Tesla’s Cybertruck Will Face These Five Electric Pickups in 2021


Tesla’s Cybertruck Will Face These Five Electric Pickups in 2021


I’m the Editor-in-Chief of Autolist.com and a life-long car nut.

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It was the lone automotive debut that singlehandedly overshadowed the entirety of the L.A. Auto Show last week: Tesla’s Cybertruck.

For those living under a rock, this was the steampunk-style debut of a wild all-electric wedge of a truck, an evening event not affiliated with the auto show itself. The reveal was awash in heavy strobe lights, fog machines, and on-stage theatrics by Elon himself: after watching Tesla’s design chief shatter two copies of windows that were supposed to be unbreakable, a frustrated Musk let out an understandable-but-also-live-streamed “Oh my f***ing God” before joking that the electric automaker would “Fix it in post.”

The Cybertruck is easily the most polarizing creation of Tesla’s to date, a trait Musk forewarned us about and which was likely the point. Though Tesla’s stock closed the Friday after the debut down more than six percent from its close on Thursday before the reveal took place, the media buzz and subsequent 200,000 claimed deposits ($100 each, fully refundable) more than made up for any stock price loss.

Setting aside serious questions about the Cybertruck’s crash-test and rollover worthiness, the legality of its lighting design, where Tesla would physically build it, and even how it plans on making that exoskeleton (Musk himself admitted the process doesn’t exist yet), Tesla says production begins in late 2021.

By that time, the Cybertruck won’t be the only EV pickup in town. In fact, there will be a handful arriving by then or shortly thereafter, many of which will fall under the burgeoning “lifestyle truck” movement.

Here’s a look at the all-electric competition the Cybertruck will face:

Rivian R1T:

Sitting closer to the luxury end of the EV truck spectrum is Rivian’s R1T, aimed at the well-heeled outdoorsy type. If the Rivian name rings a bell, it’s likely because you heard it uttered with ‘Amazon’ and ‘Ford,’ two behemoths who have invested in Rivian $700 million and $500 million, respectively. Rivian has also picked up another $350 million from Cox Automotive, the parent company of entities including Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.com.

All that cash is going to the production of the R1T (truck) and its sister SUV the R1S by 2020 or 2021. The R1T starts at a cool $70,000 before any tax incentives and will come with one of three different battery capacities, the largest promises as much as 750 horsepower and more than 400 miles of range.

Bollinger B2:

If the Rivian’s price tag is too pedestrian for you, consider the $125,000 Bollinger B2. This (huge) brick-shaped technological wonder gives you plenty in return for its six-figure asking price. Things you never knew you needed in an EV truck, like a trick “hydropneumatic” suspension that modulates body roll not unlike the setups in trick supercars, a flip-down rear cabin wall and removable seats for full bed-to-cab access, DC fast charging, and portal axles (a trick off-road vehicles use to boost ground clearance and reduce torque on various drivetrain components, allowing for the use of lighter parts…I’ve totally lost you haven’t I?).

Range is pegged at around 200 miles. Look for the lower-volume Bollinger B2 (and its platform-mate, the B1 SUV) to start arriving in customer hands in 2021.

Ford F-150:

Ford has already changed the perception of how you could power a full-size truck once, so don’t count them out to do it again. Two generations of F-150 ago, Ford started putting its EcoBoost turbocharged six-cylinder engines in high trim levels that had been dominated by V8 for eons. Critics scoffed that buyers would never make the leap; these days, 62 percent of F-150s come with EcoBoost engines, and now General Motors and Ram offer downsized engines.

The current generation of F-150 is reaching the end of its lifecycle; testing of the new generation set for 2021 is already well underway, and Ford has made it clear it will come in all-electric and hybrid variants.

Despite Ford’s tie-up with Rivian, it’s going it alone for this F-150. The automaker has been mum on the F-150 EV’s specs, but it did release a video of an EV prototype towing a train of rail cars that weighed over one million pounds.

GM electric truck:

Remember the Hummer? Most drivers of Earth-friendly EVs would rather not recall the days when these leviathans roamed freely in grocery store parking lots nationwide. Ironically, there are rumors that General Motors could resurrect the Hummer name for its upcoming all-electric pickup. Or they could capitalize on the immense popularity of the Chevy Silverado and just make an EV version of that.

Regardless of the name on the tailgate, GM’s CEO Mary Barra announced (on the same day as the Tesla Cybertruck reveal) that the all-electric truck would land in showrooms by the fall of 2021. Even better news for the green truck fans in the audience? The unnamed model from the unknown brand will actually be the first in a line of all-electric trucks and SUVs from GM.

Lordstown Endurance:

Perhaps the least-well-known model on this list is the Lordstown Endurance. Yes, that’s the same Lordstown that caught President Trump’s attention a year ago when G.M. said it planned to close its plant in this Ohio town, citing low demand for the Chevy Cruze compact hatchback and sedan it built there. Trump, in a phone call with G.M.’s Barra in May, confirmed that G.M. planned to sell the plant to an EV automaker.

After several months — and G.M.’s contentious strike in which keeping the plant open and run by G.M. was a central issue — the automaker did indeed close Lordstown. It sold the facility to newly-christened Lordstown Motors.

Details on the EV truck are scarce, but the Endurance does promise 260 miles of range, a starting price of around $52,000, and deliveries starting towards the end of 2020.

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