The electric trucks are coming.
Quick! What is that shiny object in your rearview mirror? If there aren’t blue lights flashing, there is a decent chance the object is electrified. Okay, maybe a 3 percent chance or so, which is around the selling rate of various full electric vehicles sold in 2021.
But if the vehicle is fully electric, it is doubtful that you’re being tagged by an electric pickup truck, as only two models are currently on the market: the Rivian R1T and the GMC Hummer EV. Both started to roll out late last year, although a grand total of one Hummer was released.
Production for both models is building, but neither will likely become a household name this year, especially the GMC. The Rivian will soon be joined by a similar SUV. Together, the electric duo quite possibly will shift perceptions of EVs, except perhaps amongst hardened doubters.
While Rivian and Hummer are the first full-electric pickup trucks to the market, what will follow should move the needle. Plans are fluid, but here are the trucks we see arriving within the next two years.
We won’t lie to you. The Tesla Cybertruck is hideous. The so-called space-aged design just does not seem right. One look at the shape and it seems to be mocking what pickup trucks are all about: rugged, upright conveyances with the off-road chops to go with it.
On the other hand, the Cybertruck is an exercise in geometrical dissonance, a rolling monstrosity that was supposed to arrive as far back as 2022. Now, we know through a Telsa Motors earnings report, this often-delayed model won’t see production before 2023 at the earliest. The Cybertruck, along with an electric semi, were pushed back. Elon Musk blames the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage, while it insists it must prioritize its self-driving technology. e
Likely, Tesla is reading the writing on the wall, realizing that other stakeholders will bring better truck models to the market sooner. He should do the world a favor and cancel the Cybertruck altogether.
Ford F-150 Lightning
Why shouldn’t Ford make a full-electric version of the F-150? Ford has the best-selling truck nameplate in the world and already built a hybrid variant. Adding an electric model only bolsters the name. Resurrecting the Lightning title for the new model is a stroke of genius.
Ford will begin production of the F-150 Lightning this spring. Production is already sold out for the first model year and will likely build considerably moving forward. No, Ford is not abandoning its ICE models, instead, it is expanding the market by building electric. We think Ford will soon reach a 1 million annual build capacity for the F-150, particularly once the chip shortage ends.
Chevrolet Silverado Electric
Chevrolet has long played second fiddle to Ford in all matters of pickup truck models. Now, it finds itself in third place as the Ram 1500 outsells it. Is this a reason for GM to panic? No, and I’ll explain why.
First, GM splits its full-size pickup sales amongst two models. The GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 are the duo and, combined, the two have outsold the Ford in recent years. Second, add in the general’s full-size SUVs and GM easily leads the full-size truck-based segment. Therefore, its doubtful GM’s management is losing sleep or worrying about profits.
But GM won’t sit around while Ford and others jump in with their full-electric offerings. An electric Silverado is on the way, with GM harnessing the same Ultium architecture as the GMC Hummer EV. No, the Silverado EV will not be a precise variant of the Hummer as it will be slightly smaller and much less expensive. We may see other electric trucks follow, such as the Sierra EV, but in the meantime, the Silverado EV should arrive next year for the 2024 model year.
Best of the Rest
What about Ram and Jeep? Will we see a full-electric Ram EV or a Gladiator EV at some point? We think so. And the same can be said about the Toyota Tundra, although we might see a Tacoma EV first. As for Nissan, we do not expect the Titan to survive long term, leaving the Frontier as a possible EV beneficiary.
We would be remiss if we left Lordstown Motors off our list. However, the company continues to delay releasing the Lordstown Endurance, its first EV offering. Built at an Ohio plant that once manufactured the Chevrolet Cruze and other GM products, thus the Lordstown name, the company sold its plant to Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn Group in 2021. Consequently, Foxconn is the contractor that will bring the model to market but not before April 2022. Incidentally, both GM and Foxconn own stakes in Lordstown Motors.
Bollinger Motors is no longer interested in building a passenger EV, while Canoo claims it will launch its pickup truck “as early as 2023.” The Altis XT is another model worth mentioning, but it won’t see production until late 2022.
Clearly, the EV market is poised to boom, with models from legacy brands and startups arriving. Chances are, though, you won’t see an electric pickup truck in your rearview mirror anytime soon, with scarce deliveries and production gradually ramping up this year.
Canoo Pickup Truck image courtesy of Canoo Inc.
Ford F-150 Lightning Pro image courtesy of the Ford Motor Company.
Chevrolet Silverado EV image copyright GM Corp.
Atlis XT image courtesy of Atlis Motor Vehicles.