bollinger, Lordstown Motors, rivian, tesla cybertruck, workhorse

8 electric pickup manufacturers may be a few too many, analysts say

DETROIT — Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his spacy Cybertruck have ignited a frenzy over electric pickups, and at least seven other U.S. automakers expect to build new battery-powered trucks by 2021.

The question is who will buy them.

Companies ranging from General Motors and Ford to startup Lordstown Motors have said they plan to introduce electric pickups over the next two years, and are scheduled to build up to 250,000 a year by 2024, according to industry analysts.

Sales of those battery trucks, however, may not exceed 70,000 a year, even when many of the plants hit full production, according to AutoForecast Solutions analyst Sam Fiorani.

If demand falls that far short of production targets, “there are going to be a lot of auto execs crying in their beer,” predicts IHS Markit analyst Joe Langley.

Musk indicated on Twitter that Tesla has received 200,000 reservations, requiring $100 deposits, within 72 hours after unveiling its Cybertruck, and plans to build up to 50,000 a year. The wedge-shaped pickup is expected to go into production in late 2021, and to start selling for a price of just under $40,000.

The total U.S. market for conventional pickups powered by internal combustion engines is just over 3 million.

Many of the EV pickups are being touted by newcomers, including Bollinger Motors and Hercules Electric Vehicles, both based in the Detroit area, and Atlis Motor Vehicles, in Mesa, Arizona. Projected prices range from $45,000 to $125,000.

Lordstown Motors has a licensing deal with Ohio-based Workhorse to build an electric pickup called Endurance at GM’s former assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. Lordstown executives have said they plan to start production in late 2020, with prices starting at $52,500.

Perhaps the most important new electric pickup is the R1T from well-funded newcomer Rivian, the Michigan startup that includes Ford and Amazon among its investors.

The R1T is slated to go into production late next year at a former Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal, Illinois, and will be priced from $69,000. In its first full year of production, Rivian plans to build about 25,000 pickups, but is installing capacity to build up to 260,000 vehicles, including a companion electric SUV and an electric delivery van for Amazon.

GM and Ford both expect to begin building premium electric pickups in late 2021 at Detroit-area assembly plants. Each company expects annual electric truck production to hit around 40,000 by 2024, analysts said.

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Elon Musk, tesla cybertruck

Elon Musk says Tesla has about 146,000 Cybertruck orders so far

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Saturday that there have been about 150,000 orders thus far for the electric carmaker’s Cybertruck, which was unveiled late on Thursday.

“146k Cybertruck orders so far, with 42% choosing dual, 41% tri & 17% single motor”, Musk said in a tweet, adding separately that the orders were achieved without any advertising or paid endorsements.

The launch of the Cybertruck pickup suffered a setback when its “armored glass” windows shattered in a much-anticipated unveiling. The overall look of the electric vehicle had worried Wall Street on Friday.

At the launch, Musk had taken aim at the design, power and durability of mainstream trucks, only to be shaken when the windows of Tesla’s new vehicle shattered while being tested.

The blunder overshadowed the launch, which was live-streamed from Los Angeles and made #cybertruck a trending word on Twitter.

Some Wall Street analysts praised the launch, but others doubted the futuristic design’s mass appeal.

With a starting price of $39,900, the Cybertruck’s angular body in gun-metal grey resembles an armored vehicle. Its website shows that an immediate payment of $100 is required to reserve an order for the Cybertruck. That means Tesla has collected roughly $14.6 million in reservations so far.

Tesla plans to start manufacturing the truck around late 2021.

The U.S. pickup truck market is one of the world’s most profitable vehicle segments and is dominated by Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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cybertruck, cybrtrk, Elon Musk, tesla cybertruck, tesla pickup

Tesla Cybertruck livestream

The hype has been building for what feels like forever now, but tonight, we’ll finally get to see the Tesla electric pickup truck. It’s getting its big reveal at a live event in California, which you can watch here.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the pickup will be big — big enough that the late, great Andre the Giant could drive it. He’s also said it will be powerful, futuristic, and relatively affordable. “You should be able to buy a really great truck for $49K or less,” Musk once said.

