Are Capable Electric Pickup Trucks on the Horizon?

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When Tesla CEO Elon Musk talks, people listen. In fact, even with he responds to fairly innocuous questions about Tesla pickup truck production timing, people get excited. During a recent YouTube interview, Musk talked about possibly bringing an all-electric pickup to market ahead of schedule. As you might imagine, that's got some other companies thinking, too.

Beyond the idea of bringing an all-electric pickup to market, there is the reality of actually doing so, which could involve some large hurdles. First, pickup truck buyers are typically cautious about new, untested technology and usually aren't the early adopters that many fans of other electric vehicles are. Second, those same early adopters often aren't the biggest fans of or knowledgeable about pickups. But that could be changing if Atlis Motor Vehicles follows through with its plans for a new kind of electric pickup.

Atlis is in the early stages of creating an electric pickup truck platform that can deliver all the function and capability of current full-size pickups (half ton or heavy duty), as well as provide a few new surprises that could allow for more customization and modular functionality. Additionally, if Atlis Founder and CEO Mark Hanchett can keep his company focused on function-first priorities, the company could create waves in the auto and recreational vehicle industries with a possible subscription-based sales strategy.

Atlis is in the early stages of development with some interesting designs and new charging technology that could provide a full-range charge in as little as 15 minutes. There are plenty of issues to figure out and refine before a prototype makes a world debut. Still, from the way Atlis executives are talking, that could be as soon as next year. For now, they've enlisted a crowd-sourcing strategy, similar to what Tesla has done in which early investors will get discounts and preferential treatment when the pickup (or other products) finally goes on sale.

Here are some early artist renditions of the coming XT Pickup Truck from Atlis. If you want to provide your input about this vehicle, the comment section below is the place to do it. More to come.

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Comments

YES. They are on the horizon. Right there with flying cars, conservative college professors, and cancer-free cigarettes.

The Model 3 from Tesla already proves electric drive is cheaper and more powerful with less maintenance. Its cheaper to own than a Camry or Civic and is in higher demand than those best sellers and again cheaper to own and more powerful. Battery- Electric drive is everywhere now from lawnmowers to heavy duty machinery and the Model 3 has Toyota beat. A pick up is what I am waiting for and finally I can stop driving old technology.

Where does most of our electric power come from?
What happens to the old batteries? What's their carbon footprint?
How will these trucks be charged in large numbers with an antiquated e-grid?
Will max towing range be even half what is attained with a ICE truck?
How will massive batteries effect GVWR ratings compared to ICE trucks?
Will our tax dollars be the sole facilitator for this effort?

These are real issues that are part of our physical world. Theories aren't reality. Government can't legislate reality.

Prototypes and production are worlds apart. This article would be much more informative if it could put a price on the true price of production.

The closest figure I can find is a recent one from Mercedes, where they expect to spend more than 12 billion dollars on vehicle and battery production. So, with that in mind, I don't think a "kick starter" campaign is enough to raise the real money needed.

Here's video that pretty much sums it up :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlVDGmjz7eM

Nice wheel wells, should put a nice grille on,
I guess electric trucks don't need mirrors?

and finally I can stop driving old technology.
Posted by: Thomas | Sep 7, 2018

Please! Old technology?

The current generation of pickups represent the leading edge of personal technology. If I told you 20 years ago that your truck would be a mobile hot spot, or that your half ton truck would offer the prospect of getting 25 mpg highway, or that "a little TV screen" on the dash would show you routes that avoid traffic jams it would have sounded a bit far fetched.

Today's trucks are brimming with tech.

@PapaJim -- i just met two college professors who own nearly 100 guns between the two of them. They are lifelong hunters, as well as target shooters. They would fight to the death to support private ownership of firearms, but they do not support automatic weapons for civilians, so i will give you that. They also do not care for the current head of the White House, although they do support government. One does not always have to be all left or all right, many of us are in the middle (or both sides, really). Many of us fight for our individual beliefs and ideals rather than blindly follow where political parties are trying to lead us.

