As electric pickups rise in price, range

SANT ‘ANTONIO – Ford Motors the new F-150 Lightning is an electric pickup truck. It may seem obvious as it looks like a truck and has electric motors and a battery pack instead of a motor, but it has to be said.

Why? Because a successful battery-powered pickup is a critical step in the transition of electric vehicles, for Ford and for the industry at large.

While leading the industry Tesla showed that consumers will buy electric cars as well Rivian Automotive has shown that there is a demand for lifestyle electric vehicles, the F-150 is the most significant test so far to see if electric vehicles can transition from compliant vehicles and niche trucks to a product that will appeal to buyers more traditional.

The electric pickup market, while still largely unproven, will be important for investors to keep an eye on in the coming years. Trucks traditionally have high profit margins and account for about 20% of vehicles sold in the United States, according to automotive intelligence firm Edmunds.

LMC Automotive expects the US electric pickup market to grow from about 25,000 vehicles this year to about 1 million by 2030. Five electric pickup models are expected to be available on the market this year, and is expected to rise to 21 in the next decade.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning is the first traditional pickup truck to be electric. It is not a GMC Hummer EV “super truck”. It is not a Tesla “Cybertruck”. It is not a Rivian R1T “adventure vehicle”. It’s a pickup truck, electrified.

The advantages of the F-150 Lightning are similar to the Hummer EV and the Rivian R1T, but these electric pickups, the only ones currently sold in the US, are not the same. The three drive differently and will target different buyers once sales overtake early adopters into more generic and curious buyers of electric vehicles.

F-150 Lightning

The Lightning lives up to the F-150’s name in both function and form, serving as the bridge between the traditional pickup people know and a new EV. it shares many of its designs and parts with its traditional sibling, aside from the powertrains, some design changes and an optional 15.5-inch control screen.

It is also priced like a traditional pickup, ranging from around $ 40,000 to over $ 90,000. It’s similar to Ford’s current lineup of large four-door pickups and in line with average prices of around $ 61,000 for a full-size pickup, according to Cox Automotive.

An electric pickup for the masses is something Ford was in a unique position to bring to market. His lineup of the F-series, including the F-150, was the best-selling vehicle in America for 40 years and the top truck for 45 years.

The company decided to make an electric version of the F-150 pickup truck and succeeded. The vehicle functions like a full-size truck. But electrification brings additional benefits of essentially instant torque, increased storage through a massive front trunk, or “frunk,”“where an engine would traditionally be – and removes the burden of having to fill up on gas.

The Lightning drives like an F-150, and that’s not a bad thing. Ford and other automakers have increasingly transformed pickups from heavy work trucks to comfortable vehicles that can navigate smoothly on and off the road.

The large vehicle battery provides an even better ride, as it keeps the vehicle more grounded and provides a closer 50-50 weight ratio for better balance. In addition, it offers a smooth towing experience because electric vehicles do not require gear changes, which are especially noticeable when towing goods.

While the Lightning is capable of climbing hills or even some rough terrain, it doesn’t match the Hummer or R1T in this regard, but that’s by design. This is a truck meant for traditional buyers, not a niche segment. Ford may at some point offer such a durable vehicle, but that’s not it.

The F-150 Lightning is capable of delivering up to 580 horsepower and 775 foot-pounds of torque. Consumer models with its high-end 131 kWh battery start at around $ 72,500 and have a range of up to 320 miles on a single charge. Its towing capacity is up to 10,000 lbs, between that of the Hummer and the R2T. Vehicles with smaller batteries and a range of 230 miles are less expensive but also offer lower performance.

Electric Ford F-150 Lightning

Andrew Evers / CNBC

One of the more unique advantages of the Lightning over the Hummer and R1T is its onboard power generation capability. Ford has charged the vehicle with outlets and a two-way charging system that can power a workplace or home in the event of a blackout for up to 10 days, depending on power consumption.

Ford began shipping the F-150 Lightning earlier this month to some fleet buyers as well over 200,000 reservation holders. The company hasn’t announced when it will reopen its order bank, as it plans to increase production to 150,000 vehicles by mid-2023.

R1T

the Riviano R1T has a bit of a first mover advantage in the electric pickup market; production started last fall but is slowly increasing. The R1T is capable in both performance and off-roading, going from 0 to 60 mph in about three seconds like a sports car, but it can climb rocks or big hills like a Jeep SUV.

Its interior and exterior style, with vegan leather and real wood, is more Tesla chic than off-road. It’s also a much smaller vehicle – about 16 inches shorter, in fact – than the F-150 Lightning, making it more comparable to a Ford Ranger or Jeep Gladiator.

This speaks to how Rivian is positioning its products as “adventure vehicles”. This is how Jeep has described its SUVs for years, making Rivian more of a threat to the Stellantis SUV brand compared to the F-150.

For now, Rivian CEO RJ Scarringe agrees, telling CNBC in a recent interview that the three pickups are each “quite different products.” The cross-purchases between the Rivian R1T, the Hummer and the F-150, he said, are extremely low: “Clearly the target and targets are different.”

Edmunds reports that buyers who look at the R1T more often make the comparison, the Ford Mustang Mach-E crossover and other electric vehicles, rather than other pickups.

However, Scarringe hinted at plans for a full range of vehicles in Rivian, which theoretically could include a larger truck.

Rivian R1T electric van

Source: Riviano

The starting price for the R1T ranges from $ 67,500 to $ 85,000. The vehicles currently available have up to 314 miles of range on a single charge with a 128.9 kWh “large” battery. The high-performance versions with four engines combine to produce 835 horsepower and 908 foot-pounds of torque. The vehicle can tow up to 11,000 pounds, an important metric for many pickup owners.

lobster

The Hummer’s off-road capability also stands out from the other two pickups, which helps explain its lower efficiency and weighing in at over 9,000 pounds.

This Hummer can easily climb rock climbs, also demonstrating a smooth road experience and outstanding hands-free highway driving with GM’s Super Cruise System. It also has detachable roof panels that fit into the trunk of the vehicle and many other special and hidden features, including a “crab walk” mode and faster charging than other trucks.

GM threw everything it had and more into the Hummer in terms of off-road and performance parts. Its starting price of $ 110,000 is a testament to that, ahead of the lower-priced variants expected in the coming years that could start at $ 79,995.

GMC Hummer EV Edition 1

Michael Wayland / CNBC

The current high-end Hummer, despite its weight, can reach 0-60mph in about three seconds with its “Watts to Freedom” or “WTF” mode.. It is capable of delivering up to 1,000 horsepower and 1,200 foot-pounds of engine torque. Its range on a single charge is up to 329 miles with a 212.7 kWh battery pack (of which 205 are usable, GM says). It can tow up to 7,500 pounds, the lowest lift of the three electric pickups.

Unlike the Rivian pickup, Edmunds reports some notable cross purchases between the Electric Hummer and its less rugged competitors. Buyers interested in Hummer look to the R2T and the Lightning for comparison more than any other model.

That crossover, however, still only accounts for about 9% of those truck hunters.