Electric Pickup Trucks Should Enter the U.S. Market by 2016
When we explored the state of electric pickup trucks within the EV segment in March, we found a great deal of promise but not much in the way of guarantees. In that respect, it mirrored the future of the electric vehicle segment as a whole. However, the EV Fleet Condor pickup we profiled at the time now has enough of an audience that we can be sure it will launch in 2016. There are even real order figures to back it up.
In a report from the 2015 Battery Show (in Novi, Mich.), AutoblogGreen caught up with the electric truck maker based in North Carolina and learned there are over 1,000 fleets in the U.S. that have come calling about the Condor. Once airbag testing for the trucks is complete (expected by spring 2016), the electric truck maker can start filling orders in the U.S. Overseas, it already has 12,000 orders to fill on the export market.
According to the report, EV Fleet expects to crank out 500 of those in the coming year, during which it will receive the go-ahead to commence sales on the U.S market. While these figures might seem high for a segment where world-class automakers struggle to sell a few hundred cars a month, the demands of fleet managers make these work vehicles highly practical, especially where gas prices are well over $3 (i.e., California).
Running at speeds at or below 45 miles per hour, EV Fleet has quoted the Condor’s range close to 140 miles — well above any EV on the market outside of a Tesla. These prices are a long way from Model S territory, however.
The 50 kWh battery model has an MSRP of $49,995 before federal and state incentives. (EV Fleet can point fleets in the right direction as far as incentives go.) In California, the effort to reduce the burden of pollution on disadvantaged communities has led to the $10,000 rebate for battery EV work vehicles, which would push the acquisition cost below $40,000.
There are several configurations available for the back of the trucks, which explains the wide range of interest from domestic and foreign business owners. You would be able to get two shift in per day allowing eight hours for charging on 240V outlets (20 amps) or 4.5 hours on a 30-amp source. Maximum tow weight and payload are both measured at 1,000 pounds.
As with other hotly anticipated electric vehicles, administrative holdups are standing in the way of the Condor’s green light on the production front. EV Fleet told AutoblogGreen the Condor is about one third of the way through its airbag tests, which are the final hurdle to getting it on U.S. roads. Within six months, this green work truck should be ready to report for duty.