Rivian's R1T pickup is due for release in June, 2021

Electric Pickups Are Here… Almost

It was only a couple of years back that that the common perception was that electic pickups (utes in Australian) would never carry the required loads over any distance. Then Ford made a slick video showing a prototype EV F-150 towing a double-decker, 10-car freight train filled with 42 other F-150s.

Since then we’ve seen other videos showing potential competitors towing other large and heavy ‘things’ – think a Boeing 747.

Ford puts it's electric F-150 on show pulling a loaded train
Ford puts it’s electric F-150 on show pulling a loaded train

Not wanting to spoil the illusion but sticking with the facts, it’s really not a hard trick to tow something very big over a smooth, low friction surface. You just need to get past the initial inertia and then it’s all downhill so to speak.

Regardless, these vidoes have smashed through those erroneous EV perceptions about limited functionality. And of course, Mr Showman (Elon Musk), has pretty much single-handedly generated hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for the upcoming Cybertruck!

In a recent survey of American buyers, Consulting firm Oliver Wyman found that, in March 2021, 51% of people were willing to buy an EV. That’s up from from 34% just one year earlier!

That shift in perception is global and it’s great for the environment because pickups are soooo popular! For example, in the USA:

• 5 of the 10 bestselling vehicles in 2020 were pickups
• For 39 straight years, the F-150 has been America’s bestselling vehicle
• The 3 top-selling pickups accounted for 13% of vehicles sold in the US in 2020
• 20% of total US auto sales in 2020 were – you guessed it – pickups

Here, in Australia, three of the top five selling vehicles in 2020 were utes (pickups) with Toyota’s Hilux and Ford’s Ranger in first and second place respecively. Mitsubishi’s Triton came in a ‘not too shabby’ fifth.

Auto makers old and new are revving their batteries preparing to get on the ‘Start Line’.

  • Rivian’s R1T pickup will reach its first customers in June.
  • Ford has said its electric F-150 will enter production in Q1 of 2022
  • Toyota last week confirmed it’s bringing an electric powertrain to its pickup lineup
  • GMC is releasing a 1,000+ horsepower, $113k Hummer EV pickup truck this northern autumn
  • The mega Chineses manufacturers SAIC Motors, GVM and Geely are all very close to releasing their electric pickups
The LTV utility vehicle from SAIC Motors is expected to be released as an EV this year
The LTV utility vehicle from SAIC Motors is expected to be released as an EV this year

While costs is always a major consideration in any vehicle purchase, two things are going to make these vehicles more affordable for the average consumer – volume production and competition.

Bring it on! I sit with the 51%. What about you? Or maybe this teeny-weeny EV pickup is more your style


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