Let’s Look At The Tesla Pickup Truck & Its Electric Competition


An electric pickup truck could be a massive success, and it’s not just Tesla that plans to bring one to market.

While Tesla has announced it will eventually offer an all-electric pickup truck, it will be some time before that happens. CEO Elon Musk has already clarified that it will follow the upcoming Model Y crossover, which won’t be out for a few years. We also learned recently that GM may not have any plans for bringing and electric truck to market anytime soon. As far as other OEMs are concerned, there’s not anything promising on the horizon. However, a handful of startups are diving in, and you may be quite surprised at the number of potential entrants.

With the Tesla Pickup Truck far off, and no OEM action in the segment, we truly hope that other companies can work to get an electric pickup truck to market in the next few years. Our friend Sean Mitchell was fortunate to spend some time checking out Rivian Automotive’s vehicles, much like InsideEVs did just last week. After speaking with Sean, it’s clear we’re not the only ones that are extremely excited about Rivian’s potential. Sean will be at the automaker’s official reveal in a few weeks, and he plans to keep us updated live, as well as putting together some video content after the event. We’ll also be on hand for the unveiling.

Sean mentions other startups like Atlis and Bollinger, and speaks to their projected plans and specs. He doesn’t discuss Workhorse, but it deserves a mention on this list as well, even though it’s only a PHEV. Also, we can’t forget the Havelaar Bison from Canada. Of course, we should not leave out at least a mention of Bob Lutz’ Via pickup truck configuration, but again, it’s a PHEV and has been an option for a long time with almost zero success. Way to go Bob! As usual, Sean did his homework and put together a working spec chart of these upcoming electric pickup trucks. He also included the Ford Raptor and Ram Rebel for comparison:

Video Description via Sean Mitchell on YouTube:

Tesla Pickup Truck and its EV competitors

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45 Comments on "Let’s Look At The Tesla Pickup Truck & Its Electric Competition"

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You guys missed Via’s pickup truck as well. I can’t imagine the irrational temper tantrum out of Bob Lutz for that oversight.

The one thing that stands out on those specs is the 0-60. Trucks like the Raptor are going to look silly next to an e-truck. I think a lot of people think the 0-60 and drag racing videos are silly, but there will be some serious ego bruising going on the first time the Raptor gets absolutely waxed by an e-truck.

We can surely mention it! Ha

“You guys missed Via’s pickup truck as well.”

…so that increases the value of the chart. 😉

Just like the Nicola UTV – such a beast!

Is Via doing a fully electric truck? Must have missed it.

I don’t think they missed VIA. Via essentially gave up. As far as I know they’ve sold no trucks whatsoever and only made a few demos (and got them EPA certified). VIA is no longer a truck maker, but essnetially a marketing arm for trucks designed by Geely in China. They will probably be assembled in Mexico, since it’s cheaper than importing the whole truck.
I’m pretty sure the “co-development” stuff is PR blather, just to soothe Lutz’s ego. There’s no advantage for a light truck sold in the US to use Volvo engines, especially after VIA already had an agreement in place with GM for Chevy dealers to provide service.

Can we please stop showing Elon’s joke as Tesla Pickup? There is absolutely zero percent chance it will be that monstrosity.

And that chart is rediculous. There is no way Telsa will get anywhere close to 400miles, let alone 500 miles range with a 125kWh battery.
Also, no passenger vehicle will ever get a tow rating of 300,000lbs. Even 20% of that will never happen, it’s just too dangerous for public roads.

We’ve been through this in multiple articles. Please stop promoting such blatant untruths.

Thanks for listening.

A thumbs-up to every one of your points.

The original “Tesla Semi as a giant pickup” artist’s concept was more obviously a joke because it shows a regular sized pickup in the bed. The version above has that addition photoshopped out, in an apparent attempt to make it look more real.

For shame!

The 400-500miles of range corresponds to a 200kWh battery that’s often suggested for Tesla’s truck. Don’t know where that 125kWh number comes from but it’s probably a mistake.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

Evidently Elon recently mentioned that 125 kWh batteries would be the biggest one available for future versions of the Model S and X.

I suppose if you squint and tilt your head, and make some assumptions, you could assume that the Tesla pickup might be based on the next variant of the Model X with a 125 kWh battery pack.

