Electric Truck News Roundup: Tesla Pickup Reveal Date, Ford's EV Plan and More

Tesla Pickup Truck Tailgate

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By Nick Kurczewski

The world of electric trucks took a few twists and turns over the past few days. Tesla is always certain to stir headlines — and that includes when the company's strong-willed CEO, Elon Musk, takes to social media to announce a month for the reveal of the electric automaker's future pickup.

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Meanwhile, Rivian hasn't sold a single vehicle, though the Michigan-based electric truck company is securing more and more funding. With Ford and Amazon already on board as investors, the upstart automaker now has an extra $350 million in its corporate coffers from a recent investment.

Speaking of cash, Ford thinks it can make lots of it by selling a range of performance and work-related trucks and SUVs. Until now, building an EV and making a profit have been two seemingly mutually exclusive matters.

Tesla Pickup Reveal Date

We've been waiting months to hear when Tesla will reveal its upcoming electric pickup truck. In a single three-word tweet, we could finally have an answer. On Sept. 7, Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk stated that November is "most likely" going to be when the Tesla pickup finally breaks cover.

To be fair, the entire quotation reads, "November most likely." That hardly represents a rock-solid commitment on Tesla's part, and there's a chance this date could be moved forward or back. Only one teaser image of the truck has been revealed, though Musk himself has stated the starting price will be less than $49,000. Other details include driving performance said to rival a Porsche 911 sports car, combined with the towing and hauling capacity of a true work truck.

Rivian Banks $350 million

Without selling a single electric truck or SUV, Rivian now has more than $1.5 billion in the bank. The latest round of investment comes from Cox Automotive, a vehicle logistics and media firm, which has invested $350 million into the upstart EV company.

This comes in addition to recent investments made earlier this year by Ford ($500 million) and Amazon ($700 million). Having broken cover to the general public during the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, Rivian is rapidly gearing up for production of the R1S SUV and R1T pickup by late 2020. Both vehicles will be produced at a factory in Normal, Ill., which was once owned by Mitsubishi.

When they arrive, the R1S and R1T will have a starting price of around $70,000. Range will be anywhere from 230 miles to more than 400, depending on the model and size of the battery pack. Rivian trucks with the largest battery and longest range could exceed $100,000, though the company plans to expand its lineup to include less expensive models.

Ford Sees Green With EVs

Building electric cars and making profit on them is possible, at least according to Ford's calculations. In a story published by Automotive News Canada, the automaker detailed its plan to introduce electric variants of models that are already well known and inspire strong brand loyalty.

By grouping an EV model into an existing product lineup, Ford reckons the jump to EV ownership will seem less daunting for regular car shoppers. Having sheer volume on its side, particularly with red-hot sales of trucks and SUVs, the higher price for an electric variant could potentially be minimized, too.

This could hold especially true with an electric version of the Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. An electric F-150 prototype was recently shown in a video pulling 10 double-decker train cars with more than 40 current-generation F-150 trucks onboard.

This marketing ploy helps show the ultimate power and capability of an electric truck. It also creates a lot of online buzz. With more than 1 million F-Series trucks sold globally last year, there could be a seismic EV market change if only a small percentage of existing Ford truck owners switch to electric. Ford's electric F-150 is expected to arrive in 2021.

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