The pickup truck market is about to explode this decade with most models, if not all of them, ditching their conventional engines for a cheap to run, torquey, maintenance-free and emissions-free electric powertrains. The Tesla Cybertruck may have well sparked a new generation of pickups and in this story we investigate the 6 upcoming electric pickup trucks that you will be able to buy within a few years.
Late 2022 launch – 3,500 lbs (1,587 kg) payload
As far as being a game-changer is concerned, the Tesla Cybertruck takes the cake and runs off into the horizon. It’s the most polarising new car launch in the current age since cars like the Pontiac Aztec, Chrysler PT Cruiser and the Hummers, with a design that probably would’ve only required a ruler to sketch.
Not only is it unique on the outside, but the promised power figures obliterate anything stock with a pickup bed on the back. In the most performance-oriented version with tri electric motors, the Cybertruck can do 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds. It can also be had with a single motor and dual motor to bring the price tag down. In its most efficient trim, the Cybertruck is claimed to exceed 500 miles on a single charge, with lower models able to do over 250 miles.
In November, of 2019, Elon Musk had announced on Twitter that Tesla had received 250,000 Cybertruck pre-orders. According to Fossbytes.com, a fan sourced data tracker places the reservations above the 1.25 million mark. 47.9 per cent of these orders come for the dual motor variant and 44.8 percent for the tri motor variant. The single motor Cybertruck received only 7.3 per cent of the orders. 73.2 percent of the orders also come with the Full Self Drive option.
Though initially it was thought that the Cybertruck could be had in different colours, it seems a distant possibility. Elon Musk has tweeted that the truck will have to be wrapped for different colours and patterns if customers seek individualization. Musk has confirmed that the Cybertruck will have the exact same dimensions as what was shown at the premiere in 2019. The prototype was 5885 mm long, 2027 mm wide and 1905 mm tall.
In the Q2 2020 earnings call on 22 July, Musk confirmed that the company would build a new Gigafactory in Texas. Drone footage, taken by Jeff Roberts, of the site showcases a fair amount of progress on the factory which is starting to look more and more like the render that was showcased. The site is located near Austin, 5 minutes from Austin National Airport and 15 minutes from the state capital’s downtown area. Built on a space spreading about 2,000 acres right by the Colorado River, it will manufacture the Cybertruck and the Semi and handle production of the Model 3 and Model Y for sale in the Eastern half of North America.
The Tesla Cybertruck deliveries were supposed to begin as early as late 2021. However, Musk recently pointed out that if the truck were to go on sale now, it would ‘literally’ cost $1 million. The launch will take place sometime in 2022 now, with the dual-motor and/or tri-motor variant(s) getting top priority. The single-motor variant is expected to enter production in late 2022. It is said on twitter.com that Tesla employees will be the first customers of the Tesla Cybertruck.
Early 2022 launch – 800 kg (1,763 lbs) payload
Given that the Cybertruck has generated more criticism than fandom, other more ‘subtle’ electric pickup trucks have started to gain traction. One of them is the R1T from American electric startup Rivian, which made its debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show. Pricing for the Rivian R1T is starts at $67,500 and could reach over six figures if you option everything. Reservations on the top-end Launch Edition however are already full. Sales were scheduled to begin in 2020 originally but more specifically, Rivian now expects the R1T Launch Edition deliveries to begin in September, 2021 with the Adventure and Explorer Editions arriving in January, 2022. Citing RivianForums.com user skyote, a report from CarBuzz.com on 7 August 2020 said that around 30,000 units have been reserved already. What we know right now, however, is that the Launch Edition has already been fully booked and ready for launch in September, 2021.
As standard, the Rivian R1T will have 200 hp electric motors on each wheel, but the battery pack sizes will vary: 105kWh, 135kWh and 180kWh. The top-end 180kWh is claimed to do 0-60 km/hr in 3.2 seconds and can cover 400+ miles on a single charge. With 750 horsepower and plenty of torque at disposal, the Rivian R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds. Like the Rivian R1S, it has an air suspension and offers up to 14 inches of ground clearance.
With electric AWD, tough styling and plenty of torque to boot, the Rivian hopes that its off-roadability will be one of the R1T’s USP. The vehicle also comes with a camp kitchen!