On November 21st, Elon Musk unveiled the Cybertruck in front of a frenzied crowd at the Tesla Design Center in California.
Never had so much attention been paid to a pickup, let alone an electric.
The chief gimmick of the presentation saw Musk invite his lead designer to throw a steel ball at one of the truck’s windows, which are supposed to be ‘unbreakable’. The window smashed, Musk cursed, another throw was ordered. A second window smashed.
The world was atwitter, literally, though for a different reason. Part DeLorean, part half-rendered video game graphic, the Cybertruck seems made to be memed. It simply looks outrageous.
For all the hoopla, you might think Tesla is the only company bringing an electric pickup to market. In fact, it is not. Here are five other battery-powered pickups on the horizon…
Electric Ford F-150
The Ford F150 is the world’s best-selling pickup truck, which makes the news of an electric version at least as exciting as an Elon Musk tweet. The closest we have to a release date is sometime in 2021, though even that is speculation. According to Car and Driver, the wait is deliberate. Many Americans still need to be convinced that a zero-emission powertrain can do the burly things expected of a truck, like towing and driving in snow. Ford's global director for electrification, Ted Cannis, will play the role of educator until the electric F150 is understood.
GM Electric Pickup Truck
GM CEO Mary Barra announced his company’s intention to produce an electric pickup on the same day as Tesla’ Cybertruck pageantry. It cannot be said that any thunder was stolen. Nevertheless, GM entering this particular section of the EV market is a big deal. GM’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are both candidates for electrification to compete with the big rigs, while the Chevrolet Colorado is fit for battery power in the midsize range. Reports suggest GM is looking toward fall 2021 to enter the fray.
Rivian’s cool because it’s a startup and therefore doesn’t have to consider the legacy cost of existing customer taste. It also calls its chassis a ‘skateboard’. In just a decade, the company has catapulted itself into pole position of the electric pickup race. Its R1T truck is slated for release in late 2020, and the future is even brighter beyond. Earlier this year, Ford announced it will invest $500 in Rivian. The company plans to use Rivian’s battery, electric drivetrain, and the electrical architecture for future Ford EVs.
Bollinger Motors has essentially created a Land Rover Defender with more corners and an electric battery. Recording 614 horsepower with 668 lb-ft of torque, the B2 hits hardest on the wallet: $125,000, not including airbags. (It is not possible to order one with airbags). And while its 200 miles of range won’t turn heads, this truck is first and foremost meant to be enjoyed off-road. The Michigan-based startup plans to start production on its electric pickup truck in the second half of 2020 with deliveries beginning a year later.
The Atlis XT is many things that other trucks on this list are not: normal-looking, affordable, and ready to go. All rumours considered, the XT would be the first electric pickup on the market, in 2020. It comes with a manageable $45,000 price tag and all the capabilities expected of a modern truck: a towing capacity up to 35,000 pounds, an eight-foot bed, and plenty of configurations. Plus up to 500 miles of range on a 15-minute charge.