EV truck field is getting crowded

Mario Cywinski   

In-Depth Innovation & Technology Production Sustainability Automotive Manufacturing brightdrop zevo chevrolet silverado Editor Pick electric trucks Electric Vehicles ford lightning Ford Motor Company General Motors gmc sierra hummer ev ram 1500 ram revolution ram trucks stellantis tesla cybertruck toyota tundra

The latest move for pick-up truck manufacturers is making them fully electric, and the field is becoming crowded.

Photo: General Motors.

Over the years, pick-up trucks have come in all shapes and sizes, many growing with each generation, and adding new models to fill the gaps. Under the hoods, a plethora of engines have been used, that use many different configurations. We have seen, and in many cases continue to see, V-6, V-8, turbocharged, diesel, hybrid, and other configurations powering the pick-up vehicles on the roads.

Now it’s time to go to the next step, fully electric. While a lot of attention has centred around EV-only manufacturers, such as Tesla (with its uniquely designed Cybertruck), Rivian (with the R1T), or others, having the mainstream OEMs enter the scene, is a game-changer.

Below we look at what each OEM has to offer, from trucks that are already on the road (Ford Lightning) to those that have just been released as a concept (Ram Revolution), and everything in between.




Photo: Ford Motor Company.

The king of the hill in terms of pick-up sales, Ford Motor Company, turned their top selling F-150 into an electric truck before you could say, Lightning. However, Ford didn’t just go from selling V-8 pick-ups to electric versions. They took steps, introducing the EcoBoost (turbocharged V-6) years ago, with a smaller size version coming years later, and recently debuted a PowerBoost version, which takes the EcoBoost and adds an electric motor.

Lightning offers two lithium-ion battery options, a standard range version with 386 kilometres (240 miles) of range, and an extended range version with 482 to 515 km (300 to 320 miles) of range, depending on trim. The standard range model offers 452 horsepower, while extended range has 580 hp. Both offer 775 foot/pounds of torque.  In terms of truck capability, the Lightning has maximum payload of 1,800 (extended-range) to 2,000 (standard-range) lbs. While max estimated towing ranges (with max trailer tow package) from 7,700 lbs (standard-range) to 10,000 lbs (extended-range). With no engine, the Lightning how has a truck under the hood, with 400 litres of volume and 400 lbs of payload, four electrical outlets, two USB chargers and a drainable floor.

A new feature on the Lightning is Ford Intelligent Backup Power, which turns your truck into a backup power source for your home. The system allows the Lightning to offload 9.6 kW of power. When using the truck with an 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and a home management system, the system sends power to the house, instead of charging itself. Once power is restored, the truck goes back to charging its battery.

General Motors


Photo credit: Ryan Bolton and Brody White / General Motors (GM).

GM’s technology start-up,  BrightDrop, is building the Zevo 600 electric delivery vehicle at CAMI Assembly plant in Ontario. BrightDrop Zevo 600  offers 300 horsepower, 390 pound/feet of torque, and all-wheel-drive. It will offer 9,990 pounds of available GVWR, over 600 cubic/feet of cargo space, and up to 2,200 lbs of payload capacity. Being an EV, it offers 250 miles (approximately 402 kilometres) of range on a full charge, can be charged with a 120kw DC fast charger or a Level 2 11.5kw charger, and has regenerative braking.

Additionally, BrightDrop 600 will offer a suite of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, rear view camera, following distance indicator, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, and front and rear park assist. Optional safety features will include reverse automatic braking, surround view, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic braking, safety alert seat, and blind zone steering assist.

Late in 2023, BrightDrop plans to introduce the Zevo 400, a smaller version of the Zevo 600 delivery van. It will offer over 400 cu/ft of storage, have an approximately 150” wheelbase, and be under 20’ in length.

“This milestone represents GM at our best — fast, flexible and first in the industry,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM. “The BrightDrop Zevo is a prime example of GM’s flexible Ultium EV architecture, which is allowing us to quickly launch a full range of electric vehicles for our customers. And, as of today, I am proud to call the CAMI EV Assembly team the first full-scale all-electric manufacturing team in Canada.”

Pick-up trucks

Photo: General Motors.

General Motors is also introducing three EV pick-up trucks in the near future. Currently in production is the GMC Hummer EV pick-up, which offers 529km of range, while using three electric drive motors with Ultium battery system, that offer an estimated 1,000 hp and 11,500 ft/lbs of torque. While the Hummer EV is not meant for everyone, with its outrageous power numbers; GM is also putting an EV powertrain in their mainstream Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pick-ups.

While the Hummer EV is already in production, Silverado will be on the market as 2024 model, while Sierra will hit Canadian shores as a 2025 model (2024 will be sold in US).

Silverado will come in two trims at launch, RST First Edition and Work Truck for fleets. Both trims will offer standard DC fast charging for up to 350kW, and up to 10kW of offboard power with optional equipment. Most importantly, range will be up to 640km.

Work Truck model will be available for fleet customers and offer 510 hp and 615 ft/lbs of torque, 1,200 lbs of payload, and 8,000 lbs of towing. Chevrolet plans to introduce a fleet model with up to 9,027 kg (20,000 lbs) max trailering with the max tow package in the future.

RST will offer 660 hp and 780 ft/lbs of torque from the available wide open watts max power mode, up to 4,534 kg (10,000 lbs) of towing with up to 1,300 pounds of payload, four-wheel steering, and automatic adaptable air suspension. Unique features include a multi-flex mid-gate, which expands cargo capability but continues to offer rear seating, as well as the multi-flex tailgate.

Stellantis (Ram)

Revolution Concept

Photo: Stellantis.

The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept is obviously a show car but will be the basis of a production version to be introduced to the market in 2024. The concept is powered by two electric drive modules, includes AWD, has the capability to charge 161 km (100 miles) in 10 minutes when using 800v DC fast charger at 350kW, and has four-wheel steering. Ram plans to be the leader in range, towing, payload, and charge time on the production model.

“The Ram 1500 Revolution BEV Concept is our clearest signal yet that we’re on the precipice of something extraordinary at Ram and points directly to where we’re going on our electrified journey,” said Mike Koval Jr., Ram brand CEO – Stellantis. “At Ram, we’ve redefined what pickup trucks can be, and we will do so again by pushing past what competitors are offering by delivering the best electric pickups on the market.”

The design is what Ram calls the new face of the brand and is a departure from the current look of Ram trucks. The truck offers an industry-first third row jump seats, which are mid-gate mounted and have a removable lower section that allows for flex seating configurations and allow for objects up to 18’ long to be passed through to the front trunk.

OEM Hybrid options

One thing to keep in mind is that although the trucks listed are all-electric, many ‘electrified’ models are also available. With many hybrid-powered (from full-hybrid to mild-hybrid) vehicles on the market, including Toyota Tundra (with available hybrid model), Ford F-150 PowerBoost, Ford Maverick hybrid, and Ram 1500 with eTorque mild hybrid engine options.


Mario Cywinski is the editor of Plant magazine, MRO magazine, MFO magazine, and Food and Beverage magazine, and a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. He has over 15 years of editorial experience; five years of maintenance, reliability, and operations experience; over 17 years of automobile industry experience, and small business industry experience.



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