It seems that when it comes to EVs, electric trucks are the last frontier. While Ford and Chevrolet have introduced one-off models or prototypes of electric pickups, a few newer automakers have beaten them to the punch with production-ready—or near-ready—models. We take a closer look at the entrants in the startup truck wars.
The Electric Truck Contenders
Three startup automakers are looking to win the hearts and wallets of consumers: Bollinger Motors, a Detroit-based company showing its B2; Rivian, which created a buzz last year with a prototype of its R1T; and Tesla, which will debut its Cybertruck on November 21.
Bollinger’s B2 is likely to be the most exclusive of the bunch. Only 1,500 will be made in the first year with a price tag of $125,000. It’s got an all-aluminum body and electric powertrain that can deliver 614 horsepower and 668 pound-feet of torque. Bollinger says this engine can tow 7,500 pounds and has a payload of 5,000 pounds—but several outlets have noted that its primary use will be for off-roading, so its speed is capped at 100 mph and range is limited to 200 miles.
One cool feature is a pass-through that extends from the front grille through the cabin into the bed. But look inside and you’ll notice it lacks an infotainment system, which many shoppers have come to expect in new cars.
The R1T, with its rounded corners, elongated headlights, and futuristic tech, is a stylistic polar opposite of the B2. Rivian says the R1T will be able to make 754 horsepower and travel 400 miles. Its storage cubby—found behind the cabin—is best for snowboards or skis. Inside, it features a digital dashboard behind the steering wheel and a large, horizontal infotainment screen.
The R1T is set to go on sale in 2021. Its starting price will be just over half the price of a B2, at $69,000.
Details are sparse right now about Tesla’s electric truck. Musk has said the truck will have 400-500 miles of range, can seat six, and will start at $49,000. If Tesla is able to accomplish this, the Cybertruck will be the most affordable option for an electric pickup.
These startups face big challenges in getting their vehicles in front of consumers: Tesla has previously had problems sticking with deadlines, and neither Bollinger nor Rivian have established dealer networks.
Established Automakers Make EV Truck Plans
It’s not just startups that are developing electric trucks. Earlier this year, Ford debuted an all-electric pickup that can tow 1,000,000 pounds. While the automaker admits the production version of this vehicle won’t have that capability, it showcases how Ford is thinking about electric trucks. We could see an electric version of the F-150 as soon as 2021.
And recently at SEMA, Chevrolet introduced the all-electric E-10. The company’s press release suggests it can make 450 horsepower. And unlike the newcomers, the E-10 uses the entire bed for the truck’s battery. It also offers a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds. However, it’s worth noting that we may never see a production-ready model of this vehicle.
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