The 2021 Rivian R1T and 2020 Atlis XT offer game-changing 100-percent electric range and enough towing and payload capacity to beg a very big question; are electric trucks about to disrupt the pickup and RV marketplaces? Wake up Ford, Ram, and GM…
In September of 2017, we published, “Portable Lithium Power Goes Truck Camping”, a review of the Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium portable power station for truck camping applications. We also polled our readers for their opinions on Lithium Ion technology and its practicality for truck campers. With the responses, I made something of a prediction:
“In ten years, every truck camper will be sold exclusively with lithium batteries. By 2027, lead acid will be dead.”
In a nutshell (where Angela says I belong) lithium-ion batteries are going to replace the flooded and AGM batteries in our campers the same way LED lighting replaced incandescent bulbs over the past decade. The cost of lithium ion batteries needs to come way down, but it’s inevitable. The capacity, weight, and size advantages are too great.
Since I was already on a limb, I made another lithium ion prediction in 2017. This time the nutshell is probably not enough to contain my admittedly out-there enthusiasm:
“In ten years, no less than 10-percent of those lithium powered truck campers will be pulled by 100-percent electric lithium-powered trucks. Put that in your future hat. It’s a done deal.”
2021 Rivian R1T – Starting at $61,500 (with $7,500 Federal Tax rebate)
Rivian sent shockwaves through the entire automotive industry this past November when they announced the ready-for-production Rivian R1T electric truck.
“Billed as, “The world’s first electric adventure vehicles” the R1T accelerates 0-60 in just 3-seconds and can safely wade into 3-feet of water.”
The Rivian R1T is a mid-size 100-percent electric pickup truck with up to 400-miles of range and 1,764 pounds of payload capacity. Towing capacity is stated at 11,000-pounds.
That’s enough range (when empty) to drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park and back, and enough payload for a good number of pop-up truck campers – and a few hard sides.
With quad-drive, 200-horse power at each wheel, and an extremely low center of gravity, the R1T can reportedly climb 45-degree angles. The battery, motors, brakes, and suspension are all located below wheel-height.
Billed as, “The world’s first electric adventure vehicles” the R1T accelerates 0-60 in just 3-seconds and can safely wade into 3-feet of water.
The R1T will be initially available with either a 135-kWh battery pack (754-horsepower and 300-mile range) or a 180-kWh battery pack (700-horsepower and 400-mile range). Rivian also states that the R1T batteries can charge to 80-percent in just 15-minutes.
Other interesting details about the Rivian R1T include its 12-cubic foot front truck, 12-cubic foot lockable “gear tunnel” behind the cab, 7-cubic foot lockable under bed storage, and a modular lock system on the roof, bed floor, and rails.
As you might imagine, the onboard technology is through the roof. For starters the truck has cameras and active safety systems including sensors for ultrasonic, lidar, and radar.
The onboard navigation system is designed to help you to, “…discover hidden trailheads, scenic byways, and other can’t miss attractions”. This truck wants to go camping.
Perhaps most impressively, the truck is production-ready with 450-employees and an Illinois automotive factory previously operated by Mitsubishi. They are taking 2021 pre-orders now with a $1,000 deposit. This truck is happening folks. Holy smokes!
2020 Atlis XT – Starting at $45,000 (with $7,500 Federal Tax rebate)
“The Atlis XT is a full-size 100-percent electric truck with up to 500-miles of range and (with the available dually configuration) up to 5,000 pounds of payload capacity.”
I was just starting to wrap my head around the implications of the Rivian when the Atlis Motor Vehicles launched the XT in early January. Based in Mesa, Arizona, the specs behind this truck are nothing less than mind blowing.
The Atlis XT is a full-size 100-percent electric truck with up to 500-miles of range and (with the available dually configuration) up to 5,000 pounds of payload capacity. GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is stated at a gobsmacking 35,000 pounds.
With 5,000 pounds of possible payload, the Atlis XT is capable at hauling the majority of hard side non-slide truck campers and a good number of lighter single-slides. Ladies and gentlemen, this could be the electric truck we’ve been looking for.
Atlis states the 0-60 time for the XT at 5-seconds with a top speed of 120 miles per hour. Upping the ante they claim that the XT can tow up to 35,000 pounds of GCWR up a 6-percent grade at a constant 65-miles per hour. And pass a few diesel trucks on the way up!
Four-wheel direct-drive is provided with individual motors at each wheel. Each wheel also features four-wheel independent suspension and regenerative braking with dynamic load control.
“Charge your truck and camper at the campground. This is going to give, “full hookups” an entirely new meaning.”
You can configure an Atlis XT with an extended cab or crew-cab, a 6.5-foot short bed or an 8-foot long bed, or go cab and chassis and install your own service body. Did we mention you can get a dually version with 5,000-pounds of payload?
If none of that flips your lid, a detail I found in the Atlis FAQ should:
“Atlis intends to make available charging adapters for a variety of situations, including a NEMA 14-50 adapter for RV hookups commonly found at campgrounds, allowing you to literally recharge in the woods.”
Got that? Charge your truck and camper at the campground. This is going to give, “full hookups” an entirely new meaning. The only question we have is how the campground owners will react to this. Their electric bills are about to launch themselves.
Almost as an afterthought, Atlis mentions that the XT will have 120-volt / 20 amp and 240-volt / 40 amp power on tap. Imagine powering everything in your camper – and I mean everything – from your truck! Oh, and the truck will be able to 100-percent charge in just 15-minutes from the company’s planned pull-through charging stations.
The Atlis XT will be available in two ownership possibilities; subscription and direct purchase. The Atlis Subscriber Club will provide you with a new truck every 3, 5 or 7 years, 100-percent maintenance coverage, 100-percent insurance coverage, and unlimited charging starting at $700 per month. Soak that in for a minute.
The Direct Ownership option is a lot more traditional. Starting at $45,000 (with Federal Tax rebate) you purchase a truck with a 10-year, 100-percent warranty. Charging is pay-as-you-go and you carry your own insurance. Atlis is taking reservations now for 2020 deliveries.
The Tesla Pickup Truck
There are even more all-electric trucks on the horizon. For starters, Elon Musk has been teasing electric Tesla pickup for well over a year.
People have a bad habit of dismissing Elon’s declarations and then having their pants pulled down when he actually does what he says. After all, Elon is the guy who launched a Tesla car in a SpaceX rocket (also his company) – just because he could. Eat your heart out, Iron Man!
Something tells me Tesla’s pickup debut will be something of a tipping point forcing the big three (still Ford, Ram, and GM) to announce their own 100-percent electric pickups.
The race for electric pickup trucks is on.