From a certain point of view, that would be a reasonable start, but that said, I largely agree with the assessment that any future electric pickups will likely have battery packs that are in the 150-200 kWh range.

While I agree a more normal EV pickup is better, this one has many uses in the 3-10 ton class of trucks from garbage to RV and everything in between.
And a lot of businesses need such trucks for towing from heavy equipment to large trailer boats, homes.
It’s be a killer RV, bus, etc with stretch.
I do think a stretched 3 chassis for the Y, pickup and van is a better idea. But Tesla has the right to build what it wants and has done extremely well so I’m not going to hate on them for it.
So why don’t you build an EV pickup?
I could put you into profitable production for about $200k though would need to look like a 25 yr or older pickup to build up to 5k/yr with only hot rod legal tech.
Tesla can only do so much, grow so fast. Others need to help. A lot of others.

Brian, it’s all speculation until the real products are announced – neither you or I know what Tesla will have in their truck. I do specifically mentioned in the video that the Tesla pickup render was a “mock up.” In terms of range and towing capacity, I’m only quoting what Elon has shared publicly on Twitter, which would, therefore, not be an ‘untruth.’

I realize, but I thought be had gotten past treating Elon’s word as gospel and were able to apply logic for ourselves.
The chart should have “?” for the unknowns, just like for the unknowns for other trucks in the list

A possible 300,000 tow rating for the Tesla pickup? Really?

That 300,000 lb. tow rating is a Tesla fanboy’s wet dream. Do you have any idea what goes into determining a tow rating? The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) developed the SAE J2807 standard for determining a car to big truck tow rating that most all auto manufacturers have agreed to use. In includes standards for acceleration, 40-60 mph passing capability, braking, and minimum performance for understeer and trailer sway response.

Do you actually think a Tesla pickup can safely tow 300,000 lbs. at 60 mph highway speeds?

The range is likely true; it’s the battery capacity claim that makes no sense. Where did you get that figure from?

125kWh would probably be the sort of battery size required to get a Model 3 to 400-500 miles? No chance with a much bigger, heavier, less aerodynamic vehicle though.

Physics still applies. A huge truck with a 400 mile range on only 125kWh? Somethings not right there.

This is garbage level information.

This! And the Production date is a joke too. The post say “CEO Elon Musk has already clarified that it will follow the upcoming Model Y crossover, which won’t be out for a few years.” so can you explain how Tesla pickup production could be 2020 if it’s AFTER Model Y which won’t be out for “a few years”.

I completely agree. Given current battery prices and the fact that in the US at least the BMW X3 sized CUV market is white hot it makes sense for Tesla to chase this market first. An X3 sized BEV CUV at X3 prices is practical now.
Battery prices have a long way to fall before the commercial BEV pickup (IE work truck focused on TCO;aerodynamic truck with relatively small wheels acceptable) becomes viable and an even longer way to fall before the consumer BEV pickup truck market becomes viable. I can’t imagine how many kWh of batteries would be required to push a BEV pickup with the form factor, crappy aerodynamics and huge high drag wheels/tires of a Ford Raptor 300 miles or more on the highway even before factoring in trailer towing.

Since “consumer pickups” are mostly vanity purchases, I don’t think a significantly higher price for a BEV one would be a problem, if it offers vastly superior performance.

I do hope though that Tesla rather focuses on work trucks…

There are lots of stunts like this. Tow ratings are safefty oriented, not stunt oriented. Notice how the other options in the list have reasonable numbers?

Sigh. A worthless party trick. Any car can do it; it’s mostly a question of the plane’s wheels’ bearings and the friction of the surface.
A single person _on foot_ can, and has, towed a much heavier and larger plane by hand: CC-177 Globemaster III, which weighs 30% more than the space shuttle, 416,299 lb, and it’s a published Guinness World Record (2009):
The fact that PR flacks & journalists are too lazy to actually look up the subject is a problem.

Someone did the same thing with a Model X.

I think Rivian has real potential to succeed in this space.

I believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen a “comparison” between of multiple vehicles of which only one (the Bollinger B1) has had any sort of reveal, and some of which exist only on paper.

And the Workhorse W-15 certainly does deserve to be on this list.

Still, any article that talks about Rivian is a good one! That’s the one startup EV maker which I think has a real shot at possibly growing to be a true rival to Tesla Inc.