Back on topic: We will see plenty of hybrid trucks before we will see a lot of all-electric trucks.

Better design than Workhorse W-15, in my opinion. Love that it will be based on all electric, though the W-15 is going to offer an all-electric version shortly after release of the current gas range extender version goes on sale. I wonder if they are using in-hub motors or separate in-board motors (cant see any visible drive axles in the pics). In-hub motors will affect ride quality considering it will increase unsprung weight. Love the large front trunk idea. But like many have said, we need more concrete info.

Some, like me, don't care as much where the energy comes from. The main factor is the cost to run. Not many people care where their gas/diesel comes from or how it was processed. Also, if you can charge at home (for those with such access), then range becomes less of an issue unless you are hauling a lot over a long distance. For most who use it to haul their butts to work daily and their toys/projects on the weekend, an electric truck would be awesome!

@longboat

I guess I'll have to take your word for it. College faculties are the classic image of "group-think." That said, it's hard to imagine a professor willing to fight to the death over anything that has not already been targeted by the Faculty Senate.

My ex-wife was a professor. I know that mind-set like I know the back of my hand.

It would make TREMENDOUS sense in the small/midsize/pretend truck market. This is a market that the customer has already traded real truck capabilities at a premium price for size/comfort/image. If they make it look good, sit high, and have enough payload and cargo capacity to satisfy this group (say a freshly cut Christmas tree, or 3 bags of cement, or a dozen 2x4s a few times a year). They don't have to worry about towing at all. Can forgo body on frame with this crowd and just need to make a version that looks like it can offroad. These people would FINALLY get the REAL boost in mileage in a "truck" that can fit into a garage/normal packing space, allow them to ride high, that they want and pay so much for.

I'm pretty old school, don't care much for the thought of autonomous vehicles or electric vehicles but this truck looks good! Put regular door handles on it and it looks better than a '19 Chevy IMO.
I don't ever want one, but if they want an electric truck to sell then they need to make them look and act like a truck and not a space ship from a video game.

This truck looks good! Wish it had a 6.2 under the hood!

Electric pickups need to cut their teeth in the commercial market first. They need to build utility and reliability into them first. I think starting with the consumer market is working backwards. Priorities are: Reliability, Utility and range. Oh and by the way Clint, Midsize trucks are about as capable as full size trucks were not too long ago. My grandfather ran his small farm on a Johnny Popper, a two horse trailer and a 1991 S-10. Not so pretend.

I'm with Clint.

Not sure if the electric pickup catches on, but the mid size is a great laboratory for the R&D

Customers who are focused on "the next big thing" are more likely to be midsizers than fullsizers.

Well Walmart has 10 semi trucks running right now and just ordered 30 more with a range of 800km. They will come...solar will also... so charging will be affordable at home as well. Near me is a solar charging station at a stop high in the mountains for electrics, and I have even seen one stopped there plugged in...didn't get a chance to stop and talk. Our city has now installed a few of these free charge stations as a test and also testing electric bike for hire that use the charging station and I live in the interior of BC Canada.
https://www.thestar.com/business/2018/09/06/walmart-canada-orders-30-more-tesla-semi-trucks-as-it-aims-to-shed-diesel.html

@budsy

Natural gas is already on line for semi-tractor rigs. There's a major logistics outfit near where I live in Central Florida that made a big investment in natural-gas powered rigs about five years ago. They operate in a 250 radius and get refueled every trip back to the HQ.

Electricity is less valuable for semis. In most parts of the US the grid is still heavily dependent on so called "dirty" fuels to generate the current (so what's the point?).

edit

They operate in a 250 mile radius

The concept of the electric vehicles is great. However the cost is exorbitant, not practical for an average Joe. From the company side - it needs a huge constant, unending river of capital flow - with the outcome not clearly a beaten track. We wish the new company all the best in its endeavors.

