Electric Truck News Roundup: Ford F-150 EV, Tesla and Nissan

Ford F-150 Electric Prototype
Manufacturer images

By Nick Kurczewski

Considering a large Jet Ski weighs about 1,000 pounds, it's nice to know a future electric-powered Ford F-150 pickup truck could tow about 1,000 of them, if needed. In one of the wilder truck stunts of recent times, Ford showcased the capabilities of an electric F-150 prototype by towing 10 double-decker train cars. Once that was done, the challenge got only crazier — trust us, the video below is worth watching!

Related: Are Capable Electric Pickups Trucks on the Horizon?

Meanwhile, anticipation is growing over the imminent debut of Tesla's first pickup. That shouldn't come as a surprise when you consider that Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said the truck will have the capabilities of a Ford F-150 with the performance of a Porsche 911 sports car.

Last but certainly not least, Nissan beat everyone to the punch when it comes to bringing a full-electric pickup to market. Except to buy one, you'll need to live in China and be OK with a top speed of only 68 mph.

Keep reading to discover all the electric truck and news you need to know.

Electric Ford F-150 Tows More Than 1 Million Pounds

The engineers at Ford might want to consider cutting down on their caffeine or time at the gym. How else can you explain the decision to hitch a prototype of the American auto giant's first electric pickup truck to 10 double-decker freight cars? In the contest of electric-powered Ford F-150 versus train, the Ford EV came out on top.

While details are scarce about what, if anything, Ford did to prepare the truck for this extreme towing challenge, the result is impressive. Once it got rolling, the electric Ford got the 10 train cars up to about 5 mph. As we pointed out in our article regarding this feat, it's not exactly clear how the train cars were brought to a full stop. Spoiler alert: It wasn't the brakes of the Ford EV.

If that wasn't enough to satiate fans of Ford trucks and electric vehicles, the F-150 prototype was hooked up a second time to the same 10 freight cars for another go. Only this time the freight cars carried 42 half-ton Ford pickups, bringing the total towed weight to roughly 1.2-million pounds. So, what happened?

Check out the video below for the answer.

 

Ford has promised to offer a fully electric and plug-in hybrid variant of the F-150 once the redesigned half ton hits the market in 2020. Judging from the video, towing capacity will not be an issue for truck shoppers considering an electric F-150.

Countdown to Tesla's First Pickup

We know, the wait is driving us crazy, too. But don't worry — it may be over soon. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted that the Tesla pickup truck should break cover in two to three months. That's a little later than the original late-summer reveal Musk floated not long ago, but we'll cut the company some slack.

So far, we've only seen one teaser image of the truck Musk calls "cyberpunk." It shows the front of the truck with a light bar stretching across its width and, at least to our eyes, a buff-and-blocky-looking front end and fenders.

Tesla Pickup Truck

Musk has said the Tesla truck will start at or below $49,000. He's also promised the vehicle will have true truck capabilities, yet have the straight-line speed and dynamics of a Porsche 911. When you consider that Michigan upstart electric truck manufacturer Rivian promises its R1S SUV and R1T pickup will accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in about 3 seconds, it's clear tomorrow's truck market will be cleaner, greener and faster than ever before.

Nissan Introduces Electric Pickup Truck in China

Finally, we turn to Nissan and the introduction of the company's brand-new electric pickup truck. The only catch is that you need to live in China to buy one. Developed in cooperation with Chinese automaker Dongfeng, the result is the awkwardly named Dongfeng Rich 6 EV.

Dongfeng Rich 6 EV

Name aside, the truck looks pretty much like what you'd expect a truck to look like. It has a traditional crew-cab shape and even a full-size front grille (though why, we're not quite sure). Only some blue trim on the front end and blue-highlighted wheels give the game away that this isn't your average work truck.

There are some caveats, however. Other than not being sold in the U.S., the Rich 6 EV is limited to a top speed of only 68 mph. Range is quoted at 250 miles per charge, though this is using a much less rigorous standard that doesn't apply to the U.S. market. Slash maybe 100 miles from that figure, and you probably have a more accurate estimate.

You can't argue with the price which, after factoring in various EV credits, starts at less than $20,000. China is pushing automakers to introduce more EVs to help combat the air pollution that affects many of its large cities. Expect more EV-focused joint ventures like this one, and plenty more electric trucks and SUVs to start appearing in China to meet these government-enforced production demands.

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