Rise of the electric pickup trucks: Tesla's Cybertruck continues to lead the pack [Video]
Tesla's Cybertruck has created a stir in the auto industry. Legacy automakers are trying to introduce their own all-electric pickup truck competitors in order to stem customer demand that looks to be shifting, suddenly, to the Silicon Valley contender. Once considered the bread and butter of Detroit's finest, pickup trucks could be going electric and Tesla has the (very real) possibility of becoming a major player.
Above: Tesla's disruptive new pickup, the Cybertruck (Source: Tesla)
That said, another upstart, Rivian, also introduced their own R1T electric pickup truck to the masses. But the buzz hasn't been anything like Cybertruck. Tesla's low poly diagonal design has completely disrupted the pickup truck segment and captured the imagination of the industry. Sure, the Cybertruck cannot perform the R1T Tank Turn, but a spec-for-spec comparison of both electric pickups reveals a significant advantage for Elon Musk's wild, sci-fi creation.
It's worth noting, however, that Rivian has received multiple investment rounds from backers like Ford and Cox Automotive accumulating around $1.5 billion in total. In addition, a contract for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Amazon gives Rivian a good chance at (some) future success. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has pushed back Rivian's production.
So what about competition from Big Auto? GM announced the Hummer EV that the US automaker intends to reveal (pending COVID-19 delays) on May 20th of this year. The Hummer EV has some impressive performance specs noted on GMC's website such as 0-60 in 3.0s, up to 1,000 hp, and 11,000 lb-ft of torque capacity — but it starts at $70,000 and production is expected to start (earliest) by 2022.
Keep in mind, by 2022, it's conceivable quite a few Cybertrucks will be selling in the United States. GMC's price point will also present a potential stumbling block. Tesla's Cybertruck pricing starts at only $39,900 for Single Motor, $49,900 for Dual-Motor AWD, and $69,900 for the Tri-Motor AWD variant. Therefore, Cybertruck's loaded version will be roughly equal to the Hummer EV's base price.
In the following video, the host of the YouTube channel Two Bit da Vinci, Ricky, discusses the line-up of planned electric pickup trucks coming to market: Rivian R1T, Dongfeng Rich 6 EV (NISSAN), Bollinger B2, Ford F-150 EV, Lordstown Endurance, Atlis XT, GMC Hummer EV, Neuron EV, Nikola Badger, Karma Pickup Truck, and Tesla Cybertruck. In order to identify a few standouts, let's highlight some notable launches (both from startups and legacy automakers).
Above: Cybertruck and the rise of electric pickup trucks (YouTube: Two Bit da Vinci)
First, the boxy Bollinger B2 claims to be the world's most capable electric pickup truck but it has yet to be tested. Granted, the specs of the B2 are impressive but it only has 200 miles of range. The Cybertruck's range starts at 250 miles for base RWD variant, 300+ miles for Dual, and 500+ miles for the Tri-Motor version.
Meanwhile, Nissan is partnering with Chinese automaker Dongfeng and is producing a low-priced electric pickup truck which can go up to 175 miles on a single charge. It's an affordable, pollution-free truck — a good choice for Chinese customers as the chances of Cybertruck reaching the Chinese market soon remain slim — this could be a good option (in the Chinese market) until then.
Ford F-150 EV prototypes have been spotted getting tested in the wild, a good sign indeed. However, we haven't heard much since the initial buzz on a specific launch timeline, range, and other vital information. We'll have to wait and see if the electric variant of the F-150 is able to dent some of the 500,000+ Tesla Cybertruck reservations — to do this, Ford will need to hurry up and start production soon.
Don't forget: the Tesla Cybertruck can be produced at only 15-20% of capital expenditure (CapEx) compared to the gasoline-powered Ford F-150 according to Sandy Munro (a seasoned vehicle teardown expert) — that's why the Cybertruck's starting price is so low compared to to the other electric pickup trucks.