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Ask Renewable Rayna: Are There Electric Vehicles Built for Rural Areas?

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Are there electric vehicles built for rural areas? That’s a question that automative companies are working to answer. Soon, the question won’t be “Are there electric vehicles built for rural areas?” – it will be “When will we see electric vehicles (EV) in rural Arkansas?”

The popularity of electric cars around the world is growing, but they still only make up one to two percent of the market, depending on what region you are in.

At the same time, pickup truck sales have shot through the roof in the last few years (alongside SUV sales), and gasoline prices are following the same trends as seen in the chart below.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

What this means is that there are great opportunities for the first companies to bring a viable electric truck to the masses, meeting the needs of rural areas.

A familiar face in the automotive industry has unveiled its prototype for their all electric pick-up truck for the first time.

With over a hundred in attendance, on November 1 in Norman, Okla., Western Farmers Electric Cooperative hosted their “Plug-In To Win” event, the finale for a campaign supporting EVs in Oklahoma, by inviting Ford’s Director of Governmental Relations and Regional Governmental Sales Manager to the event to discuss and show off the electron powered prototype.

Source: Today’s Power Inc.

The all-electric F-150’s appearance is  similar to the traditional gas-powered F-150.  Coming in many trims, how does the all-electric Ford hold up to its internal combustion counterpart?

We don’t know yet…additional details for the Ford will be released closer to their go-to-market date, which is expected to be in the next two to three years.

From recent commercials and promotion, we can only expect that the new all electric F-150 has the power. In a recently promoted commercial, Ford shows off their prototype pulling several train cars totaling 1 million pounds.  Granted, the stunt was conducted on a railroad track, but the torque expected for this vehicles is assumed to be impressive.

It was revealed at the event that Ford has made an $11 billion investment into producing more electric models.  With this investment, Ford plans to supply training and certifications to dealers in regard to electric vehicles.  Additionally, in 2020 and they are bringing a plug-in hybrid Ford Escape and a new Explorer looking at electrifying utility and police vehicles.  A Lincoln Aviator will also be a plug in coming next year, succeeding the Plug-in Hybrid F-150 and Mustang inspired SUV which will be revealed on Nov. 17, 2019.

In an effort to get an electric truck to market faster, 50 million of the $8 billion investment was made to Rivian, a fellow manufacturer of electric trucks. This investment allowed Ford to integrate Rivian’s “Skateboard Platform” into their electric F-150’s.

Source: Rivian

Buzz has been surrounding Rivian for a few years now, one of the first companies to work towards an all-electric pick-up truck.

Unlike the familiar brand loyalty and body style of the F-150, the R1T looks different. Because it is.  The company says that the truck that has been revealed is not a prototype vehicle — in about two years, the 2021 Rivia R1T will be in production.

Source: Car magazine

With an average length of 215.6 inches, the crew-cab only R1T splits the size difference between mid-size pick-ups, such as the new Ford Ranger and the Ram 1500. The Rivian R1T is a futuristic all-electric Rivian pick-up truck that possesses more than 400 miles of driving range and acceleration times comparable to supercars.

According to Car and Driver magazine, a range of 105-, 135-, and 180-kWh battery packs will be available, with ranges of more than 230, 300, and 400 miles, respectively. The 135-kWh model is the quickest of the three, with 754 horsepower and a claimed zero-to-60-mph time of 3.0 seconds.

Like the Tesla Model X, all-wheel drive is the standard, where each axle is powered by its own electric motor.

Already taking reservations, the Rivian R1T is scheduled for distribution in late 2020 at $69,000 for the 105-kWh model. The 180-kWh R1Ts are to be fully loaded and the first to enter production, and the 135-kWh R1T is to begin production soon after. The 105-kWh version is to be released within 12 months after the start of production.

On sale soon after will be the Rivian R1S, a seven-passenger SUV with similar specs to the R1T.

Ford was not the only one to invest in the Michigan-based company.  Rivian received a $700 million investment from the retail giant, Amazon.  This deal includes an order of 100,000 Rivian vans, which gives the company a huge boost and shows how the auto industry is being reshaped by new technologies.

You cannot mention electric cars (or trucks) without mentioning Tesla.

With a desire to compete with the F-150’s of the world, and even with the Model Y closer to market,  Elon Musk tweeted on Nov. 6, 2019 that Tesla will finally unveil its long-awaited electric pick-up truck on November 21st at Tesla’s design studio in Los Angeles, California.   Musk has said the forthcoming pickup truck has a “heart-stopping” design, with better utility than a Ford F-150 and superior performance to a basic Porsche 911.

Tesla’s electric pickup is not out yet, but is expected to be in the next two to three years. The truck is to seat six, start at about $50,000, and possess ranges of about 400 and 500 miles. Musk has also suggested that the truck will have a dual-motor setup with an absurd towing capability of 300,000 pounds in the top-end model.

Tesla electric truck

This revolutionary “cyberpunk” look of the Tesla truck emerges from the solo teaser image released by Musk (see below), it is extremely polarizing as Musk says the truck will be.

In Conclusion 

The next generation of EVs are expected to fit the needs of rural America and reach new heights with regard to their operating range, with the strongest bunch being able to run on up to 400 miles from established players and new start-ups.

Are you ready to #GetCharged?

READ MORE: Ride the Lightning: The Electric Vehicle Revolution is Happening

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