The electric collection wars are about to begin

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Most of these designed trucks look a lot less insane than Tesla’s $ 40,000 ultraprismatic Cybertruck with its seemingly bullet-proof windows and dent-proof body. However, they boast surprising sounding capabilities that, in many cases, far outweigh even heavy trucks for gasoline and diesel.

Ford, for example, released a video last summer of a battery-powered F-150 prototype trailer – at low speed and for a relatively short distance – 1.25 million pounds of freight wagons filled with other F-150s. Even Ford admitted that the truck “towed far beyond the published capacity of any production truck”, but it was still an amazing show of strength. for a truck that is still very much in development. Ford has not yet said when it will go on sale.
More recently, General Motors has announced that its GMC Hummer EV electric pickup will offer up to 11,500 pounds of torque, a measure of traction power. This is comparable to less than a thousand pounds produced by GM’s heavy diesel pickups. GM did not mention GMC Hummer’s price again, except to indicate that it will be a “niche” vehicle intended to be sold in low numbers. It should be on sale in 2022.

“The big question is, when do you actually start using those trucks how they’re meant to be used, how much is going to degrade the range in the truck?” said Sam Abuelsamid, transportation analyst with Navigant Research. Petrol and diesel trucks also travel much less miles on a fuel tank for towing heavy loads, for example.

Many of these trucks take advantage of other advantages of electric motors in addition to heavyweights pulling the power they enable. Electric motors are also much more compact than petrol engines and do not require a multi-speed transmission, another thing which takes up space. This frees up a lot of space for something usually lacking in gas and diesel powered trucks, lockable storage space.

Rivian R1T has a lockable storage compartment under the hood and under the bed.
When the Michigan startup Rivian designed its R1T electric pickup, for example, it included a sizable “frunk” – a front trunk – under its large flat hood where an engine would otherwise be. It also has a large tunnel-like opening that lengthens the width of the truck under the bed with a door on each side. Rivian has Ford and Amazon as its main investors and is working on projects for both companies – electric vans for Amazon and a luxury Lincoln SUV for Ford – in addition to their own truck and SUV. Rivian’s truck is expected to go on sale later this year at prices starting around $ 70,000 before federal tax credits.

Bollinger Motors, another startup, is creating the B2 electric truck with a tunnel running through the front of the truck. It has a lockable door between the headlights and the other end opens into the passenger compartment. Another door opens onto the bed offering the possibility of transporting long objects through the truck from one bumper to another.

Bollinger B2 is designed for functionality and definitely looks like the part.

Bollinger, founded in 2014 in New York state but now based outside of Detroit designed its truck to look like it wasn’t designed at all. More than anything else, it looks like a huge operable chest. Even the interior is devoid of decorative finishes unless you want to count the wooden board that constitutes the “central console”. (It’s in quotes because it’s literally a bolt-on four-legged metal board.) The steering wheel appears to have come out of a 1963 truck instead of one that is expected to go on sale next year. There is no airbag in that steering wheel because, as far as safety requirements are concerned, B2 is classified as a commercial truck and not a passenger vehicle. B2 also costs as much as a large commercial truck, with prices set as low as $ 125,000 – more than double that of some of these other electric trucks.

Lordstown Endurance electric motors are integrated into the wheels.
Lordstown Motors, the company that is taking over the former GM assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, designed its truck with no engine housed inside the bodywork. Instead, the four electric motors on Lordstown Endurance will be inside the wheels. It is an idea that has been explored by other automakers but rarely implemented in a production vehicle. In addition to leaving more space in the truck body, this also reduces the total number of moving parts, according to Lordstown. The company plans to start producing trucks later this year at an initial price of around $ 52,000.
The Nikola Badger will be powered by hydrogen, as well as electricity stored in the batteries.
Most recently, Nikola, a company that produces semi-hydrogen powered trucksannounced plans for his Badger pickup. Nikola says the Badger will have a total range of 600 miles, including 300 miles from lithium-ion batteries and another 300 miles from a hydrogen fuel cell. Hydrogen fuel cells combine hydrogen gas, stored in onboard tanks, with oxygen from the air to create water and electricity. Nikola is also planning to build a network of hydrogen filling stations. The Badger will be produced through a partnership with an unnamed main automaker, according to Nikola. The deal is expected to be announced soon.

Despite some real benefits, pickup truck buyers are likely to be slow to adopt new trucks in the beginning, said Abuelsamid. Electric trucks can supply power to power tools in the workplace, and since they don’t burn petrol or diesel and have fewer moving parts to maintain, they will be cheaper to use. Fleet buyers, who look more closely at the cost of the operation, will likely be among the first buyers, he said.

“I think it will start as a niche and I think it will gradually grow,” he said.


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