The days of internal combustion engines, or ICE rides, seem to be numbered. This is a big deal for not only the world, and all the car enthusiasts within, but also in terms of our transportation future as a whole. Within the shift from ICE power to Electric Vehicle, or EV production, we came to a rendezvous point with something in the middle called hybrids. At this point in the juncture, hybrids seem like the best compromise, as they combine traditional ICE vehicles with the new EV tech we are seeing pushed today. For performance purposes, EVs are great because they provide a lot of horsepower that generally isn't as easily available in ICE cars, and they provide massive torque numbers that are also instantly usable figures. However, EVs are not immune to pitfalls, and most of these revolve around the cost, efficiency stress under load, and complexity integrated into these powertrains. For many people, the price is too high, the range is not enough, and they simply can't work on EVs themselves. Hybrid systems are not totally devoid of such issues either, due to their inherent EV nature, but they do provide a bridge between the ICE and EV gap. Whether commercially or privately, perhaps nowhere else is this gap a chasm, as it is within the world of trucks.
The Rivian R1T is the first EV truck to market. This truck features two or four electric motors, with the most powerful possessing 835 horsepower, and maximum towing of 11,000 pounds. The payload capacity is 1,760 pounds. With two motors, it still has 600 horsepower! Being slightly bigger than a Ford Ranger, the quad-motor variant blasts from zero to sixty in just 3.3 seconds. The standard range is 260 miles, while battery upgrades provide ranges of 314 and 400. Fuel economy with four motors means an estimated 70 MPGe combined, with a 74 and 66 MPGe range in city and highway, respectively. Still, real-world testing that included some towing, yielded 35 MPGe. A 6,100-pound tow test dropped range to just 110 miles at 70mph. The truck does come with some nifty features, such as standard air suspension, capable of raising ground clearance from eight to 14 inches. Being an EV, there's a large storage compartment under the hood, as well as storage behind the cab built into the front of the bed. There's also a lockable in-bed compartment.
Overall, Rivian states there is 12 cubic feet of lockable storage. An expandable and collapsible crossbar system allows for bed and cabin gear mounting, with three 110-volt outlets and an air compressor in the bed. The truck features a large 16-inch infotainment display, but curiously does not offer Apple CarPlay or AndroidAuto. Odd indeed, with a starting price range from $74,800-86,800 depending on trim selection. The quad-Motor setup, as opposed to Dual-Motor, comes with AWD and a unique feature called "Tank Turn." Here the electric motors rotate the left wheels in the opposite direction as the right wheels, effectively spinning the truck upon its axis.
The EV craze has raised a lot of start-up companies, and for some reason, they are attracted to the truck market. It makes sense due to the popularity of trucks for their size and utility, an almost do-it-all-in-one package. Then again, the concept is a bit of a head-scratcher due to the EV pros of power and torque being sapped, along with range, under heavy loads or extreme weather. Nevertheless, one of the oldest American manufacturers around, Ford, was not fazed by this. It took the best-selling vehicle period, the F-150, and made a full-size full EV variant in the Lightning. This vehicle boasts 580 horsepower at the peak battery option, and 775 pound-feet of torque any way you slice it. That's enough for a zero to sixty in four seconds. Range varies from 230 to 320 miles depending on battery, with towing and payload topping out at 10,000 and 2,000 pounds, respectively. Of course, real-world tests sap the range. The truck costs north of $62,000 on the low end, and as high as over $98,000 to start on the top trim. Launched last year, perhaps the real news now is that Ford has already planned to release a second EV, an all-new truck that isn't a next-gen Lightning. This could possibly be an electrified mid-size Ranger or compact Maverick, or even an evolution of the Raptor into an EV.
General Motors didn't stop with the resurrection of the Hummer, in the Hummer EV SUT. Revealed last year, and built on GM's Ultium platform, the EV Hummer makes 1,000 horsepower! In an AWD setup, it hits sixty mph from zero in just 3.3 seconds. Keep in mind, this monster weighs over 9,000 pounds and comes with a gigantic price range to match, costing as much as over $110,000! Still, towing is only rated at 7,500 pounds. This vehicle does feature rear-wheel drive, making it possible for its signature "Crab Walk," being able to scale obstacles sideways. In 2023, we should see the arrival of the GMC Sierra Electric, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado EV. Expect these vehicles to share the Ultium platform of the Hummer EV, one that is adaptable to any vehicle. With that, expect to see many of the same, or improved upon, Hummer EV capabilities.
Another start-up is Alpha Motors Inc., with its WOLF compact trucks. Due to the success of the Ford Maverick, compact trucks are making a return. There are several variants of these trucks, and they are exciting in that they bring the compact truck to the EV market, but in an old retro-inspired design. Coming with partnerships through KC Lights and Mountaintop, as well as others, the Alpha Wolf is sure to rattle some cages. Looking like am '80s Toyota Pickup or a '90s Jeep Comanche, this new EV will take itself to the trails coupled with all the aftermarket upgrades one would want in the campsite.
Tesla has promised its Cybertruck, but it's been so long that one might wonder if this concept was indeed just that. Revealed a few years ago, it can now be ordered. With tank-like armor, 500 miles of range, and a 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds, the Cybertruck performs and looks like no other vehicle that exists today. The Cybertruck promises to be versatile, adaptable, and "vault-like." Being able to tow 14,000 pounds, having adaptable air suspension, a 3,500 payload capacity, and 100 cubic feet of lockable storage space, this may in fact be true, if and when this vehicle makes it to market.
Every truck segment has a hybrid option, be it the Maverick, the F-150, or even the upcoming Tacoma. That covers compact, mid-, and full-size trucks. It's the power and range that is the icing on the cake here. For example, the F-150 Powerboost has a noteworthy 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine, but when mated to an electric motor, it churns out even more impressive numbers. This is 430 horsepower, and 570 pound-feet of torque, to go along with 25 mpg across the board. Ford has been turbocharging motors in its full-size F-150 since 2011, and adding a 35 kW motor in line with the transmission makes it that much more potent. Not only that, but several motor options allow the truck to power anything from a tailgate party to a plasma cutter, as well use as a generator for house power for a few days! What's more is that other makers are finally following suit, as Toyota now has a twin-turbo V-6 in its Tundra, and both the Tundra and Tacoma will have hybrid options.
Currently, there are only four hybrid trucks on the market: Ford's Maverick and F-150, the Toyota Tundra, and Ram 1500, but more are coming, like the 2024 Tacoma. If full-blown EVs are the future then we already have a taste of what that is. Being electrified themselves, hybrids represent the best mix of the old and the new. At a time when ICEs and EVs not only co-exist, but also blend together, it remains to be seen what the future holds for our beloved trucks.2023-06-01T20:07:30Z dg43tfdfdgfd