Electric pickup trucks: the next big electric vehicle opportunity

Electrification in the United States is at an early stage compared to other regions globally, but it has made significant progress over the past few years, with electric vehicles making up nearly 9% of new registrations in the first half of 2023. Pickups make up a large portion of automobile electrical. The US passenger car market is at an early stage in the transition to electric, with only approximately 5% of electric vehicles sold in the US in the first half of 2023 being pickup trucks.

There are a large number of startups involved in this space, and traditional OEMs are now advertising their offerings to this market. Now that the range, capabilities and price of these vehicles are competitive, we should expect to see significant adoption of electric pickups in the US market. The IDTechEx report on “Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea and Air 2024-2044” predicts that the US passenger electric vehicle market will increase more than 8-fold from 2023 to 2034, providing a huge market for electric pickups to tap into.

Requirements for electrical pickups

One reason for the slow progress of electric pickup trucks is that the market requires long distances while also wanting to tow and/or carry cargo. Also, pickup trucks are not usually aerodynamic in nature, which makes efficient use of the battery more difficult.

However, the main advantage of an electric truck is the ability to use the vehicle as a power bank. People can use it as a backup for their home electricity or to power tools on a job site without needing a gasoline generator.

In order to achieve an acceptable driving range for the US market, electric pickup trucks require large batteries. In 2022, IDTechEx found that the average battery electric vehicle in the United States had a capacity of 76.5 kilowatt-hours. This is already much higher than other regions globally, but from the IDTechEx database of electric trucks, the average battery capacity is 145 kWh, almost double. The fact that traditional OEMs are targeting competitive pickup pricing with ICE trucks is a testament to how far battery technology and supply have come, given the increased battery volume used in pickup trucks compared to the automotive market.

Battery size and vehicle range for electric trucks have been announced. Source: IDTechEx

Startups lead, but for how long?

An electric pickup has made it into the top 15 best-selling pickup trucks in 2022 thanks to Rivian’s success with the R1T and R1S. In the first half of 2023, Rivian still leads the market, delivering just over 20,500 vehicles. This compares to the next best-selling electric truck, the Ford F150 Lightning, with over 8,700 sold. Rivian hit the market earlier but is the only electric pickup startup that has been able to deliver vehicles in larger numbers. Other startups have and will continue to have difficulty getting to market.

The Lordstown company declared bankruptcy in 2023, and Atlis temporarily halted development of its pickup truck to focus on battery technology.

The U.S. pickup market is dominated by the Big Three: Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. The best-selling models are respectively the F-Series, Silverado and Ram. Each of the traditional automakers has made announcements for electric versions of these models. Ford’s F150 Lightning begins deliveries in 2022, with GM’s electric Silverado available to commercial customers in 2023 and private customers in 2024. The Ram pickup truck is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2024. This Brands with intense loyalty from their customers. Once they start making their electric models more available, existing brand customers will likely move to electric versions of their favorite brand.

Currently, demand for electric pickup trucks exceeds production capacity. But automakers have big expansion plans. Rivian plans to produce 52,000 vehicles in 2023, but its current factory has the capacity to produce 150,000 vehicles annually, with plans to open a second factory in 2026. Ford closed a factory in Michigan for 6 weeks in order to triple its production capacity. Starting in the third quarter of 2023, Ford suggests it can produce trucks at a volume of 150,000 units per year. General Motors announced that its factories can produce 600,000 electric pickups annually. Tesla’s Cybertruck is also hitting the market in 2023, and if its previous progress in the automotive market is anything to go by, this could also lead to high-volume orders. Given the relatively low sales of electric pickup trucks so far, those are lofty goals. However, even if a small fraction of these numbers become a reality, this is still a huge opportunity, especially given the performance and size of the main drivetrain components required for vehicles in this class.

The pickup truck market is just one category of vehicle that is rapidly accelerating. Many other markets also offer amazing opportunities throughout the global supply chain with vehicles such as two-wheelers, three-wheelers, vans, vans, trucks, marine vehicles, construction vehicles, buses, air taxis and trains, each with their own phases. Special electrification and power. Adoption challenges. The IDTechEx report, “Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea and Air 2024-2044,” finds that the electric vehicle market across these segments will be a multi-trillion-dollar industry by 2044.

To learn more about the IDTechEx report “Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea and Air 2024-2044”, including downloadable sample pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/EV.

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions with research, subscription and consulting products, helping you leverage emerging technologies. For more information, contact search@IDTechEx.com or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

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