Meet Pickman, the First Electric Pickup Truck Available in the US

Kaiyun Motors says its pint-sized EVs are already on the streets

Kaiyun Motors Pickman Electric Pickup Truck
Chinese startup Kaiyun Motors says it's already selling its Pickman electric pickup truck in the U.S.
Kaiyun Motors
By Alex Lauer / July 31, 2019 6:41 am

We’re not afraid to say the electric pickup truck we’re most excited for is Rivian’s R1T. (We’re still kicking ourselves we missed it rolling around Tribeca.) The problem is we won’t see it until next year, and other EV trucks are even further out. But there is one EV pickup already available in the U.S.

Kaiyun Motors, a Chinese electric-vehicle startup, has confirmed it’s selling its Pickman electric pickup in both the U.S. and Europe. According to Quartz, 40 have been sold Stateside (mostly in California) and 30 have been sold in France, Spain and Sweden.

That doesn’t sound like a big accomplishment, but Kaiyun has beat out major automakers and well-funded startups to bring the first electric pickup to the consumer market, and that’s something to be proud of. Sure, other EV truck companies are taking reservations, but American customers are, reportedly, already driving around in their pint-sized Pickmans. 

Yes, that’s the big caveat here. Part of the reason Kaiyun was able to accomplish this is because the Pickman is a scaled-down, low-speed truck. Its payload capacity is 1,110 pounds, its range on one charge is 75 miles and its top speed is 28 miles per hour. 

Consequently, it’s not an F-150 replacement. Or is it? Kaiyun is forthcoming about the limitations of its vehicle, saying on Facebook, “You don’t need this truck if you can spend [$25,000] on [a Ford F-150]. OR if you need a gasoline truck. OR a big truck. OR a truck full of new features.” Instead, the company touts it as a “working mule” for construction sites, farms and the like.

Plus, as Kaiyun implied on Facebook, the Pickman only costs $7,999, including a 25% import tax in the U.S., according to Quartz. It’s not the $5,000 price promised in January in a Bloomberg profile, but it’s cheap enough to interest plenty of buyers.

In that profile, Kaiyun’s founder Wang Chao said, “We can make our Pickman as successful as the F-150.” Well, they’ve sold 4,900 in China and 70 in Europe and the U.S., so they only need to sell 1.07 million more this year to match the F-Series’ 2019 sales. 

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