Musk also said, “The goal is to be a better truck than an F-150 in terms of truck-like functionality and be a better sports car than a standard 911. That’s the aspiration.” We have our doubts about it being that great at the $49,000 level, but, of course, performance will improve by trim level and price point.

We’re also skeptical that this could be in customers’ garages anytime soon. Tesla still has the Semi and Model Y to roll out, and the company has had issues with production capacity in the past.

We’ll also find out tonight what the vehicle will actually be called, but all signs point to “Cybertruck.” Elon Musk has referred to it that way before, we recently learned that Tesla filed for trademarks of “Cybertruck” and “Cybrtrk,” and even the landing page for the livestream says”Cybertruck Unveil.” That would fit with his descriptions of it resembling something from “Tron” or “Blade Runner,” an aesthetic that could turn off traditional pickup customers in middle America (not that Musk cares what they think).

We’re hoping to get lots of information tonight, but Musk is notorious for leaving out details at these unveilings, so it could be a while before the complete picture of the truck’s features, capabilities, price breakdown and production plans comes together.

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Auto Shows, bollinger b2, Car News, chevrolet e-10, electric trucks, la auto show, Rivian R1T, tesla cybertruck

The Startup Electric Truck Wars Start at LA Auto Show


It seems that when it comes to EVs, electric trucks are the last frontier. While Ford and Chevrolet have introduced one-off models or prototypes of electric pickups, a few newer automakers have beaten them to the punch with production-ready—or near-ready—models. We take a closer look at the entrants in the startup truck wars. 

The Electric Truck Contenders 

Three startup automakers are looking to win the hearts and wallets of consumers: Bollinger Motors, a Detroit-based company showing its B2; Rivian, which created a buzz last year with a prototype of its R1T; and Tesla, which will debut its Cybertruck on November 21. 

Bollinger Motors

Bollinger’s B2 is likely to be the most exclusive of the bunch. Only 1,500 will be made in the first year with a price tag of $125,000. It’s got an all-aluminum body and electric powertrain that can deliver 614 horsepower and 668 pound-feet of torque. Bollinger says this engine can tow 7,500 pounds and has a payload of 5,000 pounds—but several outlets have noted that its primary use will be for off-roading, so its speed is capped at 100 mph and range is limited to 200 miles. 

One cool feature is a pass-through that extends from the front grille through the cabin into the bed. But look inside and you’ll notice it lacks an infotainment system, which many shoppers have come to expect in new cars. 

Rivian

The R1T, with its rounded corners, elongated headlights, and futuristic tech, is a stylistic polar opposite of the B2. Rivian says the R1T will be able to make 754 horsepower and travel 400 miles. Its storage cubby—found behind the cabin—is best for snowboards or skis. Inside, it features a digital dashboard behind the steering wheel and a large, horizontal infotainment screen.

The R1T is set to go on sale in 2021. Its starting price will be just over half the price of a B2, at $69,000.

Rivian R1T

Tesla

Details are sparse right now about Tesla’s electric truck. Musk has said the truck will have 400-500 miles of range, can seat six, and will start at $49,000. If Tesla is able to accomplish this, the Cybertruck will be the most affordable option for an electric pickup.

These startups face big challenges in getting their vehicles in front of consumers: Tesla has previously had problems sticking with deadlines, and neither Bollinger nor Rivian have established dealer networks.

Established Automakers Make EV Truck Plans 

It’s not just startups that are developing electric trucks. Earlier this year, Ford debuted an all-electric pickup that can tow 1,000,000 pounds. While the automaker admits the production version of this vehicle won’t have that capability, it showcases how Ford is thinking about electric trucks. We could see an electric version of the F-150 as soon as 2021. 

And recently at SEMA, Chevrolet introduced the all-electric E-10. The company’s press release suggests it can make 450 horsepower. And unlike the newcomers, the E-10 uses the entire bed for the truck’s battery. It also offers a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds. However, it’s worth noting that we may never see a production-ready model of this vehicle. 

For more news from the LA Auto Show, check out these articles: 

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