Tesla first said it had an electric pickup truck coming. Then start-up company Rivian stole the spotlight with its R1T concept. Ford confirmed there’s an electric F-150 in the pipeline. Finally, GM said it too has an electric pickup on the horizon.
That’s a lot of movement for a segment that, analysts said, shows little evidence of demand. The Detroit Free Press reported on the sudden boom in electric pickup trucks in a Saturday report, but there is no clear signal flocks of buyers will be ready to trade in their traditional workhorses for electric ones.
Perhaps the main reason automakers want to tell the world about electric trucks is the fear of being left behind—a case of “covering the bases,” so to speak. If automakers fail to develop the vehicle, someone else could take the spotlight, and no one does trucks like General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler.
That “someone” so far has been Rivian. The Detroit-based start-up company promises to deliver an electric pickup truck based on its R1T concept as early as next year. The truck, in top spec, will provide 400 miles of range and plenty of power. That’s crucial since pickup owners want their vehicles to do everything: haul, go off-road, take the kids to school, and often double as a luxury rig.
U.S. automakers may also see electric pickups as the clear ticket to grow electric vehicle sales in general. Americans aren’t so much swayed into compact vehicles, which form the basis of the majority of EVs on sale today. However, a no-compromises electric truck might have a better chance in the U.S.
We don’t know when the first legacy automaker will be ready to sell an electric pickup, but when it comes, it could transform how the U.S. views electric vehicles. Or, Rivian will have that honor all to itself for a few years.
Sean is a lead staff writer for GM Authority. The words above are fueled by passion and large amounts of caffeine. Find him on Instagram: @helloimseann
I think offering Fully Electric Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban/Escalade would find quicker acceptance in the market especially of they can achieve 300+ mile range and still offer all wheel drive option. pickups will eventually come as soon as businesses buying fleets start to reap the savings of Electricity over Gas/Diesel
Metropolitan delivery/service is where you’ll see electric trucks, they can’t be used in agricultural/rural construction where 3/4 and 1ton trucks are used. Until the infrastructure (20 years from now) is in place you’re not going to see a major interest in electric vehicles period. Even now metropolitan areas are the only place ev cars are having success. Here in rural TN there are 8 charging stands, I go by them several times a week and have never seen an ev plugged into one. Plus you mention the advantage of ev over ICE, governments are all ready devising ways to get the missing fuel taxes, here in TN you all ready pay $100 more than normal for your tag.
Trump announced that GM sold its Lordstown plant last week to an electric truck maker (can you say Workhorse). What are they waiting on? Release the PR and let’s get the ball rolling GM! R&D savings alone will make the partnership a goldmine.
Workhorse only employs 220 people, that plant had over 2000, going to be a lot of echoing in that plant.
As of May 28, 2019 GM was still in discussions with potential buyer(s). I’m sure there are a lot of people interested in this facility again becoming a productive part of the city, county and the state of Ohio. But I’ll wait for a “sold the property release” from the current owner, GM!
To be honest I was hopefully GM would have sold that plant to Tesla. Tesla would have been able to keep that factory running. That Town desperately needed a bigger manufacturer there than some Startup that might now last. They need the jobs in Lordstown badly from all reports.
You have one of questionable future funding for new products with dropping stock prices and another that is only on paper.
I’m thinking that the Lordstown Plant will not become another automotive manufacturing site. The capacity in the U.S. for automotive manufacturing is much larger than the volumes being produced and/or sold. When looking at how business and individuals have responded to the financial crisis of 2007/2008; layoffs, downsizing in the main stream manufacturing areas, increased use of automation, major reductions in the retail business, more small business startups, etc., it is hard to imagine adding to automotive capacities, regardless of Powertrains. When reviewing the detail of our historically low unemployment, you will find the additions to the workforce are not in the well-paying automotive manufacturing arena, Union or non-Union.
Bob, the sale of the Lordstown plant is woven into the EV trucks article and many comments tied to the article. Specifically, the potential buyers have been identified with EV truck manufacturing. My remarks were addressed to the current over capacity in the U.S. automotive landscape, which I believe includes the making of trucks, regardless of powertrain. Sorry if I didn’t focus on the pros and cons of an EV truck.
The only setback was that Elon Musk wasn’t having it when it came to Unionized Workers being in his company.
As far as to who would want an EV pickup, I would say a lot of Fleet companies. Once EV Trucks hit the market and Fleet companies see what they will be capable of, it might be Game Over for the ICE Truck Fleet Sales. We Americans love Pickup Trucks so why would anyone think there will be no market for EV versions? Makes zero sense.
are these EV trucks going to make the fleet companies more money? if not, it makes zero sense to switch.
Very true. But if the Pre Orders of the Tesla Semi shows us it is that EV Trucks will save Fleets money. I am sure the Tesla pickup will first go after regular Truck consumers and then move towards the Fleet community.
