Where are the affordable electric pickup trucks?

October 22, 2020

Electric pickup trucks are coming, but they may not be coming for all of us. The much ballyhooed return of the Hummer as an electric pickup truck by GMC suggests that the Age of Electrification might just be for the wealthy, to start.  

Of all the numbers announced during the Tuesday launch, the most eye-popping was the initial price: $112,595, including destination. 

It’s no secret that pickup trucks have gotten more expensive with each year, averaging at least a 3% increase annually since 2009, according to J.D. Power. Loaded with luxury and convenience options, the basic but long-lasting work truck has evolved into a family truck that can double as a mobile boardroom. In 2019, consumers paid on average $51,700 for a new pickup truck, before incentives. That was easily a record.

Pickups cost about $11,000 more than other passenger vehicles, and account for about 15% of all new-vehicle sales. 

Driven by SUVs and pickup trucks, the average price of all vehicles continues to increase, hovering around the $38,000 range in 2020. Despite the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt and other affordable electrics, automakers are tempted by the luxury margins realized by Tesla. Yet, the average transaction price of an electric vehicle was just under $42,000 in 2019, according to ABC News. But plug-in vehicles only account for less than 2% of the market. 

If a Ford F-150 can cost $80,000, is a six-figure electric truck that far off?

Even though the electric trucks listed below are under development and subject to price changes and production delays, here’s what we know about what’s coming and what it will cost us. Keep in mind, startup automakers like Bollinger and Fisker are planning on limited, luxe trucks, and other startups have claimed big, suspect things like the Nikola Badger. All of these electric truck makers are American based and American made.  

GMC Hummer

Price: $112,595 for Edition 1; $79,995 base model

Expected delivery: Edition 1, fall of 2021; base model for 2024

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

Once the nemesis for environmentalists, the return of the Hummer and its zero tailpipe emissions is less about serving the environment than the ego. A tech showcase with four-wheel steering so it can crab walk, an adaptive air suspension, GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driving system, a four-panel removable roof that can be stowed in the frunk, the new Hummer is all about capability and exclusivity. The 1,000-horsepower three-motor system has an estimated range of 350 miles, can hit 60 mph in about 3.0 seconds, or its estimated 1,000 pound-feet of torque can tow up to 11,000 pounds. Even the base model not expected until 2024 costs more than $80,000. 

GM electric vehicles no longer qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit.

Tesla Cybertruck

Price: $41,100-$71,100

Expected delivery: 2022

Tesla Cybertruck prototype - Nov. 2019

Tesla Cybertruck prototype - Nov. 2019

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

We’re not sure if the production Cybertruck will match the triangular Tesla concept, but Tesla’s first pickup embodies the hype of other Tesla vehicles. The stainless-steel wedge with a 100-cubic foot vault instead of a cargo bed can carry 3,500 pounds or tow up to 14,000 pounds, seat six, hit 60 mph in under 3 seconds, and have a 500-mile range in top Tri-Motor AWD trim. The Single Motor rear-wheel drive model starts at $41,100, and the Dual-Motor AWD costs $51,100. We expect the most expensive Tri-Motor model to be first to market. 

Tesla vehicles no longer qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit.

Rivian R1T

Price: $69,000

Expected delivery: June 2021

Rivian R1T - hot-weather towing test

Rivian R1T - hot-weather towing test

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T, 2018 LA Auto Show

Rivian R1T, 2018 LA Auto Show

Rivian R1T electric pickup concept

Rivian R1T electric pickup concept

Launched simultaneously with the R1S SUV, the R1T should be the first available battery electric pickup to market. Detroit-based Rivian makes the R1T base model with a 135-kwh battery pack expected to have a 300-mile range, while the upgraded 180-kwh pack should have a 400-mile range and hit 60 mph in 3.0 seconds. A smaller, less expensive version with a 105-kwh pack is due a year after initial rollout. As long as a mid-size truck but as wide as a full-size truck, the short 55-inch bed suggests a spacious cabin that may compete more with SUVs than trucks.

Rivian hasn’t sold a vehicle, so Rivian buyers will still qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit. 

Ford F-150 Electric

Price: Affordable, Ford says

Expected delivery: Mid-2022

Ford F-150 electric teaser

Ford F-150 electric teaser

The hybrid version launches for 2021 as one of six available powertrains in America’s bestselling vehicle. The hybrid’s reception might affect the fully electric F-150, though Ford has committed to it and called the dual-motor electric truck the quickest and with the most horsepower and torque of any F-150. The hybrid commands a $4,495 upcharge over similarly equipped gas models, but that doesn’t help us predict the cost of the electric F-150. Generally speaking, the automaker has said the electric F-150 will emphasize the cost-of-ownership advantages of electric and, according to CEO Jim Farley, will be “a workhorse, not a showhorse.” We do expect it to beat the rumored electric Chevy Silverado to market.

Ford hasn’t sold 200,000 electric vehicles so buyers will still qualify for at least some of the federal EV tax credit, depending on sales of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Lordstown Endurance

Price: $52,500

Expected delivery: September 2021

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

The Endurance will be an electric truck meant for commercial fleets. That could make it the most affordable electric truck. Led by former Workhorse CEO Steve Burns, the Endurance makes 600 hp from four motors–one in each wheel–for a 250-mile range. It can tow 7,500 pounds and has a top speed limited to 80 mph. 

Lordstown hasn’t sold a vehicle, so Endurance buyers will still qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit.


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