Everything You Need to Know About Electric Pickup Trucks
Electric vehicles like coupes, sedans, and SUVs have become a well-established part of the mainstream. Meanwhile, truck buyers nationwide have been left to wonder when they’ll have a chance to get behind the wheel of an all-electric version of their favorite pickup truck.
Fortunately, they won’t have to wait much longer. Beginning in late 2021 and early 2022, a half-dozen automotive companies are set to debut all-electric pickup trucks, with more expected to follow.
Automakers have a long way to go to convince veteran pickup truck drivers that trucks with all-electric motors are capable of the off-road durability, towing capacity, and payload capability that internal-combustion engine pickup trucks have long been known for.
Can pickup truck battery packs handle heavy payloads? Is a full-size pickup truck with an electric motor powerful enough to conquer rough terrain? These are all questions in the minds of drivers as they ponder the purchase of their first all-electric pickup truck.
Read on to explore how electric pickup trucks differ from gasoline-powered trucks and to get a preview of electric pickup truck models set to debut late in 2021 and early next year.
Electric Pickup Trucks vs. Gas-Powered Trucks
Automotive engineers and automotive marketers know they have to do a lot of work to convince veteran pickup truck drivers that the forthcoming all-electric alternatives can do the job that diesel and gasoline-powered trucks can do. Let’s explore some of the major differences between the two.
Just as electric cars are more expensive at the time of their initial purchase, consumers can expect the same for electric pickup trucks. For many years, pickup trucks have had a higher price tag than sedans and SUVs thanks to their popularity, increased capability compared to cars, and a cultural transformation that’s allowed pickup trucks to be considered “family” vehicles.
Vehicles with features like increased cabin space, all-wheel drive capability, and towing power are more expensive to produce, and as such, will cost more at the dealership new or used. Added consumer demand only further inflates those prices.
The starting price of forthcoming all-electric pickup trucks is expected to average approximately $64,079, a figure that will be even higher with additional features such as range-extenders included. Here’s an overview of the cost of the electric pickup trucks covered in this article:
|All-Electric Pickup Truck Model||Expected Starting Cost|
|Ford F-150 Lightning||$39,974|
|Average Starting Cost||$64,079|
Drivers are already familiar with the major difference between electric pickup trucks and gas-powered pickup trucks: their engines.
That said, the fleet of forthcoming all-electric pickup trucks are expected to be as powerful as their gas-powered rivals, complete with similar torque figures, towing capacity, and cargo capability. They’ll even have similar ground clearance to their gas-powered predecessors, despite increased curb weight.
The major difference between the powertrains of all-electric pickup trucks and gas-powered pickup trucks is required maintenance. Without the numerous moving parts found in gas and diesel-powered trucks, electric pickup trucks will require far less maintenance, eliminating oil changes, spark plugs, transmission fluid flushes, and coolant replacement.
That means drivers will have all the power they’re used to without much of the upkeep, and, of course, no fumes.
The drastic fuel efficiency differences between all-electric vehicles and gasoline-powered vehicles is well-known and heavily documented, and electric pickup trucks will be no exception.
The average fuel efficiency of a gas-powered pickup truck is a paltry 19 mpg, according to the EPA.
The list of forthcoming all-electric pickup trucks we’ve surveyed below dwarfs this figure, with an average miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating of 76.73. (This average does not include the Rivian R1T or Tesla Cybertruck, whose MPGe averages have yet to be released by the EPA.)
Nevertheless, an EV truck will of course need to be fueled differently compared to a stop at your corner gas station. Electric pickup truck drivers will need to rely on home charging stations or pay to utilize public charging stations to quell range anxiety and keep their vehicles moving.
And while public charging stations are becoming more and more common, it will likely be difficult to find a fast charging station out in your favorite forest or desert trail. As such, miles of range is something that pickup truck adventurers will have to keep in mind when they make the leap to an all-electric powertrain.
Electric pickup trucks will be designed and constructed far differently than gas-powered pickups, and as a result, will have an interesting range of features that will be new to pickup truck drivers.