More about Rivian:

The Workhorse is a plug in hybrid with 80 miles of range. In my opinion, it does not belong on a list of fully EV trucks.

80 miles range means people could likely use it as their daily driver for commuting, or for getting to worksites, being 95%+ electric miles. And can use the gas range extender for hauling and towing needs, and the rare long trip. It is a serious contender in the EV truck space. I think since you included all gas trucks, the workhorse deserves a spot too.

I recently saw a press release that indicates the W-15 will be offered as a 200 mile BEV. This change in philosophy was apparently driven by California requirements for the battery usage to go to a deeper discharge before the range extender starts. A BMW PHEV was cited as losing performance due to the CA rule – and Workhorse did not want that to be levied onto their product.

Rivian looks like they might be the EV start-up with the best shot at becoming successful — if they stick to their own niches, rather than trying to rival Tesla…

There is no rivaling Tesla going on.

Workhorse recently announced that their W-15 pickup will be available in 2019 as either an extended range serial hybrid of as a pure battery electric. The hybrid has an all electric range of 80 miles from a 60 KWH battery and anything beyond that is handled by a BMW turbo 3 cylinder range extender. The BEV version dumps the range extender and adds a second battery to extend range to 200 miles. Both versions will be sold at the same price, $52,500.

For comparison with the trucks on the chart the W-15 has dual motors producing 460 HP. It will have a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds. Payload of 2000 pounds and max towing weight of 5,000 pounds. It will come in only one configuration, crew cab with a bed slightly over 6 feet. I should also mention that it is AWD and fuel economy when operated with the range extender will be 32 MPG.

You missed out the second (actually probably first) most important factor people look at (even subconsciously) when buying a pickup. GVWR. It’s what defines a”half ton” (F150/1500), 3/4 ton (F250/2500) and 1 ton+ vehicle (F350-3500+).

As an example the Bollinger would be an example of a F350 style competitor, not something competing with an F150. The Tesla may end up as something like that too.

GVWR also defines the maximum payload, which also helps define the maximum towing capacity, hence why the Tesla would never be able to legally tow 300,000lb as it would need a payload capacity of over 30,000lb…

The Altis looks interesting as it appears like they are planning several different trucks – i.e. competing with the entire F series, rather than just one of them.

What about the Bison by Haavelar? Can you follow up on them as I have not heard much about them in the last 6 most.

Are we talking utes or pick-ups? The Australians have the ute down to a fine art. If there’s potential for a decent, sporty electric ute, it’s going to be coming from Australia.

Tesla could easily build a UTE based on the Model S, since that is what Holden did with the Monaro (same for their competition).
Would have a nice low load floor too given no live axle in the back.

Rivian is thinking about a truck that can be taken on adventures? How innovative! I’m sure no truck maker has ever considered that before…

If they are talking up this kind of nonsense, that makes me less inclined to take them seriously 🙁

I’m excited about Rivian’s positive vision and potential. I think they have a terrific concept and plan here. Hopefully, EV supporters don’t write them off due to some creative wording. Wait and see.

Yeah, One thing that comes out with the “adventure” crowd I talk to about EVs, is that the places they want to go are far outside any charging corridors or infrastructure. Even Tesla SC, doesn’t cover it well. If Rivian can show they plan to build out charging infrastructure near trailheads, ski/mountain bike resorts, wilderness areas, camping and hiking locations, off-roading destinations, that would really be something new for EVs.

I wish people would stop showing the joke Tesla truck render, like that’s what it is going to be.

It would be fantastic if Tesla would soon provide a “real” concept image, but that’s not going to happen prior to the official reveal. For now, we have these silly images, ha.

RAM and Ford may be the next 2 Auto Manufacturers that could come with potential proposals to steel the spotlight from Tesla in this segment before GM does, though GM could use this All Electric Technology in their Midsized Colorado and Canyon before taking that big leap into the Full-Sized segment, with the overall leadership in Washington, even on the Environmental side at this point, it’s a no brainier that the big 3 may be in no hurry to convert to new power train technology, my guess at best, they may not even propose for all electric trucks until the mid to late 2020’s.

The Tesla pickup has no competition as in a weight, etc class well above the rest.
It’s at least a 4-5 ton chassis vs .25-1 ton at best for the others.