Electric cars are getting fairly commonplace. There's barely an auto manufacturer now that doesn't have at least one fully electric model in its range and most of the big names have a whole electric division. Tesla may lead the charge when it comes to EVs but it's no longer alone in its quest.
There is, however, still much to play for in the seemingly inevitable transition from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles over to electric. Two-seaters, convertibles and mini-vans remain largely unexplored, as more favor the SUV and cross over. But the biggest sector is about to see an all-out battle.
In the US, the top three top-selling vehicles in 2021 were all trucks: the Ford F-150, Ram pickup and Chevrolet Silverado. Both the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado have featured among the top 10 best-selling vehicles in the world. So the fact that all three of these models are coming out with an electric version in the next year will have a huge impact on the EV market.
That's not all. Tesla's Cybertruck is now slated for 2023, Rivian has already launched its pickup truck, and Ford has hinted at a second electric truck model on its way. This is likely to be a version of the Ford Ranger, which sells globally. There's also a suggestion that Volkswagen could launch a pickup version of its upcoming VW Buzz for the US market.
Electric pickup trucks coming in 2022/23
1. Ford F-150 Lightning
Ford's best-selling pickup truck going electric was always going to be a big deal. Five out of every 100 vehicles sold in the US last year was a Ford F-series truck, so even if a small percentage of those switch to an electric version, that's a huge change.
The Ford F-150 Lightning was announced back in May 2021 and the first models were delivered to customers in April 2022. With an estimated range now increased to 320 miles, a 2,000lbs payload and 10,000lbs towing capacity, this is a work horse of a truck. It features 11 outlets on board to power your tools – or your campsite – and can even plug into your home to keep everything running in the event of a power outage.
Prices start at $39,974 (US only) plus up to $7500 in potential federal savings. However, the orders are currently closed with new enquiries expected to wait until at least 2023.
2. Tesla Cybertruck
The Tesla Cybertruck was first announced back in 2019 and looked so wild that most thought that it would never reach production. However, in recent months we have seen increasingly close to production prototypes and at the opening of Tesla's new Texas facility, it was given a delivery estimate of 2023 for those who have already reserved.
The Cybertruck still looks like something designed for outer space but we do a little more about its features. There's adaptive air suspension, 3,500lbs payload, 14,000lbs towing, vault-like storage in the rear bed, a projected 2.9-second 0-60mph acceleration and up to 500 miles of range. These figures are far from final but if the real numbers come close, the Cybertruck will offer some real competition to the big truck names.
The base price is expected to be $39,900 (roughly £32,000/AU$56,000) but premium models could run upwards of $81900 (roughly £65,500/AU$115,600).
3. Chevrolet Silverado RST
The Chevrolet Silverado EV got its debut at CES in January 2022 and like the Ford, takes the existing pickup as its base. The design is curvy and modern looking for a pickup and it promises an impressive spec list, including a 400-mile range, up to 10,000lbs towing and an innovative multi-flex midgate, which allows longer items to pass through into the rear of the cab to fit up to 10ft in length in the bed.
Like the Ford, it has a large storage area in the front trunk. It also promises four-corner adaptive air suspension, rear-wheel turning and supercruise hands-free driving. The initial reservation sold out in minutes with the first models expected to ship in fall 2023 at a base price of $39,900.
4. Ram 1500 EV
At the Chicago Auto Show in February, Ram said that it was entering into a year-long conversation with its users to determine what they want from an electric truck. In April however (the week that Ford delivered its first F-150 EVs) it succeeded in 'stealing some thunder,' as it put it, by revealing that it would launch its electric EV in Fall 2022.
There are no details as yet as to what the truck will look like, what it will feature or how much it will cost, but we can expect it will be at least loosely based on the existing Ram 1500 model. Production models are unlikely to ship until late 2023.
5. Ford Ranger (predicted)
As the first Ford F-150 Lightnings rolled off the production line, CEO Jim Farley hinted that there's another electric pickup on the way from Ford. This next-gen electric truck is said to be different from the Lightning and most likely a version of the Ford Ranger.
The beauty of the Ford Ranger is that it has a global audience already, which means there could be an electric Ford truck coming to the UK (the F-150 is too big for British roads, and parking spots).
Of course, this could be a new model altogether from the existing Ranger and Maverick options, but that feels unlikely. The range is due an overhaul and it would make sense if that overhaul would include an electric drivetrain. There's no reason why this model could get a full announcement later in 2022, though it could be 2024 before we see it hit the road.
6. VW Buzz pickup (concept)
Volkswagen's ID. Buzz is based on a longtime concept of a modern VW Camper and while not quite as curvy as the first concepts, it still turns heads. For world design day, however, the company released a new concept of the ID.Buzz as a pickup.
The Buzz is already expected to come in a second Buzz Carbo form, which would give the van loading space behind a partition but the idea of a pickup version has potential in the North American market.
As we've seen above there's huge interest in the electric pickup market and the ID Buzz pickup could grab a section of the market interested in something a little more fun. Electric pick ups like the Ford F-150 Lightning are gaining interest with drivers that wouldn't normally consider a pickup, so perhaps this group are more likely to be swayed by something that feels like a half-way house.