3 Ways Electric Trucks are Better Than Traditional Pickup Trucks
Electric trucks are killing the scene right now. Everywhere you look, there are stories of people wanting the newest, hottest electric pickup truck and being unable to get one. The Ford Lightning, Rivian R1T, and GMC Hummer EV are all back ordered to Hell and back. They are too popular. People are buying these models faster than automakers can spit them out. Why do people want electric trucks so badly? Here are three ways electric trucks are better than traditional trucks with internal combustion engines (ICE).
Torque is one of the most important factors for pickup trucking. Whether you are towin’, haulin’, muddin’, or anything else you can end with -in’, torque is key. Torque is one of the few advantages electric motors inherently have over their ICE counterparts.
Makeuseof.com explains that when you look at the torque curve for EVs versus the curve of ICE trucks, they really don’t even compare. EVs produce torque at zero RPM. ICE trucks cannot do this. While pickup trucks benefit from this instant torque, it will really become massively useful once semi-trucks get the same low-end beef.
For instance, a 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck with a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine will produce its max torque of 1,000 lb-ft at 1,800 RPM. This is exceptionally powerful for a traditional pickup truck, which is why people love this truck for towing heavy loads. However, The Rivian R1T makes 908 lb-ft of torque instantly. No turbos, no RPMs, just mash the pedal and get the power.
A low center of gravity
We don’t often think of weight distribution for pickup trucks in that sense. Sure, when you’re towing, you might consider where the weight is, but the center of gravity might slip your mind when shopping between an F-150 and a Ram 1500. However, this a crucial to how a vehicle feels and handles.
Lowering a pickup truck’s center of gravity quickly turns these bumbling land yachts into surprisingly nimble canyon carvers. Instead of a giant V8, weighing roughly 1,000,000 tons at the front and effectually zero weight at the back, you know, get to stow all the weight in the middle, underneath the rest of the truck. There is a reason why many supercars also mount their engines this way.
Not only does lowering the center of gravity make them more fun to drive in the corners, it also makes them safer and more practical for daily driving.
Off-roading in electric trucks is a bit of a sensitive issue. On one hand, electric pickup trucks are objectively better at executing tough trails where power or grip might be an issue. The Rivian R1T, for example, has four motors, one per wheel. This allows each motor to power one wheel, ensuring each wheel gets the proper amount of power needed to maintain the most grip. This is like an E-diff, but orders of magnitude more precise. This has incredible implications off-road because grip suddenly becomes much easy to keep. If you have grip, you can conquer most off-road situations.
However, electric trucks have one major weakness for off-roading; range. If you are going on a long, spirited day on the trails in your Toyota Tacoma, you can always bring extra fuel. Off-roading in an EV seriously limits how far into the wilds you can go. This brings with it some stress that ICE trucks won’t have.
Should you buy an electric pickup truck?
Electric pickup trucks have many benefits and offer performance that ICE trucks simply cannot. However, EVs still come with their own specific limitations and drawbacks. The tech is still new, and as such, it still needs some maturing and infrastructure growth to make them achieve its full potential.