a lighter, short-range model with a 105-kWh battery pack will arrive around a year later. Meanwhile, Tesla is also preparing to unleash an electric pickup. No details have been released yet, but we can probably expect it to have some extreme specifications.