Electric Vehicles

These all-electric pickup trucks are coming to a parking lot near you starting this year

The Rivian R1T is slated to go into production later the year.

Photo courtesy of Rivian

Pickup trucks are more popular than they've ever been. They're also more capable, comfortable, and expensive. You can now walk out and buy a full-size hybrid pickup truck, trucks with massaging seats, and heavy-duty trucks that can tow heavier loads than most people will ever need.

Soon, though, we'll see something completely different. Electric pickup trucks are coming, but don't worry. The first crop of electric trucks will still be every bit as capable as your old gas or diesel truck – even more so in many cases.

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about electric pickups, but it can be hard to figure out which models will show up and when. EV pickups will start hitting driveways across the country in 2021, and the market will expand quickly from there, as large automakers jump into the electric truck game with both feet.

Why will electric pickup trucks be great?

Torque, Instant Torque

You may have seen ads for diesel trucks with torque numbers in excess of the 1,000 pound-feet mark. That's because torque is a major player in how well a truck can tow a trailer or haul a heavy load. Gas engines produce peak torque somewhere deep into their RPM range, which means peak pulling power doesn't show up for a while after the pedal is pressed. Electric vehicles are famously known for their immediate torque, which means that it's all available to the driver from a dead stop. Electric motors produce their peak torque at zero RPM, which means that EVs are better "off the line" than vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines.

Quiet Ride

Some people love the roar of a diesel at full chat, but many are put off by excess noise, especially when it's not their truck making it. Electric vehicles, even trucks pulling heavy loads, don't make anywhere near as much noise. There may be a whine from the motors and there will always be tire, wind, and road sound, but an electric truck will never have the groan of a diesel under stress.

Extra Storage

Because there's no engine under the hood, EV owners get the benefit of a "frunk," or front trunk. With electric trucks, this is on top of the utility that the bed brings, and offers a more secure and dry location to store sensitive items that aren't well-suited to being hauled in the open-air bed.

Who's making an electric pickup truck?

What the electric truck market will look like by the end of 2021 is still very much anyone's guess thanks to the pandemic, though we can say with certainty that the year is shaping up to be a big one for EVs in general.

Several companies have shown off prototypes and raised big bucks on their way to building an electric truck, but to date none have actually delivered. That's not a knock against any of them, but it's important to note that startups have a much more difficult road ahead of them than legacy automakers do. Engineering, safety, and design costs are astronomical, and that's before any vehicles actually roll off the assembly line.

Here's the models that have been promised.

Rivian R1T

2022 Rivian R1T

Photo courtesy of Rivian

Rivian's on track to build a couple of vehicles in the coming year based on the same platform. One of those is the all-electric R1T pickup truck. The truck's starting price of $67,500 is in line with what many people already spend on pickups, and over 300 miles of range means that it'll keep on trucking for as long as a Tesla – or longer - as long as you're not towing.

The usual eye-popping EV specs are present here, too, though there's more in the way of truck capability. The R1T will get a quad-motor powertrain that Rivian says will push it to a three-second zero to 60 mph time. It's also expected to deliver a towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds, have a water wading depth of over three feet, and wear specially made tires. That's on top of the fact that it is capable of a tank turn and just looks cool.

Lordstown Endurance

2021 Lordstown EndurancePhoto courtesy of Lordstown Motors

Lordstown is a unique company, in that its trucks are being designed primarily to compete in the commercial and fleet space, which means that we'll likely see a ton of them being made but few will make their way into the hands of everyday buyers. It's also got a different idea of how EV propulsion should work, opting for in-wheel motors instead of the typical setup with motors placed on or near the axles. The company says it expects to begin production of the Lordstown Endurance in late 2021, and has announced partnerships with high numbers of reservations flowing in.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

Photo courtesy of Tesla

The house that Elon built is responsible for kicking off the EV craze with its Roadster over a decade ago, but the vehicle that has made the most noise in recent times is the Cybertruck. The super-funky electric pickup sports sharp lines and harsh angles that look like they'd be much more at home in a "Bladerunner" movie than in anyone's driveway.

The Cybertruck will allegedly deliver towing of up to 14,000 pounds in the most capable configurations, and up to 7,500 pounds as standard. If the actual production trucks get anywhere near those numbers, it will be impressive, but it's hard to know where the final vehicle will end up given homologation requirements.

GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV


Photo courtesy of GMC

This isn't the big, gas-guzzling Hummer we last saw in the mid-2000s, this is an advanced, tech-forward off-road monster. Oh, and let's not sidestep the fact that the Hummer's return will be under the GMC banner, not the nameplate it wore in its prior decades of service. The Hummer electric pickup will come sporting up to 1,000 horsepower and a range somewhere well north of 300 miles in its First Edition variant. You'll have to pay for those niceties, however, as the new Hummer's price tag will start at around $80,000 and head skyward from there.

Bollinger B2

Bollinger B2

Photo courtesy of Bollinger

Bollinger's pickup looks almost as radical as the Tesla Cybertruck, but in a boxy, rough kind of way. The company announced its plans for both a pickup and SUV in 2019, but production of the vehicles isn't expected to begin until later in 2021. When we do see the Bollinger B2 pickup, it'll be a 600+ horsepower dual-motor workhorse. It will have a price tag of $125,000, but that number should include all of the tech and safety goodies the company offers.

Chevrolet Silverado EV

General Motors is getting aggressive on the EV front. Recently, the automaker has rolled out new electric vehicle models, made announcements on several more, and has construction on new and existing facilities to build batteries or vehicles themselves.

One of the most important vehicles under the GM umbrella is the Chevrolet Silverado, a full-size pickup that we expect to see electrified in the next few years, though it's not a guarantee it'll wear the legendary nameplate that its gas-guzzling predecessors wore. The electrified Chevy pickup should be different from the Hummer EV and will be more of a traditional truck than the funky GMC.

Canoo pickup

Canoo pickup truck profilePhoto courtesy of Canoo

Canoo has just released the first photos of its all-electric pickup truck. The quirky people and parcel mover is said to deliver up to 600 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. It has a 1,800-pound payload capacity and offers 200+ miles of all-electric range.

The body of the truck is small in size but big on space Compared to the Ford Ranger, it's nearly a foot shorter in length and it has several external storage spaces and work tables.

Ford F-150 EV

2021 Ford F-150 Teaser

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford sells more pickup trucks than many other automakers' entire annual sales numbers, so it's no surprise it has announced plans to release an all-electric version of its massively popular F-Series trucks.

Details are scant so far, but we've seen a prototype towing big loads on film, and have seen The Blue Oval's EV-building prowess on display in the surprisingly excellent Mustang Mach-E. After the release of the redesigned 2021 F-150 with an available hybrid powertrain, we're excited to see what Ford has up its sleeve for the upcoming all-electric truck, which is expected to enter production in mid-2022.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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The Denali Ultimate trim is new for 2023.

GMC

The GMC Yukon has always been a luxurious family hauler with beefy capability, but it moved even more upmarket in recent years with added tech and upscale interior materials. GMC just announced an even cushier version of the SUV for the 2023 model year. The Yukon Ultimate Denali gets unique styling touches and upgrades that take the already plush SUV to another level.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate22-inch wheels are standard GMC

The Denali Ultimate gets exclusive upgrades over other trims that include 22-inch wheels and chrome accents outside. The full-size SUV just got a complete redesign for 2021, which brought updated boxy styling, and a sleek look, so there are no additional exterior changes for 2023.

GMC offers three engines in the standard Yukon, but only two make it into the Ultimate. The standard powertrain includes a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 420 horsepower. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel is also available that makes 277 horsepower and a whopping 460 pound-feet of torque. A ten-speed automatic transmission is standard for all engines, and four-wheel drive is available.

Inside, the Ultimate comes with Alpine Umber full-grain leather upholstery with 16-way power front seats and massaging. Trim-exclusive contrast stitching and aluminum trim accent the space, and the top model gets an 18-speaker Bose audio system with stainless steel speaker grilles.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali UltimateGrained leather upholstery and upscale interior finishes are standard. GMC

A 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen comes standard, and offers Google services built in. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, along with wireless phone charging. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Amazon Alexa functionality are available. GMC also offers Super Cruise hands-free driving system in the Denali Ultimate.

GMC hasn’t detailed pricing for the new SUV yet, but we expect it to start at a premium over the standard Denali, which starts at just over $70,000.

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