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From Ford to Tesla: Top 5 electric truck manufacturers of 2023

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October 18, 2023
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This story was produced by Edmunds and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

From Ford to Tesla: Top 5 electric truck manufacturers of 2023

Pickup trucks are hugely popular with Americans, so it only makes sense that automakers would be looking to bring electric trucks to market as part of the industry's progressive shift to EVs. There are only a handful of electric trucks to choose from now, but we're on the cusp of a number of models hitting the market in the coming years. This raises a couple of questions for car shoppers, such as "What are the top electric truck manufacturers now?" and "Which ones are on the horizon that I should keep an eye out for?"

The experts at Edmunds have gathered and ranked the top five electric truck manufacturers, touching on a bit of their history, naming the more notable models, and discussing any meaningful partnerships they might have. The list was ranked using the following variables: the popularity of the brand in the market, sales numbers, the projected release date of the electric truck if it's not already on the market, and our expert vehicle rankings. This isn't an exact science, so your choices might differ, but this should give you a good starting point for researching your next electric truck.

Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck
1 / 5
Edmunds

1. Ford

The Ford Motor Co. has been around since 1903. The 1925 Model T Runabout with a pickup body marked the first time in the U.S. that a person could buy a factory-built pickup. Prior to that, owners would need to have a third party install the box trunk for them or build it themselves.

Fast-forward nearly 100 years, and Ford's first electric pickup debuts in 2022. The F-150 Lightning took inspiration for its name from the gas-powered performance F-150 SVT Lightning pickup of the late 1990s to early 2000s. The electric F-150 Lightning combines the utility and power of the F-150 truck with a faster and quieter zero-emissions electric motor, features which earned the Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best award for 2023.

One of the most notable aspects of the current Lightning is that it retains the size, shape, and utility of the gas-powered F-150. This means that many of the same accessories for the bed of an F-150 will also fit in the Lightning. The cruising range of a Lightning can vary from an EPA-estimated 240 to 320 miles, depending on the configuration. As with all EVs, range can diminish considerably when towing.

In 2020, Ford announced that it partnered with Volkswagen to collaborate on EVs for the European market to produce commercial electric vans and an unnamed medium-size pickup truck.

Rivian R1T electric truck
2 / 5
Edmunds

2. Rivian Automotive

Rivian is an American-based automaker that was founded in 2009. Its primary factory is located in Illinois. Rivian currently offers two vehicles, the R1T, an all-electric pickup truck, and the R1S, an SUV variant. The R1T has the distinction of being the first all-electric pickup truck available in the U.S., followed closely by the larger Ford F-150 Lightning. In 2022, it earned the Edmunds Top Rated Editors' Choice award for making a great first impression and exceeding expectations.

The range of an R1T can vary from an EPA-estimated 289 to 328 miles, depending on the configuration. And similar to the F-150 Lightning — or any electric vehicle, really — the R1T's range will suffer when you need to tow.

Amazon is a major investor in Rivian, and in 2019, both parties struck a deal for Rivian to produce about 100,000 electric delivery vans (EDVs) for the e-commerce giant. That same year, Ford invested $500 million in Rivian and they announced they would partner to develop an EV for the Lincoln brand. In 2021, Ford announced that it was backing out of the deal and would go it alone. Rivian is also reportedly revisiting the terms of the Amazon deal, after the e-tailer purchased fewer vans than expected.

Hummer EV
3 / 5
Edmunds

3. General Motors (Chevrolet, GMC)

General Motors is another truck manufacturer that has been around for over 100 years. The first production truck from Chevrolet was the 1918 One-Ton, a rolling chassis featuring an open cab and an open frame that would allow customers to install a bed or box trunk.

General Motors entered the electric truck era with the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup. Inspired by the gas-guzzling Hummer H2 SUT of the early 2000s, the Hummer EV pickup was positioned as a "halo car" to get people excited about the possibilities of electric trucks. The Hummer EV pickup and its Hummer EV SUV variant are impressive showcases of GM's technology. Both offer serious off-road capability, a tech-laden interior and extremely powerful electric motors. The current version, with three electric motors, produces an astonishing 1,000 horsepower. But this luxury electric truck suffers from traditional Hummer drawbacks, such as a hulking weight and a high price tag. Still, due to its massive battery, we were able to drive the Hummer EV 390 miles in Edmunds' real-world EV range test — roughly 18% more than its official EPA-estimated range of 329 miles.

Chevrolet has its own electric truck on the horizon, with the full-size Silverado EV pickup set to debut later this year. Despite its name, the Chevy Silverado EV has more in common with the Hummer EV than the gas-powered Silverado 1500, as they share the same vehicle platform. The Silverado EV's styling is also a departure from the 1500, with a sleeker look and lower roofline. The Silverado EV should be capable of an EPA-estimated 450 miles of range — about 40% more range than the current Ford F-150 Lightning offers.

In early 2024, the GMC Sierra EV pickup is expected to hit showrooms. The Sierra EV is based on the Silverado EV but takes on a more luxurious feel and a different interior layout. The GMC Sierra is expected to have over 400 miles of range in its most efficient configuration.

These electric trucks are built on GM's Ultium platform, which is a modular battery architecture that allows GM to create dedicated EVs of varying sizes.

