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Electric pickup trucks offer instant torque and zero emissions driving. Beyond that, they have modern styling and ample tech, setting them apart from their ICE-powered counterparts. For today’s truck buyer, it’s an appealing formula. 

With electric vehicles still relatively new, there aren’t many choices for EV pickups. However, so far in 2023, one model is leading the way, with a drastic uptick in sales. Let’s take a closer look at EV pickups and the segment’s current sales leader. 

Rivian is dominating sales of electric trucks right now

Currently, electric truck buyers have three choices: the Rivian R1T, the Ford F-150 Lightning, and the GMC Hummer EV pickup. Though the Chevy Silverado EV is waiting in the wings, it hasn’t yet been released on the retail market. Among those models, the R1T has a commanding sales lead in 2023. Here are the details.

Here are electric truck sales figures in 2023, according to Ford Authority:

  • Rivian R1T: 16,011 
  • Ford F-150 Lightning: 12,260 
  • GMC Hummer EV pickup: 923
  • Chevy Silverado EV: 18

Delving further into the data, the Rivian enjoyed a 100.14% sales increase since last year, while the Ford is up 39.95%. The GMC Hummer’s figures increased by 18.03%  over the same period. 

Additionally, in Q3 2023, R1T sales rose 86.36% compared to Q3 2022. During that time, the F-150 Lightning experienced a significant drop in deliveries, with a decrease of 45.81%. The GMC Hummer also enjoyed a big Q3 sales boost, with a 112.65% YTD jump in the third quarter. 

What do these figures say about the electric pickup truck market?

It appears EV truck buyers want an innovative, capable, and futuristic ride. In those areas, the Rivian R1T delivers. From its recognizable LED-lit fascia to its available quad-motor powertrain, the Rivian is a step above the competition. 

Need proof? Car and Driver gave the R1T a score of 10/10, praising its acceleration, storage space, and capability. The quad-motor setup rocketed to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, its 800 horsepower providing instant off-the-line pull. Additionally, the Max battery pack offered a reported range of 410 miles. Needless to say, the Rivian is an engineering marvel.

Still, the F-150 Lightning is a commendable package with strong performance, full-size capability, and good range. However, it doesn’t have the unique cachet of the R1T; instead, it closely resembles a regular F-150.

A big test is on the horizon for EV trucks

The Rivian R1T is on a roll. However, there’s a new competitor on the horizon: the Tesla Cybertruck. Combining futuristic looks with advanced powertrains, the Tesla could be a significant player in the EV truck segment.

According to Electrek, the Cybertruck will feature dual-motor and triple-motor setups at its introduction. With Tesla’s long experience with EV technology, the powertrain should provide class-leading performance.

On its website, Tesla quotes a 0-60 mph time as low as 2.9 seconds. And with a range of up to 500 miles, the Cybertruck charts new territory for electric pickups. 

Not only that, but the Cybertruck pushes the limits in tech and design with a cold-rolled stainless steel body. That provides increased passenger protection and reduces corrosion. 

Tesla also notes a towing capacity of more than 14,000 lbs, giving the Cybertruck superb capability. That’s a figure typically reserved for diesel-powered heavy-duty pickups. 

All in all, the Cybertruck is a compelling package for the buyer who wants the latest and greatest tech. Still, with its dramatic bodywork, some drivers could shy away. It’ll be interesting to see how it fares against the R1T

Electric pickup trucks still have a long way to go

Rivian deserves credit for its class-leading R1T. However, with electric trucks just hitting the market, it’ll be a while before we know the biggest player in the segment. Other companies have yet to introduce their EV pickups; when they do, it’ll be an exciting competition. 

Recently, Toyota showed a sleek electric pickup concept, the EPU. With a smaller footprint than the midsize Tacoma, it could compete with the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Additionally, with a lower starting price than full-size EV trucks, the EPU could be a sales hit. Autoblog has the details. 

The Ram 1500 REV debuts in Q4 2024 with commendable specs all around. With the optional 229 kWh battery pack, the REV can drive up to 500 miles before charging. And, with up to 654 hp and 620 lb-ft of torque, the electric Ram can reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and tow 14,000 lbs.