Any local operation could use modern electric vans, as they often return home to recharge and electric charging stations are mushrooming. Regenerative braking, which often occurs in local staged operations, helps recharge batteries, and continued advancements in battery technology will extend range to useful levels. Serial production of electric pickup trucks will begin this year, according to a few manufacturers.
Electric vans, like all electric vehicles, or electric vehicles, will be clean, quiet and fast. They will cost more to purchase than gasoline or diesel trucks; but electric vehicles will have far fewer moving parts and therefore be less expensive to maintain, and their total cost of ownership will be lower, proponents say. Experts warn that the electric vehicle industry must standardize the specifications of equipment, such as outlets and charging stations. And utilities must prepare to generate the many megawatts needed to recharge electric vehicle batteries and / or help set up local solar and wind generators to supplement the energy available on the grid. These challenges will be overcome if there is customer demand and money to be made, and apparently there will be, if industry interest and public curiosity are any indication.
Much media attention has been drawn to the unveiling of Tesla’s Cybertruck, the wedge-shaped, body-to-body stainless steel pickup presented last December by the company’s forward-thinking founder, Elon Musk. The event was covered by television news shows and automotive magazines and internet commentators, and the vehicle garnered praise and criticism for its futuristic, even truck-like styling. Cybertruck will be available in three variations: with one, two and three rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive motors, priced at $ 49,900 to $ 69,900. Range will be over 250 miles, payload up to 3,500 pounds and towing capacity will be 14,000 pounds or more. The company is taking refundable deposits of $ 100 on orders from Cybertrucks, which it says will go into production at the end of next year for the high-end models and in 2022 for the single-engine version. The pickup will join four car models in the Tesla lineup, so overall Elon Musk and his company have gained some automotive credibility.
If money buys credibility, Rivian, a Detroit-area startup, won some of it with more than $ 1.6 billion in funding from well-known companies, including Ford. Rivian was preparing an R1T pickup truck and an R1S sport utility vehicle, and appears to be after retail rather than commercial sales. Its “skateboard” frame features a four-motor system, with one motor at each wheel to provide all-wheel drive and allow it to do a “tank ride” or spin in a small circle. Air suspension and hydraulic roll control will actively respond to vehicle movement over varying terrain, and three battery pack sizes will give it a range of 230 to 400 miles and more. The rated payload is 1,760 pounds and the towing capacity is 11,000 pounds. The starting price for an R1T is $ 69,000, but options are expected to raise prices up to $ 100,000. Rivian is taking deposits of $ 1,000 on “pre-orders” and says he will begin production later this year.
Ford has a global electric vehicle program that includes cars, SUVs, and trucks. He’s gearing up an all-electric F-150 which he says will be announced next year as a ’22 model. As a teaser, he posted a video showing a prototype pulling 10 loaded automatic rack cars weighing over a million pounds. Of course, that won’t be its towing capacity, as the steel wheels roll quite easily on steel rails, but it still takes a considerable amount of torque to move a line of cars. In March, Ford introduced a Transit electric van, which components could be similar to those of an F-150. He invested $ 500 million in Rivian and the two formed a partnership that jointly developed the electric F-150. It could use Rivian’s skateboard platform, the two companies said in a statement.
GMC presented its Chevy E-10 electric pickup.
General Motors is helping Lordstown Motors Corp., a company founded by Steve Burns, founder and former CEO of Workhorse Group, a manufacturer of walk-in vans, and made up of executives drawn to other automakers including Tesla. LMC says it is testing prototypes of its Endurance electric pickup (above), originally developed by and licensed to Workhorse. LMC plans to start building them in November at the former General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. In addition to selling the huge plant for a whopping $ 20 million, GM has loaned LMC $ 10 million and could lend more, and is talking about leasing space in the plant for a battery manufacturing operation. . The Endurance will be an all-wheel drive with an engine at each wheel and is presented as a work truck intended primarily for fleets. LMC priced Endurance at $ 52,500 and said it could eventually build nearly 400,000 a year. It received a preliminary order for 500 from Clean Fuels Ohio, a clean fuels nonprofit that says it will roll them out with companies across the state as part of an “education” effort. Meanwhile, LMC is taking preorders from the public with deposits of $ 100.
Finally, Bollinger Motors, another Michigan-based startup, is preparing a B1 electric SUV and B2 pickup that it says will have exceptional off-road capabilities. The styling abandons aerodynamics for square, Range Rover-like profiles that would be right at home in a rough country.
The return of hybrid pickup trucks
Gasoline-electric hybrids are a stepping stone to fully electric trucks because they allow users to get used to electric power and they have no restrictions on range. GM developed a gasoline-electric SUV in the mid-2000s, but didn’t sell many, so pulled it off the market. Today, Ford is working on a hybrid-electric F-150 that it will present this fall as a 2021 model, but will not say anything about it. Ford-based hybrids are now available from at least one source, XL Fleet. The Boston-based company introduced a hybrid conversion for Ford’s F-250 pickup in 2017 and has long done bolt-on conversions for General Motors vans and cutaway chassis. In March, XL announced a version for the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 pickups. As with previous products, the system assists a truck’s powertrain with propulsion, particularly from start-up. It uses its own electronic controls and does not connect to those on the truck. The XL system consists of a motor mounted in the transmission, a battery pack and controls. Installation takes about a day and is performed by planning partners. XL promises a 25 to 30 percent fuel economy improvement and a 20 percent reduction in emissions.