Looking or comparing the electric vehicles to the cell phones - we find the anxiety of the battery life of the cell phone to be credible. Most cell phone batteries need yearly renewal (some companies make it impossible) for your average MacGvyer (like the expert who adds leaf springs that converts taco to 1 ton).

Government incentives - looking at the third world’s government’s inability to provide incentives like Cuba, Tahiti or Nepal - so those electric vehicles are out of reach for the main street.

‘There’s a sucker born every minute’, It is true people will buy junk bonds in the hope of raking it in ignoring ‘if it sounds too good to be true’ edict, it is also true Brooklyn Bridge exchange hands daily.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/26/traders-are-betting-heavily-against-teslas-junk-bonds.html

@David R.

I mostly agree except on one point. Tesla's meteoric rise, and the current malaise, are all due to Mr Musk's personal fortunes.

When Musk was "the next big thing" a few years ago it was great for his company and its early supporters. Now he's going viral smoking pot during an interview---not helpful. There were similar characters in the early days of the automobile business.

We remember the straight laced Henry Ford, but there were plenty of vulture capitalists involved in the early GM and multitudes of other auto makers.

Make one that looks and sounds exactly like what I drive now and maybe I'll be interested.

Why do people always seem to frame electric vehicles as an all or none scenario. My wife has a Chevy Bolt. Her favorite thing about it? “I haven’t been to a gas station since December!” I am told twice a week it seems (when I say I have to go get gas).

Certain persons and certain use scenarios will benefit greatly from electrics, others could not complete their current duties or uses.

Any scenario where engines idle a lot, stop and go, and can go all day and charge all night, electrics will work great (local service and delivery). Anything with extended range and uncertainty of charging access will be a hindrance (hauling a trailer for vacation or traveling contractors) Your mileage may vary.

Agree with SportTrac

Well....VW group is says it will be going all electric and so does GM according to this:
https://www.gm.com/mol/m-2018-mar-0307-barra-speech.html
Ford seems to indicate the same thing. Already they are saying concentrating on trucks but at the same time they are looking at an all electric SUV/Truck business in the future.
https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/09/ford-future-ev-interview/

VWs concept ID Buzz is not far off. A good minivan size and with awd and 369 hp and over 350 mile range. Considering the architecture is scalable and now and improved batteries coming on line more energy means more range or support for bigger motors.

Sure there will still be coal fired electric plants, but even the big utilities are doing more solar and wind.

The only thing that bothers me a bit is that along with these vehicles is coming autonomous driving. I am not sure I am ready to give up control but then again considering how distracted some people are trying to text, watch the stock market update or whatever maybe it is a good thing.

@PapaJIm
I know I am going on a tangent - not staying on topic.
You hit my pet peeve - smoking pot.

If you recall Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, the man, the beard, the legend - I loved him, respect him and admired him my grandparents & my parents thought of him as a saint - his constant edict is smoking is not healthy it damages your lungs - we adhere to his edict, we passed it on to our children - we are proud of them being non smokers - especially in our family get together in the big easy.

Guess who are championing pot now? Or where it is grown - ‘these are considered good Christians’ (a line borrowed from Paul Newman - Hombre)

Smoking is still smoking, regardless of the substance or ingredients.

@SportTrac -- the issue with many traditional truck buyers is that they want to purchase all of the capability that they think they will need, not necessarily what they will actually use. This mindset is somewhat tempered by those who use their truck as a tool, as well as many mid-size buyers who may have a slightly better grasp on their actual needs.

As such, the full-size truck market may be a tough nut to crack for full-electric trucks; hence, the emphasis on targeting commercial, fleet and possibly mid-size buyers in order to gain a foothold in the market.

Those are just my POA opinions....they are probably worth what you paid for them.

