When hearing the words pickup truck, most tend to envision a large-bodied vehicle with a big loud engine that guzzles gas or diesel. From when EVs first entered mainstream production to 2023 and beyond, the technology that has gone into them has made them serious contenders when compared to combustion or hybrid engine vehicles.
As the damage to the environment has become more apparent governments and organizations have pushed for those automakers to make more fuel-efficient vehicles. What better way to do that than removing the emissions entirely? That is one of the largest long-term benefits of EVs is their lack of harmful emissions caused by the combustion process.
Pickups have always had a specific connection in the minds of many. Those large vehicles with powerful engines were needed to carry, pull, or haul heavy loads, sometimes cross-country. Smaller, less powerful engines just couldn’t keep up with the pressure that was being put on them. Traditionally, pickup trucks have needed large, very powerful engines, and most people associate combustion engines with that level of torque.
When many think of an EV they envision a small car meant for urban city driving, not large vehicles that have always been associated with the rugged outdoors. As the batteries and electrical components improved, electric vehicles are now able to handle the loads that the traditional combustion engine once solely controlled. From landscaping to construction to recreation, we see electric pickups fulfilling their role every day.
What Are the Benefits of Electric Vehicles?
Beyond the savings that come from no longer needing to purchase fuel, there are many other benefits to transitioning to an electric pickup truck.
In years past the biggest concern was battery life but as the batteries themselves got better, consumers can now plug in their vehicles at home and charge them while doing other things. With how widespread EVs have become, more and more recharging stations are appearing, often in the same lot as the gas stations that service combustion engines. Keeping the batteries charged isn’t a concern that it used to be. As the market expands, this will push the competition to make even better EVs.
Electric vehicles are much simpler to maintain because there are fewer moving parts. Gone are the days of oil changes, and diagnosing a problem is even simpler when mechanics can simply plug the vehicle into a computer to see what may be wrong. Electric vehicles are also less prone to breakdowns, since there are not as many components that wear out. This also improves the longevity of EVs, which means their resale value is higher than combustion engines, making them a great investment for when you upgrade to a newer model.
Some electric vehicles are eligible for up to $7,500 in tax rebates when it comes time to file in the United States. In 2023, this will include most electric vehicles and will not be limited by the number of vehicles sold, as it has been until then. Granted, buyers have to wait until they file their taxes to see the benefits of these tax credits, but they are a way of giving back to those who choose electric engines.
What Electric Pickup Trucks Are Out There?
When discussing electric pickup trucks, towing capacity is always something to consider as the extra weight can affect how far a single charge takes you. The weight of the load, the distance being traveled and the terrain you’re traveling over will all influence the overall range of the charge. This drop-off in efficiency also affects traditional combustion and hybrid motors. All of these factors should go to determine if a vehicle is the right one.
Ford F-150 Lightning
In many ways, this vehicle is an electric version of the F-150 that has been produced for many years. It is quickly becoming the standard for EV pickups. With different model options available to fit nearly any budget, the F-150 EV sports the brand’s distinctive exterior and has a standard range of 230 miles with an available upgrade to 320 miles. Its electric motors offer almost instant power to the wheels, offering 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque.
It boasts so much power from its electric motors that one of its prototype models pulled an estimated million pounds of train cars down a track. With a payload of 2,000 pounds and the ability to tow up to 10,000 pounds, the Ford F-150 Lightning can work in almost every environment or job.
Chevrolet Silverado EV
Chevy’s answer to the F-150 is the electric version of one of their most popular pickup trucks, the Silverado. There will be multiple models when it becomes available. The base Work Truck model will have 510 HP and options go all the way up to 664 HP in the RST model. With a towing capacity of up to 10,000 pounds and haul of up to 1,300 pounds, it will be a solid work truck with a range of up to 400 miles. With many different models, the Silverado EV will be able to fit nearly any budget.
After being discontinued in 2010, the Hummer is back with a new powerful electric version to compete with the other big names in the market. With a deeper focus on the rugged outdoors aspect of pickups, the Hummer EV is carving a niche for itself. It ranges up to 325 miles depending on the selected battery, with up to 1,000 horsepower by three electric motors. A brand new crab mode that allows the vehicle to travel sideways with adjustable suspension makes this a great choice for those looking to truly take their vehicle off the beaten path.
A startup company in California, Rivian is making large strides in the electric pickup market. It was the first company to put an electric pickup into production. Unlike many other models, the Rivian is powered by 4 motors at each wheel. It also has an independent suspension system of both hydraulics and air giving it ground clearance between 8 and 14 inches. With all these factors, the Rivian R1T has a max towing capacity of 11,000 pounds and a max payload of 1,760 pounds. A range of 250 to 400 miles depending on the type of battery selected gives it the distance and power to handle most challenges that can be thrown at it.
While the release of the Tesla Cybertruck has been delayed again until sometime in early 2023, it has made many claims that if proven to be true makes it a serious contender in the electric pickup market. From what is known about the range, depending on the battery selected it will be between 250 miles to 500 miles. Tesla has reported that the Cybertruck will have the ability to carry 3,500 pounds of cargo and tow up to 14,000 pounds. Three versions are reported to be slated for release as well. Tesla has not yet released official pricing on the Cybertruck, but there will be a less expensive single-motor version available at a later time.
GMC Sierra EV
A beautifully crafted electric vehicle, the GMC Sierra is offering quite a bit in such a handsome package. Considered a higher version of the Silverado, the Sierra is a competitive vehicle in the market even with its estimated price. The Sierra will feature 754 horsepower and 785 pound-feet of torque. With a range of up to 400 miles and the ability to tow up to 9,000 pounds, the Sierra will be a good-looking but high-performing EV. It also features a midgate that will extend the bed to provide 9 feet of storage. Similar to the Hummer EV, the Sierra will be able to crab walk.
Lordstown Motors, since announcing the release of the Endurance as being the first to be produced, has since changed gears as other companies released their models first. They shifted their strategy to be focused more on the commercial vehicles with an eye toward fleets of trucks instead of the individual consumer market. Using 4 in-wheel motors for propulsion provides 600 horsepower with a range of 250 miles being able to tow up to 7,500 pounds.
Produced by another California startup company, the Alpha Motor Company intends to release the Wolf as a smaller but no less powerful pickup EV. There will be two configurations available: the front-wheel drive single motor or the dual motor all-wheel drive. The Wolf promises to be able to tow up to 3,000 pounds with a range of 250 to 275 miles. With two seats, the pickup comes in at only 188 inches making it one of the most compact pickup EVs out there.
Atlis Motor Vehicles produces the XT pickup and it boasts many impressive stats. Battery packs will come in 300, 400, and 500-mile configurations. With its wheel and suspension design, it is estimated to be a heavy hauler, being able to pull up to 35,000 pounds. A payload of up to 5,000 pounds makes the XT one of the biggest EV pickups that will be on the market when it is available for purchase. With the three models offering different options this heavy lifter is still available to many budget ranges.
Pickups of the Future
There are many other electric pickups that are coming out within the next few years and few details have been released about them. Many of the companies are still in the design phase and gathering from consumers the features they’d like to see on future EVs. The Dodge Ram is expected to be released as an electric vehicle with Nissan and Toyota looking to release new models within the next few years.
The silent revolution has come and by the looks of it, is here to stay. As technology continues to improve, those companies will continue to innovate releasing newer models with better, cleaner technology. Many manufacturers are also Integrating systems that link to our modern digital world, providing navigation, data, and entertainment streaming into the cabs of future vehicles. As the methods used to make this relatively new technology become less expensive, the vehicles will come down in price. Even now there is an electric pickup that will be available to nearly any budget.