By now, you’ve heard about electric pickup trucks. We first reported on one all the way back in November 2016. But for all the posturing from Tesla, Ford and lesser-known startups, we have yet to see one roll off the lot.
“Wait a second,” writes a know-it-all Facebook commenter. “Workhorse already has one.”
No, they don’t. No matter what you’ve read about electric trucks — tweets or otherwise — there is no model in full-scale production right now that Joe Schmo can go out and purchase. And that’s all that matters.
So … when will you be able to buy one? Hopefully soon, what with Amazon and General Motors potentially getting behind Tesla’s main competitor. But to cut through the mounds of EV BS festering all across the internet, we’ve put together a cheat sheet.
Below, find the major all-electric pickup trucks that have been announced, when you can expect to buy them, what kind of specs they’re promising and what experts who’ve got the inside scoop have to say. Buy remember, if any of these companies push their release date — take it up with them.
Tesla Unnamed Pickup Truck
Expected release date: TBD. First announced in November 2017. Prototype hopefully coming this summer.
What it promises: When the above image was released in 2017, Musk said his pickup could carry a Ford F-150 in its cargo bed. In a November 2018 interview, he said the design will evoke “futuristic-like cyberpunk, Blade Runner.” More recent tweets suggest it will have a towing capacity of 150 tons, dual-motor AWD, suspension that dynamically adjusts for your load, power outlets for heavy-duty tool use in the field and “crazy torque.”
Expert opinion: “Musk has a habit of unveiling moonshot ideas and being slow to deliver on them, with the new Tesla Roadster being one prime example,” writes Jalopnik Editor-in-Chief Patrick George. And as Musk himself has tweeted, it’s on his list, but not necessarily at the top.
Expected release date: Fall 2020, but you can pre-order now with a $1,000 deposit. Rivian says the larger (and more expensive) 180 kWh and 135 kWh battery packs will be available first, with a 105 kWh following within a year.
What it promises: A five-passenger AWD truck with four 147-kW motors (one on each wheel), a payload rating of 1,760 pounds and a tow rating of 11,000 pounds. Top-of-the-line numbers tout a top speed of 125 MPH, a range of over 400 miles, 562 kW of power (or about 750-HP) and 826 lb.-ft. of torque. Extra goodies include three 110V outlets, compressed air and creative storage (see: the frunk, aka front trunk).
Expert opinion: On Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said Rivian is “the next serious competition from a ‘clean sheet’ start-up with access to talent and capital focused on the fastest growing segments of pickup trucks and SUVs.” Then on Tuesday, Reuters reported that Amazon and General Motors are in talks to invest in the company, which is obviously a potentially massive development. You can read an interview with founder R.J. Scaringe here.
Previous coverage: “Will Rivian’s R1T Beat Tesla to Become the First Feasible Electric Pickup?”
Ford Unnamed Electric F-Series
Expected release date: TBD, but a hybrid has an announced release of 2020.
What it promises: “We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series, both battery-electric and hybrid. And we’re doing the same for Transit,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president and president of global markets, in January. The announcement being so recent, we don’t have any specs. But as The Detroit News writes, “All told, Ford plans to spend $11 billion on electric vehicles over the next few years to bring 16 battery-electric vehicles and 24 hybrids to the market.”
Expert opinion: In a recent segment on All Things Considered, NPR spoke with an EV industry watcher who noted, “Startups have struggled to build dealership and service networks to sell and repair their vehicles … For established automakers like Ford and GM, those networks already exist, and private mechanics are accustomed to working on those cars.” So while a startup like Workhorse is still struggling to bring a truck to market that they promised back in 2018, Ford can hit the ground running even if they’re years late to the party.
Previous coverage: “What Does Ford’s Electric F-150 Mean for Other EV Trucks?”
Expected release date:
2018 Late 2019 or early 2020, but you can reserve one for $1,000 now.
What it promises: In short, a lot — and the details have been changing constantly. Workhorse’s own website is out of date, if a recent interview with CEO Steve Burns is to be believed. According to that CleanTechnica feature, the W-15 will not be a hybrid as previously reported, but a 100kWh battery-only truck with a range of 200 miles, payload rating of 2,500 pounds, tow rating of 6,000 pounds, and build that includes carbon fiber frame rails and composite body panels.
Expert opinion: “The company is keenly aware that Rivian and Tesla are both planning to offer electric pickup trucks soon and it wants to capitalize on the advantage that being first to market confers,” writes CleanTechnica. But while Workhorse recently secured $35 million in financing, Tesla has already won the overall first-to-market EV race (and continues to be popular with drivers) and Rivian could soon tap into Amazon, the biggest cash cow of all.
Previous coverage: “The Electric Pickup Has Arrived Way Ahead of Schedule”
Expected release date: Prototyping in 2019, production in 2020, but you can reserve one now (aka get in line) for no money down. They hit 25,000 “reservations” in January.
Price: TBD, but the B1 is estimated at $60,000.
What it promises: The pickup shares “the same DNA” as their B1 SUV, of which they’ve released plenty of video, including mountain climbing. Basically, it’s a dual-motor AWD Land Rover-inspired truck with a 120-kWh battery pack. Unlike some of the others, Bollinger prioritizes work over play and cites that the B2 can carry full 4’ by 8’ sheets of plywood (thanks to an internal cab tailgate and removable rear seats) and even longer items (thanks to a patented pass-through door under the hood). Basic specs include 614 HP, 668 lb.-ft. torque, 100 MPH top speed and a 200-mile range, but you can read all of their estimates here. Oh, and because it’s a Class 3 work truck, Bollinger won’t be including airbags.
Expert opinion: At the time of writing the uppermost text on the Bollinger website lists job openings. So they’re still expanding. But once it does hit the market, it’s not aiming for mass appeal. “When the company announced the B1 last summer, it was up front about how this was not an EV for everyone,” writes The Verge. “The same goes for the B2. These are vehicles that are designed to help people do heavy duty work, store and transport lots of material, and go off-road as well.”
Previous coverage: “Bollinger’s Second Model Is a Land Rover-Inspired Electric Pickup”
Expected release date: 2020, but you can get a spot in their reservation line now.
What it promises: These relative newcomers give Elon a run for his money in inconceivability. Max range: 500 miles. Tow rating: 35,000 lbs. Payload rating: 5,000 lbs. Charging time: 15 minutes (yes, really). This is all conjecture because they haven’t built a prototype yet, but as they say: shoot for the Musk, even if you miss you’ll land another startup on your resume.
Expert opinion: The website Inside EVs published a bridge-burner of a piece titled: “Rivian R1T Is A Real Electric Pickup Truck, But Atlis XT Is Not.” [Insert airhorn.] They rightfully point out the frankly unbelievable claims Atlis is making. But in a bizarre detail, they personally call out Ross Compton, the lead vehicle designer who also helped design the Bollinger B1, for not having enough experience. Compton responded in the comments: “If you wish to … enquire about any of my past experiences in the automotive industry I am more than happy to divulge … I am pleased to announce that the $1million [needed to develop a prototype] has been raised.” Touché. But they’ll need more than that to get this done by 2020.
Main image: Tesla, Atlis Motor Vehicles, Rivian. All inlines via their respective companies.
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