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Electric Trucks: What Tesla, Rivian, The Big 3 Are Bringing To Market

Dave Royse

It's been a big week for electric trucks.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) got most of the attention with the theater of its Cybertruck roll-out, with Elon Musk going onstage to present the company's concept for a tank-looking truck that Tesla will start producing in 2021.

Also this week, Lordstown Motors Corp., which recently bought an old General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) plant near Youngstown, Ohio, announced that it is taking pre-orders for its electric pickup truck, which the company said will be the first fully electric one to hit the road, near the end of 2020.  

They aren't the only two electric pickups in the works.

The Emerging Electric Pickup Truck Market

Lordstown

Lordstown is using technology licensed from Workhorse Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) and is run by former Workhorse Group CEO Steve Burns, but is a separate private company. 

The company said its pickup will have an all-electric range of up to 260 miles per charge, and is touting a four-wheel drive hub-motor system that reduces the number of moving parts. "Owners will benefit with less breakdowns, lower maintenance, and most importantly, less cost," according to the company. 

Lordstown's biggest advantage over potential rivals may be its chance to be first to market if its timeline comes off as advertised. The company said it expects production to ramp up in the second half of 2020 and the trucks to hit the road by the end of the year. 

Rivian

Plymouth, Michigan-based Rivian Automotive will give Lordstown a race, as it is also hoping to have pickup trucks and SUVs rolling off its assembly line in Normal, Illinois by the end of 2020.

Rivian has secured orders for 100,000 delivery trucks from Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), but for individual consumers it's aiming at the adventure-seeking truck buyer, rather than the guy buying a work truck.

Rivian promotes itself as selling "electric adventure vehicles," and its motto is: "keep the world adventurous forever." 

The Big 3

GM and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) are also moving into the electric pickup market. 

GM, the top American automaker, confirmed this week that its all-electric pickup is moving forward, with CEO Mary Barra saying at an investor conference that GM's version of the electric pickup "will go on sale" in the fall of 2021, though few other details have emerged. 

Ford has announced plans for an electric F-150 pickup. That's significant because the F-150, in its internal combustion version, is the biggest-selling pickup truck on the market. Various hints from Ford have indicated that it's aiming for a 2021 release as well, but Dearborn has released few details about the project. 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles MV (NYSE: FCAU) has been slow to embrace electrification and has released no plans for any electrification of the Dodge Ram pickup trucks. It does plan to roll out Jeep plug-in hybrid SUVs and is considering full electric options for Jeeps as well — but it's in the future. 

Tesla

While it looks kind of like a metal triangle on wheels, the Tesla actually is a pickup truck with a bed and tailgate.

The Tesla Cybertruck is getting lots of attention for its strange, futuristic design — which some analysts say will be a sales catalyst — it also could be very competitive on price.

The Tesla pickup basic model is expected to sell for around $40,000, much less than than the Lordstown truck, for example, which is expected to sell for $52,500 before tax credits. A four-wheel drive model and versions with longer range will go for more.

Bollinger

The upcoming Bollinger B2 would be, to put it mildly, at the high end of the pickup market, priced at $125,000. But it would be a serious luxury work truck. It resembles an armored Range Rover in front, but with a big bed in back. 

"A completely badass electric truck," the company said on its website. It's got 614 horsepower and a 72-inch bed.

Bollinger is accepting orders with a $1,000 deposit, with production slated to start in the second half of 2020 and customer deliveries starting in 2021.

Atlis

A company called Atlis is working on the Atlis XT, which is aimed at the bigger, heavy-duty end of the pickup market with a truck with four electric motors. It hopes to launch the truck next year.

Business and industry consulting firm IHS Markit estimated earlier this year that about 32,000 electric pickup trucks will be sold in the United States alone by 2026. 

Related Links:

Ford Beats GM To Invest 0M In Rivian, Enter Strategic Partnership On EVs

Why Tesla's Cracked Cybertruck Window May Have Been A Shrewd Marketing Move

Photo courtesy of Rivian. 

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