Nowhere is this more prominent than in the front trunk, or “frunk,” where drivers can store additional cargo. The fact that the battery packs of forthcoming all-electric pickup trucks lay flat on the vehicle’s chassis leaves a considerable amount of space under the front hood, where loud, exhaust-fuming engines used to sit in their gas-powered counterparts.
Removable roofs, other in-truck storage locations, on-board kitchens, diagonal driving, and fold-out workstations are just a few of the other cool features automotive engineers have chosen to occupy the newfound real estate that all-electric motors have.
Forthcoming Electric Pickup Trucks
Late 2021 and 2022 is expected to be a banner year for the debut of all-electric pickup trucks. Car companies from across the world, from established brands to newly developed startups, have thrown their hat in the all-electric pickup truck ring. Here are a few all-electric pickups that you can expect to become commonplace on roads across the U.S. soon.
Base cost: $125,000
Towing capacity: 7,500 pounds
Fuel efficiency: 70.2 MPGe
Bollinger is a startup automaker located in Oak Park, Michigan. The brand’s B2 pickup is an all-electric, all-wheel drive vehicle with an all-aluminum body.
With a 15-inch ground clearance, a 5,001-pound payload capacity and a 7,500-pound towing capacity, the Bollinger B2 is expected to be one tough customer when it comes to both off-road and commercial-grade use.
Features like removable rear seats will help expand the truck’s interior cargo space, while a removable windshield and flip-down rear wall will provide additional cabin room.
Ford F-150 Lightning
Base cost: $39,974
Towing capacity: 10,000 pounds
Fuel efficiency: 85 MPGe
Ford is the first major American automotive brand to enter the all-electric pickup truck fray, with competitors like Chevrolet/General Motors not expected to be far behind.
The F-150 Lightning backs all of the hauling and towing muscle traditionally found in gas-powered versions of the popular pickup truck with a variety of new features as well.
Equipment upgrades allow the truck to be utilized as a home power generator when power goes out. There’s also a digital on-board scale that can accurately measure payload weight.
Towing capacity: 7,500 pounds
Fuel efficiency: 75 MPGe
Lordstown Motors is another American startup entry into the all-electric vehicle industry. Located in Lordstown, Ohio, their Endurance pickup truck is expected to make its debut in late 2021.
With an estimated 600 horsepower and a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds, critics expect the Endurance to get the job done capably without much of the style and extra features that are expected from its class competition.
Safety is a priority in the design of the Lordstown Endurance. Its engine is expected to have a software-governed top speed of 80 mph.
Base cost: $67,500
Towing capacity: 11,000 pounds
Fuel efficiency: Not yet available
The Rivian R1T has been available on the market since 2020 and caters to outdoor enthusiasts. Despite its sporty flair, the Rivian R1T is also a more-than-capable pickup, featuring a zero-to-60 time of three seconds and a water wading depth of over 3 feet.
Accessories are the name of the game with the Rivian R1T, with optional gear such as bed tents, onboard kitchens, and a variety of storage compartments offered as optional features.
Base Cost: $39,500
Towing capacity: 7,500 pounds
Fuel efficiency: Not yet available
The Tesla Cybertruck is perhaps the most well-known of the rookie class of all-electric pickup trucks, thanks to the notoriety of Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk and the truck’s head-turning, futuristic design.
The angular body is constructed of cold-rolled stainless steel skin which is impervious to rust and intended to act as a safety shell for passenger protection. Available with both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, the Cybertruck can be pre-ordered now with the first models expected to be delivered in late 2021.
Keep on Truckin’
While it’s been quite a wait, the future is bright for pickup truck drivers eager to take advantage of the many perks of choosing an all-electric vehicle. And while the entry-level price point for these and other all-electric pickups are expected to remain high, drivers should remember that these vehicles will be eligible for a variety of state and federal tax incentive programs for new electric vehicle purchases which can help them reduce their initial investment.