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Electric Pickups will be Game-Changer

Electric Pickups will be Game-Changer

June 2, 2021

BC is a leader in electric vehicle adoption but as I have suggested previously, one significant challenge is the fact that there are no electric pickup trucks yet offered in the marketplace. After all, many people require a pickup for work or recreation purposes, and in many rural communities where we are resource-dependent, a pickup may be a requirement.

It’s a challenge that will soon be addressed.

While there are no electric pickups from major automakers on the market today, over the next 18 months, it is anticipated that there may be several models to choose from on dealers’ lots.

It is expected that the new start-up brand Rivian will be amongst the first automaker to deliver a fully electric pickup truck to market, with the futuristic R1T expected to be available in Canada as early as this fall. The automaker promises between 250 and 400 miles of driving range.

The all-electric Hummer EV Pickup will be among the first vehicles to be built on GM’s new modular electric battery platform at the retooled Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, renamed Factory ZERO. With up to 300 miles of range, the Hummer will be available in Canada as early as fall 2022.

The Tesla Cybertruck looks like something from a sci-fi movie but is expected to come with an estimated driving range of 500 miles. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the vehicle, but it appears the first versions may go into production as early as late this year.

The Ford Motor Company will also be introducing the highly anticipated F-150 Lightning and it’s expected to be available in 2022, with a range of up to 300 miles. The F-Series of trucks has been around since 1948 and the F-150 is labelled as Canada’s best-selling pickup truck for 11 years running, but the all-new Lightning is causing all-new levels of excitement.

The arrival of EV pickups will help continue a trend that has placed British Columbia as a leader in EV adoption and help put us on a path to meet government’s CleanBC target, requiring all new car, SUV and light-duty trucks sales to be zero-emission by 2040 – a target the federal government has also embraced on a nation-wide basis.

Of course, a factor that will contribute to those in rural communities adopting the EV pickup lifestyle is the corresponding access to charging stations. At present, there are more than 2,500 charging stations in British Columbia but for greater adoption to occur, access to chargers will need to keep pace so all communities can benefit.

Most of these electric trucks will be hugely capable and some come with high price tags, but the selection of upcoming electric pickups will soon be vast enough to suit most budgets and tastes. Of course, some electric trucks have turned out to be more highly anticipated than others, but each model promises to offer something unique and compelling.

There is a great deal of excitement about the onset of electric pickups, but the best news is that they will soon be coming to a dealership near you. I’m all charged up about it!

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca

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