I think targeting government, utilities, and commercial fleets would be the best strategy. The evolving battery technology will eventually make electric powered vehicles more feasible but it is still many years away. Batteries have to be smaller, lighter, longer range, and last longer along with being less costly. The one thing about electric vehicles is the motors are less complex and require less maintenance and don't require multiple geared transmissions. I am not in a hurry to buy one but I do see a future just not as soon as some predict. I believe we will see more hybrid vehicles in the future and that might be a good testing ground for lighter and more affordable batteries.

The mystique of battery's/autonomous cars seems to of put us into a paradigm shift. Every day I see more and more Model 3's on the road. It's clearly a status thing now like the iPhone was and still seems to be. Oh, that little 1Trillion net worth Silicon Valley company called Apple that revolutionized the phone industry with overpriced phones. $1000 a pop. Who would of thought. I'm in no way an early adopter, as many in the Midwest may not be, for example, but people do spring for things that they feel imply status in California, Texas, and rest of world. I mean the big 3 are always sharing that a big percentage of their truck sales are for the >$50k versions. Who would of thought 20 years ago.

Make the truck 6 inches more cab forward into the frunk and we'll finally have a "full-size" mid-sizer. Battery isn't for all. But thinking that it can't become something major, definitely isn't forward thinking.

I peddled past another company today, 2 miles from the Tesla plant, and saw lot's of 3's in its' parking lot. Seems they are overflowing into other company's parking structures. Semi trucks are all over the area loaded up with Model 3's going places.

If a 350mile battery range "full-sizer" could be made the size of a mid-size, I'd have no problem plopping down $50-$60k. Just the thought of never having to go to gas stations or smog shops anymore excites me!

If the article says it is capable, TNT will buy because the article told him to do it.

DHL. The decision of global logistics company DHL, the biggest buyer in the world of trucks, to design and build its own range of electric trucks is a game changer. Having received negative responses from a whole series of truck manufacturers to design and build electric trucks for them, they decided to it themselves. They acquired a university startup, called Scooter, and now are producing these trucks with a view to having 35,000 of them on the road by 2023. DHL is doing this for two reasons: economics and environmental impact. The beauty of any electric vehicle is the efficiency of the drivetrain – up to three times that of an average diesel engine. This means that the costs of running an electric vehicle are much lower than that of diesel. Upfront costs are still higher for an electric truck, but what DHL’s decision is telling us is that the total cost of ownership is actually lower than that of a diesel, especially for short-haul journeys (under 200km per day), where trucks go back to a depot where charging can take place every day. And let’s not forget that batteries are only going to become cheaper and better.

@budsy

Here's the 64 thousand dollar question: How many do they have on the road today?

Not 2023. Not on the blackboard in some lab.

Five years is an eternity in the world of tech and research. Even 12 months. CEO's live and die every 90 days.

Five years?

Electric vehicles will likely lead to electric utilities starting a residential demand charge. For those that don't know what that means. You will have two charges on your bill one for the amount of KWH (energy) and another for KW which represents the fastest rate you used electricity. This will make it economically prohibitive to fast charge at home.

quoted from Angelo:
"Make the truck 6 inches more cab forward into the frunk and we'll finally have a "full-size" mid-sizer. Battery isn't for all. But thinking that it can't become something major, definitely isn't forward thinking.

I peddled past another company today, 2 miles from the Tesla plant, and saw lot's of 3's in its' parking lot. Seems they are overflowing into other company's parking structures. Semi trucks are all over the area loaded up with Model 3's going places.

If a 350mile battery range "full-sizer" could be made the size of a mid-size, I'd have no problem plopping down $50-$60k. Just the thought of never having to go to gas stations or smog shops anymore excites me!"
---
This was my thinking exactly! When the 2019 Ram 1500 was announced, I was lucky enough to sit in the cab and realized how much bigger it was than my 2007 F-150 SCREW FX4. I LOVE the size and the interior, but hate trying to park it and get out at in between cars or try to fit it in the garage. If they can design it to where you can get most of the interior space without the crazy width and length by eating into the truck/front area, this would make a great compromise for me (and probably others) and I can see spending $50k+.

