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Electric Pick up: the rush of the big firms and the arrival of start-ups

The light truck market is entering a season full of novelties, thanks to the transformation into electric of the most famous pick-ups and the arrival of new manufacturers

Home road Electric Pick up: the rush of the big firms and the arrival of start-ups
Electric Pick up: the rush of the big firms and the arrival of start-ups

Generous dimensions, a box for any eventuality and the timeless stars and stripes charm. The pickup remains the model par excellence of the American motor vehicle: the SUV (often of maxi size),  Van and Minivan together form the set of light trucks which in 2019 – the last "normal" market year – exceeded 12.2 million sales, with 25% represented by pick-ups.

No surprise, since they are not only a work vehicle, but also for free time or for daily shopping. The surprise is that in the United States, a country historically based on high-powered engines, petrol or diesel, without consumption problems we are now witnessing the boom in battery pickups, partly for trend and partly for functionality considering that they are often used to tow or carry major loads. An appearance that goes well with the high instantaneous torque of electric engines. Hence the birth of continuous jet models.

War between the Big Three

Like always, the competition between the Big Three (Ford, Chrysler and General Motors) is tight in the pickup sector, and the power supply has now made it possible to relaunch the challenge. The King of the segment is the Ford F-150 (the F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for over 40 years) and the manufacturer has announced the arrival for 2022 of the full electric version, whose prototype has already featured in a video.

The main adversary is the GMC Hummer, which will be reborn in an electric form by the end of 2021 and will be available with up to 1000 Hp. Also the ‘noble’ brand of General Motors – Chevrolet - has announced the arrival of a new pickup, built not based on an electric version of the popular Silverado, but on the new Ultium electric platform. Here the release times are longer, we are talking about 2025.

Ram and Gladiator

Of the 3 Detroit companies, Chrysler - already part of FCA and now in Stellantis - it would seem the one furthest back. But the arrival of a new battery truck is envisaged in the coming years with the Ram beand, as announced by the North America No. 1, Mike Manley: Ram, after all, it has been doing very well in recent years in terms of sales and a zero-emission model would be appreciated by many fans of the ram. For now, there is no information. The arrival of an electrical variant of the Jeep Gladiator is also possible: the 'flatbed' off-road vehicle - as they call it in the States - and  built on a Wrangler basis has just landed in Europe. It has already been announced that he will receive a battery variant.

A myriad of atypical start-ups and builders are entering the challenge between the Big Three. And we are close to the arrival of the R1T from Rivian, with are undergoing final tests together with the SUV R1S. If deliveries are going to start from June, as planned, the R1T will be the first electrical pickup on the market.

The start-up projects

In autumn, we would witness the appearance of the Lordstown Endurance, produced by a company that took over the homonymous plant in Ohio, saving it from closing after GM's departure. Also Nissan said it is interested in the electric truck segment: the Japanese manufacturer is in contact with a young company in Detroit, Hercules Electric Vehicles, who recently designed a battery-powered vehicle. There are also a number of lesser-known start-ups that plan to launch electric pickups in the medium to long term, but on condition that adequate funding is found. Like the Bollinger B2, which partly incorporates the design of the old Land Rover Defender series, the Canoo electric pickup, with a van style line, and the Alpha Motor Wolf with the retro look. Finally, also the volcanic Henrik Fisker, Ceo and founder of the start-up of the same name, posted a rendering of a battery-powered pickup on Linkedin, declaring that it could be the next car after the SUV Ocean, expected at the beginning of 2022.

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