Pickup trucks are going electric.
Featuring impressive towing capabilities and a whole lot of horsepower under the hood — nothing says ‘Merica quite like a supercharged pickup truck.
Despite steeper price tags — largely caused by pandemic-related shortages — sales of pickup trucks still soared this year. According to Car and Driver, pickup trucks, namely the Ford F-Series, the Chevy Silverado, and Ram Trucks, were the top three best-selling vehicles of 2022.
But 2022 was also the year of the electric truck. The growing demand for zero-emission vehicles has revved up the market for electric pickups. Combining the durability of a pickup and the sustainability of a battery-electric powertrain, the sector is expected to grow more than 20 percent by 2032.
Climate impacts aside, electric trucks have a number of other advantages over their diesel- and gas-powered counterparts: they offer instant torque, require less maintenance, and are more efficient.
The making of an electric pickup truck
Countless milestone models have undoubtedly cropped up over the years, but today’s trusty pickup truck can be traced back to Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and his iconic Model T.
With more than 15 million Model T’s sold between 1908 and 1927, the vehicle quickly became popular among farmers who modified the durable car to suit their various agricultural needs. Some added cargo boxes on the back for hauling goods; others added aftermarket kits so that the car could be used to plow dirt or snow.
The demand for work trucks eventually led Ford to launch the Model T Runabout with Pickup Body in 1925 — and the first factory-built pickup truck was born.
Shifting gears to today and California-based electric startup Rivian can take credit for bringing the first electric truck to the market — narrowly beating Elon Musk to the punch. In 2019, the new Twitter CEO unveiled his futuristic Cybertruck, which features the utility of a truck and the performance of a sports car. After multiple delays, the all-electric super truck is now set to start production in mid-2023.
The best electric trucks
Pickup trucks have come a long way from their humble, DIY beginnings. Modern-day pickup trucks are as luxurious as they are rugged — and now come in electric versions. Here are some of the best electric truck offerings to drive in the new year.
1. Ford F-150 Lightning
That’s right, the most popular truck in America has gone electric. The OG automotive company launched the all-electric, full-size truck this year. With an interior and exterior that resembles its gas-powered counterpart, the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning features two electric motors and 580 horsepower.
“Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game (…)Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3. Now comes the F-150 Lightning,” Ford’s CEO and president, Jim Farley, said in a statement. Prices range from $52,000 on the low end to $97,000 for the Platinum Extended Range.
2. Rivian R1T
Buckle up in the 2023 Rivian R1T. A true trailblazer, Rivian’s all-electric, battery-powered light-duty truck debuted back in September 2021. Although its starting price is on the high end, roughly $70,000, this EV features 314 miles of EPA-estimated range, off-roading capabilities, and a max towing capacity of 11,000 pounds.
3. Chevrolet Silverado EV
If Ford launched an EV pickup, it was inevitable for Chevy to follow. With an estimated MSRP starting at $39,900, the 2024 Silverado EV is expected to launch in the fall of 2023.
Featuring 24-inch wheels, 14 camera views, a 17-inch diagonal free-form screen, and up to 10,000 pounds of max towing (up to 20,000 pounds on a future WT model), the work truck is capable of going up to 400 miles on a full charge—GM’s longest-range battery to date.
4. GMC Sierra EV Denali
Meet the Denali of EVs. Featuring 754 horsepower, up to 9,500 pounds of max trailering, an estimated range of 400 miles on a full charge, and a 16.8-inch diagonal center touch-screen — the all-electric Sierra EV is equal parts rugged and sleek. Join the waitlist now because this bad boy is set to launch in the spring of 2024.
5. GMC Hummer EV Pickup
That’s right, GMC has secured a second spot on this list with the release of its all-electric supertruck.
Perks: modular sky panels, a more than 350-mile range, hands-free driving, a 13.4-inch diagonal color touch-screen, and a spacious cabin. Oh, and it can dominate off-road.
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