From electric car startups to the old-school Detroit auto giants, the automotive industry is gearing up for a battle royale as companies race to deliver the first all-electric pickup truck to the mass market.
The best-selling vehicle in the U.S. is a pickup truck (Ford's F-150). Meanwhile, electric vehicle sales have been steadily rising for years, with some analysts expecting those numbers to jump by nearly 40% globally in 2021, topping 3 million electric vehicles sold around the world.
So, it was just a matter of time before automakers began flooding the market with electric trucks.
On Monday — after selling out reservations for its first set of R1T pickups — Rivian opened another round of pre-orders. Elon Musk and Tesla generated buzz with the wild (and smashing) unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck in November 2019. And, Ford has also said the electric version of its best-selling F-150 will finally be available in 2022.
Here's a look at some of the most anticipated electric pickups set to hit the market over the next few years.
Rivian is a startup that's looking to take down major players in the electric vehicle market. The Irvine, California-based electric automaker has raised roughly $6 billion from investors that include the likes of Amazon and Ford (which is partnering with Rivian on electric battery technology). Amazon has ordered 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans, and the e-commerce giant plans to start deploying the vehicles in 2022.
Meanwhile, the Rivian R1T could be the first electric pickup to hit the market when it's expected to arrive in early- to mid-2021. The pickup will have a base price of $69,000 and a top speed of 125 miles per hour (like the Hummer EV, it will also go from zero to 60 MPH in 3 seconds). The truck will also come with three different battery options, offering a low-end range of 240 miles per charge and a high-end range of more than 400 miles.
Rivian said recently that the company had sold out its reservations for the first set of R1T pickups to be delivered in 2021 (customers who pre-ordered the trucks had to plunk down a $1,000 deposit), though the company hasn't revealed how many pre-orders its received in total. For Rivian's current round of pre-orders for pickups, customers can customize their trucks by color and battery size (and can even add a pull-out camping kitchen for $5,000). But those pickups likely won't be delivered at least the beginning of 2022 due to limited production capacity, the company recently told Bloomberg.
Ford's F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in America for nearly four decades (the company's F-series trucks sold nearly 900,000 vehicles in 2019), so it's no surprise that the truck's electric version is highly anticipated. The company has already unveiled plans for electric versions of other Ford vehicles, including the iconic Mustang sports car and an electric transit van.
Set to hit the market in the middle of 2022, Ford has promised that the electric F-150 will be "a very fun truck" to drive and that it will feature dual electric motors and a large front trunk with hundreds of pounds of storage capacity. The company also boasted about the electric truck's power in 2019 by tweeting a video of an electric F-150 prototype towing a payload of double-decker rail cars containing 42 pickups weighing a total of 1.25 million pounds.
Ford has not yet revealed the full extent of the electric F-150's specs, or how much the electric pickup will cost.
Musk unveiled the much-anticipated Cybertruck (with a futuristic design inspired by two films: "Blade Runner" and "The Spy Who Loved Me") a year ago at a press event that also saw him accidentally shatter two of the electric truck prototype's supposedly unbreakable windows with a steel ball.
The Cybertruck has a starting price of $39,900 for a single-motor version of the pickup and is expected to begin production in late-2021. The single-motor Cybertruck will have a range of 250 miles per charge, while a more expensive three-motor version (expected to begin production in 2022) will have a range of 500 miles.
Not looking to get left behind in the battle to dominate the electric vehicle market, General Motors said this month that it plans to spend $27 billion on all-electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025. In October, GM unveiled a prototype for an electric Hummer, which the company described as "the world's first supertruck."
Expected to begin production at the end of 2021, the GMC Hummer EV pickup will start at $112,595 and will have a top range of 350 miles per charge, as well as the ability to accelerate from zero to 60 MPH in just 3 seconds, according to the company.
Meanwhile, GM also recently confirmed that the company's Chevrolet brand will produce an electric pickup truck to compete with rivals like Ford and other electric pickups. While full details are not yet known, the company announced plans this summer to produce an electric pickup, called the Chevrolet BET Truck, that will get more than 400 miles of range per charge.
GM had also considered an investment in Rivian, but that partnership fell through when GM wanted exclusive rights to the startup's technology, CNBC previously reported.
Other competitors in the electric pickup market expected to launch in the coming years include Ohio-based Lordstown Motors, which plans to begin delivering its all-electric Endurance pickup by September 2021. The pickup has a starting price of $52,500, a range of more than 250 miles and an engine with 600 horsepower.
Michigan-based startup Bollinger Motors also plans to release its all-electric B2 pickup in 2021, with a starting price around $125,000 and a roughly 200-mile range on 614 horsepower.
Meanwhile, Phoenix-based startup Nikola has promised its own electric Badger pickup will begin production by 2022, though the company has been mired in controversy since founder Trevor Milton stepped down in September amid accusations of fraud and sexual abuse. (Milton has denied all allegations of both fraud and sexual abuse.) The company, which went public in June, still has a valuation of more than $10 billion, and a potential $2 billion investment from General Motors reportedly could still be finalized in December.
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