I have been saying this all along as truck owners just do not easily fit the demo forEV products yet or early adopters.
#4 during travel business or private they do not like stopping longer than they already do or leave to look for a charging station.
#6 no appeal to the off road drivers. No charging out on the trail. Also aspects of water and shaking on the electronics off road.
#7 fleet sales would be of interest but not till prices come down. Little savings short term most companies look for.
The two areas where these would do best. Higher priced CUV and SUV models in image brands. Hence we already see it at Jaguar and more to come. A Cadillac Escalade like vehicle would be where I would start.
I fit into all of these 7 categories. To be honest, If an auto maker were to come out with a diesel hybrid model, I would look into it…but most likely I would just buy a plain old diesel.
Being a business owner as well, we run our trucks until it costs too much to repair ’em (usually around 200k miles), not to mention even our “runner” truck has to be an HD due to the occasional heavy load it tows/hauls. That truck does happen to run on CNG however (we try to be somewhat green. LOL). Most fleets use trucks for a reason: the payload. Finally, the number 1 factor in almost every fleet buyers list is price. Why would I buy a 34k electric truck, when I could get a base model F150 for 28?
Where do you think you’ll find a 34K ev truck? The Rivian is projected at 75K and that’s a 1/2T. You know the manufacturers aren’t going to produce work trucks for at least 2-3 years after introduction.
EV’s are NOT being sold strictly to Environmentally concerned consumers. A Hybrid is not the same as an EV. Never has been. Zero money for the crazy amount of fuel they purchase every year can be saved so it financially makes sense. So Pickup Truck Drivers don’t stop for fuel or to eat something? My Cousin does sooooo I don’t understand that. Charging Infrastructure is growing at a rapid pace. Why would there be no appeal to Offroaders? They can use the onboard Battery Pack to power their things. Fleet sales of the Semi Truck prove that an EV make sense in bigger scale. Why do you think Big City Buses are going Battery Power?
No but most EV buyers at this point are more green leaning. Many trucks have a Ram decal peeing on a Prius.
Hybrid truck are a step in the EV direction and cost more. Most have failed miserably. EVs are even more expensive and more different than the norm. That is not a good thing in the segment to the demographic.
Most drivers just keep rolling. Few want to stop and wait 8 hours in Duck WV to slow charge because there are charge stations with in hours of the interstate. Not even many gas stations either.
If you go off roading and you deplete the battery you are stuck. And din’t Give me that you will have a spare battery pack. What if you Ford a river and water gets into the motor or electronics? What about the shaking and bouncing taking out electronics.
City busses are going EV due to government spending. That is why I pointed out postal trucks as a good place to start. As for companies it could take a couple gens to see a return on EV models due to the high purchase prices now. Once they come down they become more viable. Companies want to see the return now not years from now.yes the save on fuel but it still takes time to pay off the additional cost.
I have Six close friends that own two Model 3’s and the other four are two S and X Models. Four of them are Staunch Republicans that do NOT believe in Global warming at all nor could care less to hear about it, the other two are Progressives. They all purchased a Tesla because in each of those Segments they felt they were by far the best car for their money and no other vehicle in that price came close for them. I totally agree with them and as I have stated prior I will be getting a Model 3 myself after my GM lease is up in 9 months. I was going to get the new VW GTI next year but I will spend the extra money for the Model 3. Once I drove the Dual Motor Model 3 it was over for anything else for me. People have to stop thinking that EV consumers are the so called Tree Huggers. That might have been the case years ago but that all changed when Tesla came to town. People now chose Tesla simply because they view them as the best. It really is that simply.
I hear you on the stopping for charging but be honest right now, how often will you drive more than 300/400 Miles in one sitting? The Rivian pickup will have a huge Pack that will go 435 Miles in one charge. You will stop at least once to eat right? So what will change if you’re simply charging your vehicle while you eat? As of right now you go eat and then you have to get out of your vehicle once again to pump Gas. At least with an EV you get out only once. LOL Remember your vehicle will be charged every single morning when you wake up right in your Driveway/Garage so not sure how many times Super Chargers will be utilized for most people.
As far as offroading is concerned. I do not know how many hours someone offroads at one time. I have done it once in a Range Rover and we were out for about two hours. The place we went to did not advise us to carry extra fuel or even broach the subject. I cannot answer your question about running out of juice while out on the trail. But what do you do if you run out of Fuel? Does everyone carry extra fuel? I am not an expert in that field. A few Offroading channels on You Tube I have watched are geeking out to get their hands on the Rivian Truck as they can do crazy things with it that an ICE vehicle cannot handle offroading. Their words not mine. Has to do with wheel torque.