Where I live (Jax, FL), we have a lot of Model S, Model 3, Model X, Chevy Bolts and Nissan Leafs on the road. We also have a lot of pickups (both high dollar status symbols and work class). There may be a status symbol to some of these purchases, but I dont think it takes a lot to convince those who purchased/leased to see the benefits of their decision. I dont think that an electric truck has to fit everyone's needs/wants. Neither of those aforementioned electric vehicles are perfect for everyone, yet they are obviously making business sense for both the consumer and the maker. Workhorse, Tesla, Bollinger, and now Atlis...they can all have success.

Almost all of you have the wrong mentality on this matter.
Its not about "electric trucks".
Its about "electrified trucks".
The single most complicating factor of a combustion engine is the need to get power throughout the range of rpm.
When you use the combustion engine as a range extender or generator, then the combustion engine can be very simple and cheap and will last practically forever.
Then also the electric drive will practically last forever too.
And you don't need big, expensive batteries.
So all you nincompoops with brains the size of peas will realize that "electrified(hybridized or range extenders), IS the near future and the best way to go.
And the only thing holding us back is the vested interests of parts makers and and current auto makers that have backed themselves into the corner of tradition and past investment.
The auto industry has had to be forced into the idea of less expensive and reliable vehicles that are far more efficient while being far more powerful.
And combustion trucks with electrified drive are also mobile power stations that can power a whole block of homes or businesses.
So get a clue. You too PUTC. Your article should have read "Are Capable Electrified Pickup Trucks on the Horizon?".
Its a pain when you have to tell a so called professional their own business.
They probably don't have the guts to let this comment through.

@Mr Thomas Paul,

I'm sure I speak for the rest of us when I say how grateful I am to be schooled by such a persuasive and erudite fellow as yourself.

Have you written any books, or conducted any advanced studies on the subject?

#1 selling truck manufacture in the world, Silverado, might make one.

I agree that we will see more hybrid powered vehicles because it is a proven technology and it gives the manufacturers a way to comply with the upcoming efficiency and emission standards There is much less difference in cost between a hybrid and a regular ICE than there use to be. Long term we will probably see more electrified vehicles but the size, cost, and range of the batteries still needs improvements. I don't see ICE going away anytime soon but there will be further improvements to ICE. I might be very old or dead before electric vehicles become the majority of vehicles on the road.

@Jeff

This article is less about hybrid drivetrain tech and more about the specific platform referenced in the article.

In reality, the ability to do this has been around quite awhile. Being able to do it in a scalable and practical way is another thing, but the foundation is there.

Doing it in a cost effective way only hinges on the public's acceptance of it, and the current price of fossil fuel technology at that point in time.

All the big automakers are now spending billions on hybrid technologies. Range extender formulas are quickly becoming the technology of choice. And for trucks, range extending engines are particularly fitting. So this article is off the mark when it poses the idea that full EVs are the issue. The vast majority of electrified vehicles and trucks will have combustion engines. That is not my supposition. That is a fact. The auto companies have stated as much in their spending reports and elsewhere. And many of you on this site like this papajim as well as the site editors seem to be very ignorant of all this.

I have a question: how do these things do when its -25F in January? These might do good down in hot states, but up north is another story.

@Red

You take yourself WAY too seriously. Billions on hybrid technologies...did you really mean that?

They were spending the big bucks on hybrid 30 years ago. This is a mainstreet area of automotive technology today. Name an automaker that doesn't offer a hybrid.

The article we are discussing refers to a specific platform called Atlis.

I found the article interesting, but the fact remains that present day fundamentals represent stiff headwinds for alternative drivetrains (gas is cheap) and fewer serious scientists now buy the idea that greenhouse gas is the greatest threat facing our survival.