Ram 1500 Rev
4 / 5
Adam J. Dewey/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

4. Stellantis (Ram)

Stellantis' truck brand Ram, formerly known as Dodge, began using the Ram name for its trucks in the early 1980s. Ram eventually became its own brand, under the Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) corporate umbrella. The gas- or diesel-powered Ram 1500 has consistently been one of our top picks in the class, but its electric sibling is arriving late to the party. The Ram 1500 Rev pickup isn't expected to hit showrooms until about spring 2024. This is why Stellantis is ranked lower than GM on this list.

Power numbers for the Rev have not yet been finalized, but Ram says it is targeting about 650 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque. There will be two battery options available at launch, with the largest one delivering an estimated 500 miles of electric range. The platform that underpins the Rev is new and was designed specifically for large body-on-frame electric vehicles. This means that it can theoretically be used for future Stellantis truck-like vehicles as well.

Tesla Cybertruck
5 / 5
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

5. Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors was responsible for breaking the EV market open for widespread adoption, and it's currently the most popular electric car maker by a significant margin. Tesla is in the process of manufacturing and delivering the electric Semi Truck for commercial applications and the sci-fi-inspired Cybertruck. The Cybertruck was announced in November 2019 and prompted hundreds of thousands of people to place a $100 reservation. We know a few details of the Cybertruck's features at this point. 

Three versions of the Cybertruck have been promised: base single-motor rear-wheel-drive, dual-motor all-wheel-drive, and tri-motor all-wheel-drive models. Tesla says the range for the Cybertruck is expected to be between 250 and 500 miles, depending on the configuration.

The earliest production models are expected to be delivered to customers in the third quarter of 2023, with the mass production models arriving sometime in 2024. Take this timeline with a grain of salt, however, as Tesla has let touted production dates on the Cybertruck slip by. At the time of publication, Tesla's website had no release date for the vehicle or ability to configure one. The Cybertruck is the automaker's first attempt at an electric pickup and a bit of a departure from the other automakers. Time will tell if its bold styling and features are more for looks or utility.

Other electric truck manufacturers you might've heard of

Electric vehicle startups can be volatile and are prone to making promises they may not be able to keep. It's best to proceed with caution until these brands get on firmer ground. Here are a few startup manufacturers with plans to release an electric pickup truck that have experienced setbacks. They're highlighted here to showcase what else is out there but are not ranked.

Canoo: EV startup brand Evelozcity was founded in 2017 and eventually became Canoo in 2019. The company is now based in Bentonville, Arkansas. The first vehicle it announced was the van-like Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle. The Canoo pickup truck was the next prototype announced, which Canoo describes as having the payload capacity of a full-size truck on the exterior footprint of a midsize truck, plus enhanced maneuverability for any terrain. Canoo says that it is targeting upward of 500 horsepower, a payload capacity of up to 1,800 pounds, and a range of 200-plus miles. Neither of these vehicles has launched to date but the company is taking preorders.

In late 2020, Hyundai Motors announced that it would partner with Canoo to jointly develop an all-electric platform based on Canoo's proprietary skateboard design for upcoming Hyundai and Kia electric vehicles. A few months later, however, The Verge reported that Canoo's CEO declared that the company would not be focused on selling its technology to other automakers but rather on developing vehicles for commercial clients instead.

Since then, Canoo has been struggling to stay in the black and subsequently paid a $1.5 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in May 2023 following an investigation. In July, Canoo secured a defense contract with the federal government to produce "a technologically advanced battery pack that can be scaled for use on operational military platforms."

Lordstown Motors: Founded in 2018 by Steve Burns, startup electric vehicle manufacturer Lordstown Motors received backing from General Motors and purchased GM's manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio. Shortly after, the company announced that it would produce an electric truck named the Endurance. The Endurance was based on shared technology from the Workhorse Group's W-15 electric pickup, a brand formerly headed by Burns.

In 2021, Lordstown began to experience financial difficulties as it announced to investors that it might not have enough cash to bring the Endurance to production. A few weeks later, Burns resigned from the company after an investigation brought to light that he and other executives had exaggerated the number of preorders for the Endurance. In 2022, Lordstown sold its plant to Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn for $230 million and entered into an agreement that would have Foxconn build the Endurance pickup. The Endurance finally launched in late 2022 in small numbers.

In 2023, things began to spiral downward for Lordstown, as production was halted after consecutive safety recalls were issued. In June, Lordstown announced that it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and that it would file a lawsuit against Foxconn. According to the SEC filing, Lordstown claimed that "Foxconn had no intention of living up to its commitments, particularly with respect to the new vehicle development platform. Foxconn simply used its variety of contractual arrangements with the Company Parties as a tool to maliciously and in bad faith destroy the Company Parties' business — while leveraging resources gained through the partnership to advance its own business interests."

Alpha Motor Corp.: Alpha, founded in 2020, is one of the newest electric vehicle startups and it's based in Irvine, California. Its Wolf two-door pickup was announced in 2021. The Wolf can best be described as a retro-futuristic electric version of Marty McFly's Toyota Pickup in Back to the Future. Alpha says its pickup will come in two variants: the extended-cab Wolf+ and the double-cab Superwolf. Like most EV startups, Alpha has had money issues and has sought to raise money via crowdfunding. While the company is currently taking reservations on its site, it only began construction on its prototype in December 2022. The final production version is likely many years away.

In summary

Expect to see more electric trucks hit the market in the coming years from brands you recognize and some that are just appearing on your radar. There are a handful of other electric truck startup companies out there, but they have an even more nebulous future than the ones we've covered here.

 

This story was produced by Edmunds and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

 

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