With many automakers committing to phasing out the production of internal combustion vehicles within the next 7 to 10 years, the landscape of utility vehicles is changing rapidly. Mainstream pickup manufacturers have jumped into the game by offering current or proposed all-electric models, revolutionizing the truck industry.

Rivian R1T: A Trailblazer in Electric Pickups

Founded in 2009, Rivian Automotive Inc. has made waves in the industry with the release of its R1T electric pickup for the 2022 model year. This midsized, light-duty, crew-cab pickup boasts 835 horsepower and an official range of 314 miles. With a variety of electric motor options and independent wheel operation, the R1T performs well in inclement weather and on technical trails. Rivian also produces a sport-utility vehicle, the R1S, using similar architecture.

Ford’s Electric Future: F-150 Lightning and Beyond

Ford has made significant strides in the electric vehicle market with the introduction of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup. Responsible for up to 50% less greenhouse gas emissions per mile compared to its gas-powered counterpart, the Lightning has quickly gained attention, amassing over 200,000 reservations by the end of 2021. Ford CEO Jim Farley has also teased upcoming fully electric seven-passenger SUVs and Project T3 electric pickups as disruptive next-generation Model E electric vehicles due to arrive in 2025.

Changing the Way We Use Pickup Trucks

Electric pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T are not only changing the game in terms of emissions and efficiency but also in how they are used. Data shows that Lightning owners use their truck beds significantly more than gas-powered model owners, engaging in more home projects, camping, and hauling activities. Over 50% of Lightning buyers are coming from a non-truck vehicle, while that number is around 33% for the F-150.

Climate Impact and the Future of Electric Pickups

As electric vehicles get larger, their climate impact tends to increase. However, experts generally agree that electric vehicles are more climate-friendly than gasoline vehicles. Swapping a gas pickup truck for a similar electric one can produce significant emissions savings. With the emergence of electric pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, and GMC Hummer E.V., the future of utility vehicles is becoming greener and more innovative, paving the way for a more sustainable automotive industry.