EV Pickup Trucks are coming. I personally feel that a lot of Truck owners love the height, power, torque, and utility for many segments. I feel very confident an EV Pickup Truck will be a leader on all those fields. EV’s on a job site will be huge. ICE will not be able to compete. ICE cannot compete on Torque with an EV. So if you tow why would you not chose an EV? So I honestly have no idea what a Truck lover will dislike. I am open to hearing views as I am not a Pickup Truck owner.
I think Tesla has a chance to become a huge Auto Manufacturer if their upcoming Pickup resonates with consumers. It is after all the biggest Vehicle Segment but as we all know vert Brand Specific. I think Tesla will first snag sales from Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan. But maybe Sierra Denali owners later on. After they see what a Tesla has to offer. Denali drivers per statistics tend to be different Truck consumers. We shall see.
I hear your comments and you make some valid points, if you go to you tube look up TFL car about their Tesla tests, they speak of the good, the bad, and the ugly(they wrecked it). They spoke about charging rates and the different times. If you own a high rate charger it doesn’t take but about 6 hrs, if you’re charging with an extension cord it’s about 2 days. They also compared it with a Prius and it did better in the comparison trip. As for towing with an EV truck, since everything that happens in an EV runs off the battery (ac,heater,windshield wipers, lights, etc.) if you’re in an extreme climate everything you’re using shortens battery life, now for the towing, if you’re towing anything but a small utility trailer, the gas mileage drops to about half so the same thing is going to happen to an EV. If you’re driving a truck with a 300 mile range pulling a heavy load, such as a camper or large boat your mileage is reduced to 150 miles less what your HVAC is using. Like you said you’re not a truck owner so you don’t know all the physics involved, it all looks good on paper and in the commercials, all the journalists testing these vehicles almost have to speak well of the product or the manufacturer won’t send them vehicles to write about in the future.
I like TFL too. The thing with an EV Pickup Truck is that it will fit/support a much Bigger Battery Pack. Look at startup Rivian, their optional Pack I believe gives you 425 Miles. The Tesla Semi does over 500 Miles. I am not stating that every single Pickup Driver will gladly give up their ICE for an EV right away, I am just stating that an EV Pickup Truck will be superior in some aspects for a lot of Truck owners. It will take a while for them to learn that probably though. That is why I stated if the Tesla Pickup ever becomes mainstream, Tesla will become a Huge Auto manufacturer.
The problem you are out side the normal view. Most people are not excited by Tesla other than a passing interest.
Also for many a EV is a vehicle that requires them to change 5heir life style. That will eventually change but not yet.
I like the Tesla S but each and every vehicle since to me has been a let down. For the money paid I would rather wait till the price comes down to where you get a better value.
The 3 models I have been in are really not all that exciting for $40k plus. Plain interior, a green house that is bulbous and a nose with no soul. I know I am not alone here. Not even an aluminum body like the S.
As for now they need money to get the next CUV out. Then it needs to produce the revenue for the Truck or what ever the decide to do. They really need to refresh the S as it is the real income model and it is old and sales are declining,
Some areas also will be better for EV than others. California and AZ will be strong but here in the fly over States especially the cold states with limited charging.
Some people see this as a glass half full or empty. In your case you seeing a full glass with yet so much needed and proven yet.
I agree. Not stating that an EV Pickup will replace the ICE ones anytime soon. Just stating that it will eventually and I hope and Pray that Barra and GM have a plan.
You make the discussion against EV trucks yourself with your examples, off-roaders won’t be using the built-in power because they don’t want to walk home and leave their expensive toy in the woods. City buses are going electric because they never leave the CITY. Commercial trucking companies running LTL (Less Than Truckload) freight where they travel less than 300 miles per day returning back to their terminal each day could use them, but the truck load carriers running 600-700 miles per day in one direction and not returning to their terminal until who knows when(some are gone for several months at a time before returning home) would not use EVs. Maybe 20 years from now when infrastructure is in place nationwide I have no doubt EVs will be all over the country, but until that time you will see many years of traditional vehicles on the road. By that time you’ll see several options for different types of fuel.
Well Drivers have E-logs so they are NOT driving 700 miles per day. There are laws in place. Hence why Tesla Semi makes perfect sense for Carriers. It will save them Toooooooooons of money. Oh and do you know how often Semi’s break down? A lot. EV’s hardly do. Carriers cannot wait for their orders of their Semi Trucks to come in. Have you also noticed other Semi makers are now showing EV versions as well?
Not sure what a Bus in a city has anything to do with the point I made. Buses do not go off road. So that makes you think that an EV cannot be built specifically to go offroad? A regular Colorado isn’t especially great at offroading correct? So Chevy built a Specified offroading version. Are you stating EV makers will not be able to do the same? The Rivian Pickup can go 3 feet deep in water. That is pretty impressive is it not?
