There is no doubt that the automotive industry is undergoing a major shift, with new electric van and car models announced on a regular basis. There were some concerns about the affordability of EVs previously, but they are now very popular among UK businesses and individuals. With fuel prices rising and BiK taxes on electric company cars remaining low, more and more EVs can be spotted on UK roads in 2022.
Many manufacturers already offer fully electric cars and EV vans while working on electrifying their entire ranges. The EV pickup market, however, appears to be very quiet. In this article, we will explore why things are moving so slowly in the electric pick-up market in the UK, and what pickups can be expected in the near future.
Electric pick-up trucks: what's going on?
When was the last time you saw an EV truck on the road? I haven't seen any, and I bet you haven't either. As a matter of fact, no vehicle manufacturer currently offers an electric pick-up in the UK, excluding dropside vans built on electric chassis cabs. Is there a reason why pickup trucks lag behind battery-powered cars and commercial vehicles? Actually, several factors may be at play.
The limitations of zero-emissions pickups
There are more challenges associated with the development of e-pickups than with electrifying vans, including the four-wheel drive (4x4) system and battery weight.
Only pick up trucks with a payload over 1 tonne qualify as commercial vehicles for tax purposes. The majority of diesel trucks currently available on the market achieve this just about. The heavy weight of an electric battery in a 4x4 pickup will increase its GVW, and therefore reduce the payload rating of the truck.
Most electric van manufacturers do not allow them to tow. Truck drivers would be severely limited if the same policy were applied to pickups since pickups are more likely to be used as towing vehicles than vans.
With electric vans, the batteries are usually located under the floor of the cargo space. If they were installed under the pickup's body, its ground clearance would be reduced as a result. This could affect those who work on rough terrains. Another option is to raise the pick-up's body, but this would lead to an increase in loading height and a shift in the vehicle's centre of gravity.
Electric pickup trucks are developing & results are coming soon
Despite the fact that most of these EVs are American concepts that are unlikely to ever make it to the UK, we can expect to see at least some of them on our roads and it could be sooner than we thought.
Maxus T90 EV
One of the first electric pickups available in the UK will be the Chinese Maxus T90 EV. Order books open in August 2022 while the deliveries are expected to start in early 2023.
Picture: Maxus T90 EV pick up truck
Maxus T90 EV is an all-electric version of the regular Maxus T90 truck, which is only available in China. They both came to the market in 2021, with the diesel version powered by a twin-turbo engine delivering 215 horsepower. A 130kW (177hp) electric motor may not provide that much power, but with an 88.55kWh battery pack, it should easily manage a WLTP-confirmed city range of 198 miles. The average range is likely to be slightly lower, but the Maxus T90 EV truck has some remarkable extra features, like rapid charging in just 45 minutes.
There are no details on the T90 pickup's pricing, but considering the competitive price of Maxus electric vans, it should be very affordable, especially if leased.
For more information on the first electric pickup truck in the UK, visit our dedicated Maxus T90EV blog.
This Californian truck is expected to arrive in the UK in 2022/2023, although no official confirmation has been made yet. Prices are expected to start at around £70,000.
Picture: Rivan R1T electric pick-up truck
While Rivan might be a name you haven't heard before, their R1T electric pick-up truck seems to be a real deal. 'Long Way Up' show used it alongside Ewan McGregor's and Charley Boorman's electric motorbikes as a support vehicle.
Currently available in the US, the R1T range will offer models with a driving range ranging from 250 to 400 miles. The top model runs on Quad Motor technology (four motors, one for each wheel), which delivers 750hp and 1,120Nm, and reaches 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds.
Rivian's electric pickup truck is capable of towing nearly 5.0 tonnes, and on top of a standard load bed, it also has underfloor storage and 'gear tunnels' behind the cab that can house additional kits, including a custom-made camping kitchen.
Bollinger B2 was supposed to go into production at the end of 2021, but there has been a delay. Order books are open for UK customers, with many deposits already made. Prices for Bollinger B2 begin at about £100,000.
Picture: Bollinger B2 electric pickup truck
The Bollinger B2 electric truck certainly looks interesting. While Maxus T90's design is similar to today's diesel pickups and Rivan R1T's appearance is more futuristic, the Bollinger B2 seem to have drawn inspiration from the past. As a matter of fact, it looks like a supersized old Land Rover Defender, even though it's a brand new design introduced by an American manufacturer.
The Bollinger B2 electric truck has been built with a heavy focus on practicality and utility. Those carrying long loads might find the innovative technology of the B2 truck useful since it allows them to pass from the load bed to the front storage area through the cab. What's more, the vehicle will also be available as an electric chassis cab for conversions.
With a single motor per axle, the B2 provides 614 horsepower and 906Nm, and it has a range of more than 200 miles. Even though it can tow only 3,400kg (3.4 tonnes), Bollinger claims an impressive payload of 2,267kg (over 2.2 tonnes).
Ford Ranger PHEV
The new Ranger hybrid pickup is expected to reach UK roads in 2024 as part of Ford's promise of its entire line-up of light commercial vehicles to be 'zero emissions capable' by 2024.
Picture: Ford Ranger PHEV pickup truck
In contrast to the Ford F-150 Lightning, Ford will electrify the Ranger pickup truck first with a hybrid model before going all-electric. In due course, a Ford Ranger electric will complete the lineup. The Ranger Hybrid would be sold in markets worldwide with tightening emission standards, including the United Kingdom.
There is not much information available at this point, but rumours suggest an electric motor will be combined with the 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine. The Plug-in Hybrid system on this Ford pickup truck is a completely new feature, so it will be interesting to see how it performs.
Although the US pickup market seems to offer more EV options, the UK now has something to look forward to. We are disappointed to learn that the Toyota Hilux EV is not on the list, but hopefully, this will change soon. We can't wait to add these upcoming electric trucks to our pickup contract hire offer.
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