Unless and until the present trends reverse themselves the available capital for developing these new technologies on a really global scale is nill. See Ford Motor Company's recent financials for first hand evidence.

As you all see, its not just ignorance, its willful ignorance. You just don't know the auto industry. There has never been anything like the size and scope of spending that is now going on for electrifying the whole line of vehicles from all the big automakers.

@djjr50
One of those Semi trucks I saw hauling Model 3's this morning had a sign that said Jacksonville or bust.

On the contrare: Everyone here is a bunch of geniuses I's say.

@Red.

See Ford Motor Company's recent financials for first hand evidence. Their shareholders are freaking out.

Their institutional shareholders have bailed. GM and FCA each have about 75% of their total shares outstanding held by pension funds, big banks, insurers.

Ford's institutional profile has dropped below 60%. Ford was the leader on this alternative fuels, self driving cars, electric cars. The market voted NO

I'm really digging the design. Reminds me of the 1st get Tundra a bit..

"Spending big bucks on hybrid 30 years ago".
Really? Where? Hybrid is a household name now, but 30 years ago the big deal was 225hp out of a 5.0L mustang.
Which by the way, my lighter 195hp E30 M3 2.3L could almost keep up with. And now I'm hearing Mustang is going to have an electric Mach 1 too in 2022. I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty much at the epicenter of this paradigm shift, and it may still take a while before the truck industry gets all reved up for electric, but the cars are well on their way. I'm excited. Just wished it would come sooner than later. Even the airplane industry is reving up for electric aircraft. At least for training aircraft, that only go up for an hour or so at a time. That's how my pilot training went most of the time: discuss for 15-30minuts, fly for an hour, then debrief for 15-10. Larry Page of Google also has a fancy for throwing money into electric aircraft.

I'm sorry Angelo but I really don't take your opinions very seriously. By the second sentence of your response you went off on a tangent talking about the Mustang.

Hybrids are not a new idea. Honda and Toyota in particular had divergent approaches to hybrid back then.

Yes, in the late 1980s the industry was very excited about hybrid research. By the late 1990s Toyota already had a vehicle in showrooms. Yes?

That's fine papa. I too have to take your comments with a grain of salt too at times, but I always appreciate learning something new . Hybrid in the 80's may be true, but I never felt the excitement of Hybrid in the 80's. Diesel's definitely more so, but NEVER Hybrid.
Tangent: My Google buddy had his Insight forever, and he finally moved up to the Model S last month (he LOVES it). Other Google buddy has a Leaf. His daughters are always grabbing for the Leaf because they don't have to pay for gas. I heard the same from an Electric Prius buddy of mine a few years ago: his children want to borrow that car not the gas one.

Angelo: the world's population has invested trillions of dollars in the technology and infrastructure that provide our current automobiles, trucks, roadways, bridges, etc. It took more than a century to get where we are.

The wholesale adoption of electric cars and trucks will not happen overnight but current constraint mean it will have to proceed in an intelligent and measured way, until someone can make the case for going faster.

The cost of this proposed transition is astonishing. To endure that expense for something that fails to meet human needs is a non starter.

Considerable attention has been given to making our current cars/trucks more efficient, less dangerous and more environmentally harmonious.

I'm just waiting for the battery tech to improve. There are some very promising things rumored in solid state batteries. I believe the main problem right now is figuring out how to mass produce them at a low cost. They have many pototypes vastly better than current batteries in reliability and longevity. I believe the battery tech will eventually reach a point that electric vehicles become commonplace. An electric truck would be much better in many ways than current trucks, they would simply be too expensive with the current technology. Longer lasting batteries with higher energy density and lower cost than the current batteries would really change the world. Of course it may never materialize but a lot of companies are imvesting billions on it right now and many researchers claim to be close to the right design.

I think nuclear power will be the best route for pickup trucks. The technology has been used in submarines for years.



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