Semi trucks rarely break down. Almost all are powered by I6 diesel engines that can go 100,00’s of thousands of miles in a lifespan.
its a lot easier and quicker to get some diesel fuel or some DEF on the side of that road than to wait 6 hours for a charge.
Semi Trucks Break Down All the time. Just because a Semi can go a Million miles does not mean they do not break down. Oh and when they do, it is NOT cheap. Talk to Carriers and ask them if they are sick and tired of the costly repair bills.
I think EV trucks might work for commercial users first as there can be quite a financial benifit. For example, if a company has a fleet of work vehicles that go out each morning on routes that, say, don’t exceed 80 miles, a battery powered fleet of trucks would work. Fuel costs would be lower by charging overnight with cheap electricity. Reliability and life span would be better by eliminating the ICE and transmission. The key point is these trucks would be really cheap to operate, but they must be used in a very limited scope in regards to range and weight.
In contrast, the ordinary pickup used may in reality drive a relatively empty truck a few miles back and forth to work each day. So one would think an electric truck would be perfect but I think there are a number of reasons why this used may not be interested. Here’s a few.
– There’s a lot of hype being thrown out, much of it sounding unbelivable. I think people want to wait to see if these new manufactures can deliver. A lot of these claims should be toned down a bit to reflect what the truck can do when it is used as a truck, i.e. what can it do when fully loaded.
– People buy pickups not for their mundane daily use, but for things they love to do like camping, off roading, etc. Right now it is pretty difficult to envision how an electric truck could realistically satisfy these needs. In particular is the issue of recharging, I don’t believe manufactures have adequately explained how long range travel with heavy loads can be accommodated now, or in the foreseeable future.
– Among a lot of people, particularly pickup drivers, the thought of an electric truck clashes with their self image as strong independent people. To them, an electric truck is an overgrown golf cart, better suited for low cost, low utilization operation than a real truck. Electric truck makers will have to dispel this notion if they want to be sucessful.
The one thing I keep reading in all these posts about EVs is the low cost of charging at night when the rates are lower. How long do you think the rates are going to be low at night when there are hundreds of thousands or millions of EVs charging at night. It will be no different than gasoline companies raising the price of gasoline before each holiday or the beginning of vacation season. What are the environmental concerns when the batteries wear out, what about when one gets totaled out, you can’t just junk it, the batteries have to be recycled, that costs money,
For a very long time actually. Renewable energy is now cheaper than Coal. We are building more and more renewable Energy sites. So it will be the same. Oh and Tesla is allowing these Grids to store unusable energy for when they need to release it. Things never stay the same. For a simple comparison think about how many devices you had to have like in the year 2000. A Compact CD Player DVD Player Landline phone (Some Might Still utilize though) A Camcorder A Photo Camera A laptop A PC Computer I am sure I am forgetting some but today you simply have an iPhone. That is it. Oh and our Bill is actually cheaper today than it ever has been with pretty much unlimited everything. Technology simply advances. So that always means prices drop. So no worries about off peak charging at all.
My concern is the long term reliability and costs. I have ZERO interest in these trucks and will not buy one. But, I would be very concerned about replacement parts and battery costs from these things once your warranty is gone. My wife and I have been leasing our vehicles for the past 15 years so we are always have a warranty. This is new technology that has not been proven long term. Short term, maybe. But not long term. I love my V-8 trucks and muscle cars. They can go force these things down someone else’s throat!
Well if we are to believe GM they have stated they’ve only had to swap out a battery pack from the Volt like three times so far under Warranty. That is in almost 9 years. That is not bad at all. And for us that lease, who really cares. We will always be under Warranty.
Its not even a pickup truck. Its like a toy or something! Its not a work truck, and it will never be one. Stick to internal combustion!
The point is that we won’t have a choice. Every Auto Maker is going Full EV. So I just want GM to lead.
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We all have are doubts about elec. trucks. Will Rivian put those doubts to rest? Dont know but Ford and Amazon have spoken. Gm and Tesla have been all talk. Rivian is taking deposits on its truck and SUV. Yes it is costly, yes it is new to most consumers. I own and manitain a small fleet of truks and cost is everything. We need to address the cost and performance of all 1/2 & 3/4 ton work trucks & cargo vans. Most of my fleet travels less than 50 miles per day. Yes I am interested in elec. trucks but the cost/ value is not there. The bells and whistls are great but we need reliaable products that can take a beating and be repaired by average mechanics. I would love a 0 to 60 mph truck in 4 seconds but at what exspense? What is the Rivian warranty? Does it cover off road abuse??
I may be completely wrong here just my opinion. I think Ford, GM, and Ram will be the leader in the work Trcks and Fleet EV Pickup field and Tesla and Rivian will most likely go after the Denali like crowd in the pickup market at least in the beginning.
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