Technology

10 electric utes on the horizon

All of the pulling power without any of the fuel-guzzling.
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The electrification revolution has made its way through hatchbacks to sedans and SUVs and now it has its sights set firmly on a new frontier: utes.

As with most automotive industry showdowns, it was Tesla that kicked off this sparring match with its not-so-bulletproof Cybertruck, releasing a video showing the all-wheel-drive, all-electric pickup tugging a Ford F-150 up a hill.

While Ford ultimately withdrew its subsequent requests for a rematch, it's been busy working away on its own hybrid and electric versions of the F-150, teasing a prototype of the latter with a YouTube video showing it pulling a 450-tonne train.

But larger manufacturers aren't the only ones studiously working away at offering one of the world's biggest car markets a more eco-friendly option.

Startups like Fisker and Australia's own ACE are proving worthy challengers to heavyweights like GMC and Chevrolet in the electric ute race.

Here are the 10 electric utes (or pickups if you will) on the horizon.


Tesla Cybertruck

Although Australian orders for Tesla's distinctive offering opened in November 2019, Elon Musk's outlandish creation is unlikely to arrive on our shores until late 2021 at the earliest.

US pricing has the Cybertruck starting at $US39,900 (AU$58,900) and ranging up to $US69,900 (AU$103,300) with a peak claimed performance figure of 0-60mph in a claimed 2.9 seconds.

It's apparently able to carry a minimum of 1500kg in the tray and tow a minimum of 3400kg, with a claimed maximum range of 800km.

Ford F-150 electric

The top-selling vehicle in the United States will soon score an electric version, with Ford promising an electric plug-in version of its F-150 possibly arriving as early as 2021.

The manufacturer has already teased the F-150 EV prototype towing 10 fully-loaded double-decker cargo carriages, although Ford admitted the prototype's towing capacity far surpasses that of any production model.

While little is known about release date or price, the F-150 EV will likely be based on electric startup Rivian's chassis given Ford's recent investment in the company.

GMC Hummer

General Motors has confirmed the development of its first-ever electric pickup truck, which will revive the Hummer name and boast some impressive power.

According to GM, the GMC Hummer will boast a 746kW and 15,590Nm electric power system (with the latter possibly being a wheel torque figure rather than an engine torque output).

The GMC Hummer will apparently tackle a 0-60mph (0-97km/h) sprint in roughly 3 seconds.

While it's been briefly teased in a Super Bowl ad, the newcomer will be fully revealed on May 20, 2020, at a Las Vegas event.

Rivian R1T

US-based startup Rivian has been a major disruptor in the electric vehicle space thanks to over a billion dollars in investment funds from the likes of Amazon and Ford.

Their headline vehicle is the R1T, an electric double-cab ute starting at US$69,000 (AU$104,450) that's expected to hit US roads this year.

Rivian also has plans to bring the electric ute to Australia, with company spokesman Chris Wollen telling CarAdvice in 2019 that it could arrive as soon as 2022.

“Right-hand drive is coming, it’s been in the plans from the beginning," Mr Wollen said.

ACE Yewt

A smaller, more affordable, Australian-made electric ute option could be coming in the shape of the Yewt, a single-cab offering from local startup ACE.

Currently slated for release sometime in 2020, the Yewt's key stats are a range of up to 200km with a partial load, a 0-50km/h acceleration of under 7.0 seconds, a maximum pay load of 500kg and max output of 45kW and 174Nm.

They will be priced around the $40,000 mark.

Bollinger B2

Details on its pricing and release are foggy, but New York-based startup Bollinger Motors' electric ute, the Bollinger B2, promises to boast a vintage-inspired design with a thoroughly modern drivetrain.

Inspired by the original Land Rover Defender and Hummer, the utilitarian B2 prototype measures 5.27m from tip to tail with its electric motor capable of delivering 458kW and 906Nm.

Lordstown Endurance

Named after the former GM factory in Ohio where it's now based, Lordstown Motors is an EV startup reportedly staffed by former Tesla, Volkswagen and Formula One employees.

The Endurance is an all-electric ute starting from US$52,500 (AU$79,496) that boasts four in-wheel hub motors to increase vehicle control.

The Endurance's claimed range is 250 miles (402km) with a top speed of 128km/h.

Endurance Motors started taking deposits from US buyers in December 2019, but there's no word yet on whether it will make it to Australia.

Great Wall electric ute

Back in April 2019, Chinese manufacturer Great Wall confirmed to CarAdvice it would be bringing a plug-in dual-cab ute to Australia sometime in late 2020.

The as-yet-unnamed model will offer 500km of range from its two-wheel drive powertrain. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid partners for the EV are in the works, along with a fuel-cell vehicle.

Nikola Badger

We only have a render at this point, but Nikola Motors in the US is plotting a hydrogen and battery-powered ute with up to 675kW and 965km of range.

Blending a lithium-ion battery pack with a hydrogen fuel cell, the Nikola Badger will likely score four motors and is slated for a September 2020 international reveal.

Fisker ute

Alongside its affordable electric crossover SUV, the Ocean, startup Fisker is developing an all-electric pickup that will share the same platform.

Given they've already promised the Ocean will come to Australia, it's likely the ute could also make its way to our shores, but a timeline for this is unclear at this stage.