So Who’ll Be First To Mass Produce An Electric Truck?

So Who’ll Be First To Mass Produce An Electric Truck?

Your contenders for first-to-market in volume are, in no particular order, are Rivian, Ford, GMC, Chevy, Lordstown Motors, Tesla, Bollinger, Nikola, Canoo and (maybe) Ram.

Lordstown Motors swears up and down that it will start making its Endurance pickup in September, which might make it the first, but there are a lot of questions about that. So I’m filing that to let’s-wait-and-see, while others on the electric truck list seem too far away to have a shot. Those would include Nikola, which actually already killed its Badger, and Canoo and Ram.

Then there are companies like Bollinger, which has already said that its launch won’t be till next year. There’s Ford, which hinted that 2021 would be the year for the electric F-150, though it doesn’t seem to be in any particular rush, an neither does Chevy. Tesla, meanwhile, has basically said 2022 would be the year for the Cybertruck, too.

The genuine contenders then, are GMC, whose Hummer EV Pickup will have “initial availability” this year, according to GMC’s website; Rivian, apparently still shooting for June to launch its R1T; and Lordstown Motors, only a contender if you believe it is a real company and not a house of cards.

By “make” an electric truck, I don’t mean one electric truck or a dozen electric trucks; any company can do that in relatively short order. Indeed, many already have. By “make,” I mean mass-produce and sell a road-legal electric truck available to the public, which no company has done in the modern era. It also does not count if a company claims to be mass producing its electric truck but for some reason only influencers and celebrities are able to buy them (“buy” them) and the rest of us are on a waiting list. Because, if I cannot go to a dealership, or log onto the internet and plunk down $US75,000 ($97,890) for your electric truck, and either drive away with it or have it delivered in short order, you aren’t really mass-producing it.

By this definition, if Rivian and Lordstown announce with great fanfare in June or September that they are mass producing their trucks now but only at a trickle, that does not count as winning the race to mass production.

All of which is a big windup for me to say that I think the GMC Hummer EV Pickup will actually get there first, because GM has over a decade of experience building and selling EVs. Rivian and Lordstown do not.

Finally, special credit for anyone who can say convincingly that the correct answer is that NO electric truck will ever be mass-produced. I think by late next year we will be swimming in electric trucks, but I will also say that after running through the history of Chrysler’s late-aughts EV program — which Chrysler was going full steam ahead with until it killed it, then never spoke of it again — the idea that that there could be a 180 does not seem too far-fetched.

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