Truck preview: Pick-up trucks going electric
The field is becoming a little crowded
February 27, 2023 By Mario Cywinski
Over the years, pick-up trucks have come in all shapes and sizes, many growing with each generation, and adding new models to fill the gaps.
Under the hoods, a plethora of engines have been used that use many different configurations. We have seen, and in many cases continue to see, V-6, V-8, turbocharged, diesel, hybrid, and other configurations powering the pick-up vehicles on the roads.
Now it’s time to go to the next step, fully electric. While a lot of attention has centred around EV-only manufactures, such as Tesla (with its uniquely designed Cybertruck), Rivian (with the R1T), or others, having the mainstream OEMs enter the scene is a game-changer.
Below we look at what each OEM has to offer, from trucks that are already on the road (Ford Lightning) to those that have just been released as a concept (Ram Revolution), and everything in between.
The king of the hill in terms of pick-up sales, Ford Motor Company, turned their top selling F-150 into an electric truck before you could say, Lightning. However, Ford didn’t just go from selling V-8 pick-ups to electric versions. They took steps, introducing the EcoBoost (turbocharged V-6) years ago, with a smaller size version coming years later, and recently debuted a PowerBoost version, which takes the EcoBoost and adds an electric motor.
Lightning offers two lithium-ion battery options, a standard range version with 386 kilometres (km) of range, and an extended range version with 482 to 515 km of range, depending on trim. The standard range model offers 452 horsepower (hp), while extended range has 580 hp. Both offer 775 foot/pounds of torque. In terms of truck capability, the Lightning has maximum payload of 1,800 (extended-range) to 2,000 (standard-range) pounds (lbs). While max estimated towing ranges (with max trailer tow package) from 7,700 lbs (standard-range) to 10,000 lbs (extended-range). With no engine, the Lightning now has a truck under the hood, with 400 litres of volume and 400 lbs of payload, four electrical outlets, two USB chargers and a drainable floor.
A new feature on the Lightning is Ford Intelligent Backup Power, which turns your truck into a backup power source for your home. The system allows the Lightning to offload 9.6 kW of power. When using the truck with an 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and a home management system, the system sends power to the house, instead of charging itself. Once power is restored, the truck goes back to charging its battery.
GM’s technology start-up, BrightDrop, is building the Zevo 600 electric delivery vehicle at CAMI Assembly plant in Ontario. BrightDrop Zevo 600 offers 300 hp, 390 pound/feet of torque, and all-wheel drive. It will offer 9,990 lbs of available GVWR, over 600 cubic/feet of cargo space, and up to 2,200 lbs of payload capacity. Being an EV, it offers approximately 402 kilometres of range on a full charge, can be charged with a 120kw DC fast charger or a Level 2 11.5kw charger, and has regenerative braking.
Additionally, BrightDrop 600 will offer a suite of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, rear view camera, following distance indicator, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, and front and rear park assist. Optional safety features will include reverse automatic braking, surround view, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic braking, safety alert seat, and blind zone steering assist.
Late in 2023, BrightDrop plans to introduce the Zevo 400, a smaller version of the Zevo 600 delivery van. It will offer over 400 cu/ft of storage, have an approximately 150-inch wheelbase, and be under 20 feet in length.
General Motors is also introducing three EV pick-up trucks in the near future. Currently in production is the GMC Hummer EV pick-up, which offers 529 km of range, while using three electric drive motors with Ultium battery system that offer an estimated 1,000 hp and 11,500 ft/lbs of torque. While the Hummer EV is not meant for everyone, with its outrageous power numbers, GM is also putting an EV powertrain in their mainstream Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pick-ups.While the Hummer EV is already in production, Silverado will be on the market as 2024 model, while Sierra will hit Canadian shores as a 2025 model (2024 will be sold in U.S.).Silverado will come in two trims at launch, RST First Edition and Work Truck for fleets. Both trims will offer standard DC fast charging for up to 350kW, and up to 10kW of offboard power with optional equipment. Most importantly, range will be up to 640 km.
Work Truck model will be available for fleet customers and offer 510 hp and 615 ft/lbs of torque, 1,200 lbs of payload, and 8,000 lbs of towing. Chevrolet plans to introduce a fleet model with up to 9,027 kg (20,000 lbs) max trailering with the max tow package in the future.
RST will offer 660 hp and 780 ft/lbs of torque from the available wide open watts max power mode, up to 4,534 kg (10,000 lbs) of towing with up to 1,300 lbs of payload, four-wheel steering, and automatic adaptable air suspension. Unique features include a multi-flex mid-gate, which expands cargo capability but continues to offer rear seating, as well as the multi-flex tailgate.
The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept is obviously a show car, but it will be the basis of a production version to be introduced to the market in 2024.
The concept is powered by two electric drive modules, includes AWD, has the capability to charge 161 km in 10 minutes when using 800v DC fast charger at 350kW, and has four-wheel steering. Ram plans to be the leader in range, towing, payload, and charge time on the production model.
The design is what Ram calls the new face of the brand and is a departure from the current look of Ram trucks. The truck offers an industry-first third row jump seats, which are mid-gate mounted and have a removable lower section that allows for flex seating configurations and allow for objects up to 18-feet long to be passed through to the front trunk.
OEM hybrid options
One thing to keep in mind is that although the trucks listed are all-electric, many electrified models are also available. With many hybrid-powered (from full-hybrid to mild-hybrid) vehicles on the market, including Toyota Tundra (with available hybrid model), Ford F-150 PowerBoost, Ford Maverick hybrid, and Ram 1500 with eTorque mild hybrid engine options.
Mario Cywinski is the editor of Plant, MRO, MFO, and Food and Beverage. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, with many years of experience in editorial, maintenance, reliability, operations, automobile, and small business industries.
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