Will pickup trucks ever be electric?

With changing times, electric vehicles are immensely growing in popularity. Consumers have now started looking at alternatives to soaring gas prices. The wave of electrification has now touched one of the most popular auto segments, pickup trucks as well. Although it may seem strange to think of pickup trucks as being peaceful and without commotion, electric pickup trucks are as equally powerful as their traditional counterparts. Utility vehicles seem to be the ideal fit for an electric motor’s low-end torque and immediate output, especially while towing or traveling off-road. Nearly every significant truck manufacturer is getting ready to introduce electric pickup trucks soon.

Recent developments

The pickup truck market globally stood at 177 billion USD in the year 2020. It is expected to hit 256 billion USD in 2028. Electric pickup trucks are expected to soon hold a major chunk of the market share. Earlier electric pickup truck prototypes were concluded as unfeasible in comparison to IC engine models. This is because the designs mainly focused on large, expensive batteries that were eating the cargo space.

Many industrial giants, including Toyota, Tesla, Hummer, Ford, General Motors, and Chevrolet, are planning to introduce their electric pickup trucks soon. The VW Group has already announced its plans to hit the electric pickup market segment sensing the opportunity. After experiencing great success with its vans, Chinese company Maxus is now eager to enter the market for electric pickup trucks. Dedicated efforts are being made by logistics companies to replace their current fleets with cleaner ones. In several nations, logistics companies have already begun to be ready for the introduction of electric cars to their fleet in the upcoming years.

What to look for while buying electric pickups?  

Automakers still need some time to convince seasoned pickup truck drivers to go all-electric. These are as robust and powerful as their gas-powered counterparts. However, the drivers are still in a dilemma about whether electric pickup trucks can manage large payloads or not. they still have apprehensions about whether the electric pickup trucks could navigate through difficult terrain with much ease. The makers need to address these concerns before the market witnesses a massive boom. The off-road toughness, payload, towing capacity, and payload capabilities that IC engine pickup trucks are renowned for will be the features that matter the most from a utility standpoint.

Electric pickup trucks vs. Gas-powered trucks

It is vital to understand how electric pickup trucks fare in terms of capabilities. This would help decide which variant would make a good choice in day-to-day applications. Here are a few parameters to consider.

Pricing

Electric vehicles seem expensive at the time of purchase. The price range of electric pickup trucks varies anywhere from $40,000 to $125,000. For instance, the Ford F-150 and Tesla Cybertruck base models are available for a starting price of $40,000.

The main edge of electric pickup trucks is that they don’t demand as much maintenance as their gas-powered variants. Conventional vehicles demand frequent maintenance because of the numerous moving parts they come with. This is not the case with electric trucks. They don’t require oil changes, spark plugs, fluid flushes, or any coolant replacement.

Fuel efficiency

There is a lot of difference in fuel efficiency when we compare electric vehicles with gas-powered variants. This applies to pickup trucks as well. An average gas-powered pickup truck has 19 miles per gallon whereas the upcoming electric pickup variants are expected to have an equivalent rating of 76.73 miles per gallon.

Features

Although pickup trucks are popular for their utility and durability, the electric variants come equipped with a host of new high-tech features that have never been seen in any pickup truck before. The front trunk provides more room to include additional cargo. As the battery packs are aligned over the vehicle’s chassis, there is sufficient space in the front hood as well.

Other interesting features that electric pickups have in store are in-truck storage locations, removable roofs, onboard kitchens, fold-out desks, and diagonal driving. Backcountry exploration will be completely new thanks to electric instruments. These trucks provide a significant amount of torque and almost instantaneous reaction. The case for these vehicles to replace traditional means of transportation in the future will be made strongly by advances in charging technology, larger technology, and better infrastructure.

What is the future of electric pickup trucks? 

Full-electric pickup trucks might seem out of reach to some, especially in a market that has so far been ruled by inexpensive luxury models and small, practical hatchbacks that are primarily purchased by wealthy, educated, and environmentally conscious drivers. However, now that the EV market is growing to include battery-operated sport utility vehicles, the electrified truck market is the next big uncharted territory. For the upcoming model years, several automakers—both established and up-and-coming—are developing electric pickup vehicles. I wonder if anyone will purchase them.

Unless perhaps gas prices hit $10 per gallon, it’s doubtful that ardent truck enthusiasts would ever contemplate switching from an internal combustion engine to electrification. Even then, a farmer or a tradesman might decide not to use technology that they view as belonging to an elitist upper class. The driving range of an electric truck would be another important thing to think about. Many pickup owners drive at speeds that quickly deplete an EV’s battery because they reside in rural areas and log significantly more daily miles than the typical person. Additionally, there aren’t many public charging stations in smaller towns or nearby to offer a quick boost of kilowatts when required.

However, the average EV battery range is expanding quickly, with 200- and 300-mile capabilities quickly becoming the standard. Additionally, because trucks are constructed on substantial platforms, they can handle large long-distance batteries, and the resulting lower center of gravity may result in much better driving behavior. Massive torque can be produced by large electric motors for powerful towing and hauling capabilities. In addition, many wealthy suburbanites currently own pickup trucks for lifestyle reasons, with many of them also presumably having Tesla in their garages. They use them to tow big boats or trailers, haul tools for an active lifestyle, like dirt bikes, and transport sporting goods without damaging the cargo hold of a high-end SUV.

Moreover, simple labor truck EV trucks may end up being the preferred vehicles for fleets in the future. They offer extremely cost-effective operation, with well-established commercial routes that can be readily drawn to accommodate the range of a particular model on a charge. The vehicles would be charged overnight at their base of operations.

It will be intriguing to see how everything turns out. In the meantime, the accompanying slideshow gives us a glimpse of the electric pickup trucks that are currently being prepared for future manufacturing.

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