6 game-changing electric pickup trucks WORTH waiting for [Update]

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.

Tesla Cybertruck

Late 2022 launch – 3,500 lbs (1,587 kg) payload

Tesla Cybertruck

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.

Prices for the Tesla Cybertruck start from $39,900 and goes till $69,900. The single motor variant has a base price of $39,900 while the dual motor and tri motor variants start from $49,900 and $69,900 respectively. And if you think $69,900 is a bit too much for a pick-up, you aren’t keeping up. Tesla will be launching the top end variant first and it is reported that fewer customers are inquiring about the low-end variants.

The average transaction price of the Cybertruck, according to a report by CybertruckTalk.com, will be $62,554. The report was based on data collected from over 1,800 members to estimate the price. CybertruckTalk.com has stated that most of the reservations have opted for the variants with Full Self-Driving options (FSD) that costs an additional $10,000.

Elon Musk has tweeted that there will be a Plaid variant for the Cybertruck apart from the already confirmed Model S and Model X Plaid variants, with the Plaid Model S expected to be launched later this year. The Plaid Cybertruck could follow two directions – the greater possibility is an extreme off-roader topped-off with knobby off-road tyres, a winch, higher ground clearance and a beefier suspension; another version is a street-performance truck with a lowered body and sticky wide tyres.

Along with the Tesla Cybertruck, Tesla could introduce Supercharger V4. In December 2016, Musk hinted 350 kW+ peak charging rate for Supercharger V3 on twitter.com. However, when Supercharger V3 came out in March 2019, the peak charging rate turned out to be 250 kW. At the pickup truck’s unveiling event, the company confirmed that it will allow charging at 250 kW+ peak charging rate. It is possible that those 350 kW+ chargers will debut as Supercharger V4 and this model will support it.

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.

Rivian R1T

Early 2022 launch – 800 kg (1,763 lbs) payload

Rivian R1T front three quarters

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!

Video: Rivian/Youtube

In a video, Rivian shows the R1T’s skateboard chassis getting assembled at the plant. The company said that teams are working hard, some onsite, some from home; many areas in the plant have people working in two shifts. It had started bringing in all the equipment for manufacturing the new electric pickup truck.

Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 launch – 2,000 lbs (907 kg) payload

2021 Ford F-150 Lightning
F-150 Lightning will offer 11 electric outlets on their higher-spec trims allowing for the use of powertools and straight out of the trucks batteries. (Image: Ford)

One of Ford’s best-selling pickup trucks, the F-150 has been completely electrified into the F-150 Lightning. Unveiled in May, the F-150 Lightning, as Ford themselves say, is a battery on wheels.

Meant for the people who use the pickup for what it really is, F-150 Lightning will offer 11 power outlets on their higher-spec trims. This will allow for the use of powertools and straight out of the trucks batteries. Speaking of, the F-150 will also be available with an extended range battery pack. This, Ford says, will allow you to power even your home for up to three days or 10 if electricity is rationed.

Back in 2020, Ford released a video showcasing the upcoming electric F-150’s towing capability by getting a prototype to haul one million pounds of train carriages. Given that the F-150 is a household name in the U.S, an electric version with a big lump of power, quick sprint times and a long electric range of at least over 300 miles will attract big attention.

And it has too. According to Ford, there are already 120,000 reservations made for the F-150 Lightning. And at an expected starting price of $39,974 for the base variant, the F-150 will not that much more expensive than the Tesla. The top-spec variant on the other hand is expected to start at $90,474.

GMC Hummer EV Truck

Late-2021 launch

Aside from looking like a futuristic version of the Hummer, the truck is packed to the brim with features that give more function over form. (Image GMC)

Hummer is back to set the record straight. The gas guzzler isn’t going anywhere although the gas is. The GMC Hummer EV Truck prototype was only just unveiled and it immediately captured interest from around the world.

Aside from looking like a futuristic version of the Hummer, the truck is packed to the brim with features that give more function over form. For that matter, Hummers were never beautiful looking vehicles to begin. However, the big boxes could bull doze through a forest trail just as well as it would on city streets.

The EV Truck in contrast, at least does show some kind of appeal to it. In terms of moving capability however, the Hummer is expected to be powered by a motor that pushes out 1,000 hp and a 0-60 time of just three seconds. All of that also translates to its range with GM estimating at least 350 miles on a single charge. It is also expected to get 800V DC fast charging capabilities with a 10-minute charge allowing for 100 miles in range.

The Hummer EV Truck is all set to launch in the coming months at $112,595. However, keep in mind that this will be the Edition 1. Subsequently, every year, a cheaper variant will be launched all the way from an EV3X in 2022 to an EV2 in 2024 foregoing most of the offroading capabilities and getting a base price of $79,995.

The new Hummer pickup gets a small bed and double cab, removable Targa tops that can be stored in the front trunk and squarish styling heavily influenced by the old H2 and H3. The Hummer EV will be based on GM’s third-gen EV architecture with a lot of flexibility for different configurations.

The video released by the company shows various details of the GMC Hummer pickup like its U-shaped tow hooks at the front, the headlamp assembly, front fog lamp housing (located below the headlamps in the middle section of the front bumper), the front trunk, etc. The front trunk is visibly huge and will probably accommodate several full-size suitcases. Unlike in many other EVs, it isn’t just a small storage place to keep groceries or a school backpack.

2022 Hummer electric pickup features

  • ‘Adrenaline’ mode
  • ‘Crab’ mode
  • ‘Super Fast’ charging
  • Next-gen Super Cruise
  • Modular Sky Panels
  • Ultra-vision cameras

General Motors has announced that the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, which will produce the Hummer electric models and other EVs, will be powered completely by renewable energy by 2023. GM has partnered with DTE Energy to source 500,000 MWh of solar energy and this along with 300,000 MWh of wind energy the company already purchased in 2019 will be sued to power GM’s facilities in Southeast Michigan. Production of the Hummer EV Pickup will begin in fall 2021.

Chevrolet Silverado EV

2022 launch

Chevrolet Silverado EV front teaser
Chevrolet Silverado teaser used as a representation. (Image: GM)

Another one of America’s favourites, the Chevrolet Silverado will also go electric, in 2022. The Chevrolet Silverado EV will share the third-gen Global EV platform with the GMC Hummer EV, but it will have a relatively conventional design and lower-end specs for an economical pricing. GM may offer two motors and AWD as standard and two different Ultium battery pack options. It is targeting a range of over 400 miles.

The Silverado EV will come in both fleet and consumer variants, and its prices should start at around USD 40,000. GM has confirmed that its optional features will include rear-axle steering.

Ram 1500 EV

2024 launch

RAM 1500 teaser
Ram says the 1500 EV will exceed customer’s expectations and promises to offer more on everything that its competitors are currently promising. (Image: YouTube/Stellantis)

This one isn’t due in the market for at least another three years, but the Ram 1500 will be worth the wait. For now, there are only speculations and preliminary promises. It will ride on the STLA Frame platform, and so, it should come with battery pack options with an energy content of anywhere between 159 and 200+ kWh. Stellantis has confirmed that STLA Frame EVs will be able to deliver a range of up to 800 km or 500 miles.

Ram hasn’t given specifics on anything for that matter, but they do say that the 1500 EV will exceed customer’s expectations and promises to offer more on everything that its competitors are currently promising. With the 1500 EV coming out so late, RAM will easily be able to build on what the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Cybertruck lack when they launch. The 1500 EV should get towing abilities of up to 10,000 lbs and also boast autonomous driving capabilities.