The $25,000 Electric Pickup Truck They Said Couldn’t Be Built
Geely’s Radar brand is taking orders for its RD6 electric truck, which shows that 1) You can build EVs for $25,000, and 2) You can sell pickups for $25,000. The thing that Tesla keeps promising, and the thing that the Ford Maverick is proving, is that there is probably a much larger market for a pickup under $30,000 than for a Ford F-250. Or a Ram 2500, or Silverado HD.
Does this small electric truck send a signal to Detroit?
We just saw the production numbers for the 2022 Maverick hybrid, and half of all Maverick’s sales are for the 500-mile range hybrid. GM CEO Mary Barra keeps saying that there is built-up demand for affordable EVs. Of course, GM defies that by offering $300,000 Cadillacs and $150,000 Hummer pickups.
So the Radar RD6 can swoop in to satisfy both the demand for smaller trucks, and for affordable EVs. It is built and sold in China, so it is doubtful it will make it to our shores. But that’s OK, it is serving a purpose for U.S. manufacturers: it shows they too can make their own RD6 if they want.
How good could the RD6 electric pickup truck be at $24,783?
So how good or bad is the Radar RD6, which at current exchange rates starts at $24,783? For starters, Radar says that its SEA EV platform offers “considerable technology underpinnings that will include single and dual motor options.” That breaks down to between 200 hp and 400 hp. Estimates are for a range of almost 400 miles.
Sizewise, the RD6 is larger than a Ford Maverick and smaller than a Toyota Tacoma. It is 207 inches long, with a 122.8-inch wheelbase. The Maverick is 200 inches long, with a 121-inch wheelbase. The RD6 bed offers 42.2 cubic feet of space, with an additional 2.5 feet in the frunk.
What range does the RD6 electric truck have?
There are three battery pack options, starting with the 66 kWh with a 217-mile range. Next, is the 86 kWh battery with a 342-mile range, and the 100 kWh battery with 380 miles range. As with the Maverick, only the four-door version will be offered, with one-bed size.
What’s a bit strange about Geely making efforts to build pickups is that they’re banned on most urban roads. They’re considered farm implements. In fact, only about two percent of total sales in China are for pickup trucks. So why even bother?
Is China getting hip to the pickup truck?
Looking at sales over the last couple of years, pickup trucks are showing more growth than either SUVs or sedans. And the culture in general is getting into camping and hiking, partially as a result of the lingering pandemic there. “More people are pursuing a healthy lifestyle and more outdoor activities while the government is also relaxing restrictions for pickups in cities,” says Radar Auto CEO Ling Siguan. “Those changes are supporting the growth of pickup trucks.”
The Radar RD6 should put the Tesla and GM brain trust on notice. If those companies can’t build what consumers want, there is another one lurking elsewhere that will.