Hybrids & Electrics

Will This Affordable Electric Pickup Truck Be Available in the U.S. Soon?

The electric revolution has spread to the pickup truck market, and many automakers are scrambling to produce electric pickup trucks for the American market. With that said, affordability is still a big concern for electric vehicle enthusiasts. In China, a brand-new electric pickup was unveiled — and it will cost less than $20,000.

The Rich 6 electric truck

Built by Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DMC), in collaboration with Nissan, this $19,000 pickup truck will be one of the first EVs to take Chinese roads by storm. According to Torque News, the Rich 6 EV will be one of 20 new EVs that Nissan will introduce in China by 2022.

The Rich 6 EV is actually a modified version of an existing gas-powered pickup truck, according to Fossbytes. The Rich 6 EV has a 160-hp electric motor along with a 68-kWh battery pack. For comparison, EVs in American markets can have a 100-kWh battery pack.

In terms of range, it’s harder to say since Chinese regulations for testing range are different than American ones. Fossbytes mentions that it has a lackluster 175-mile range while Torque News states that it has a 250-mile range. However, both sources agree on its poor top speed, which is limited to a mere 68 miles per hour.

It’s a compact truck comparable to pickups like the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado. However, its towing figures are largely unknown. CarsGuide mentions that it can hold a payload of over 1,000 pounds. It has five seats and can be supercharged, according to Torque News.

A Chinese electric truck

DMC is a distinctly Chinese company; it is state-owned and was founded by Mao Zedong. According to Torque News, DMC created the Rich 6 EV in order to comply with new Chinese pollution regulations. As a result, the Rich 6 EV is a distinctly Chinese truck clearly designed for Chinese roads. 

It’s not an especially impressive pickup truck when considering its specifications. This is largely the result of taking an existing design and converting it into an EV. But doing this likely saved DMC and Nissan a lot of money. The truck model the companies based the Rich 6 EV on seems to be the Nissan Navara, according to CarsGuide.

Right now, the Rich 6 EV is only being produced for China. However, this may change in the near future. 

Global expansion of the Rich 6 electric truck

Because the Navara is a popular pickup in its markets, including Australia, the Rich 6 EV may enter non-Chinese markets soon. CarsGuide even mentions that Australian analysts expect Nissan to offer a hybrid version of the Rich 6 EV in their market before offering a fully electric version.

However, things may look for America. The U.S. is engaged in a trade war with China right now, and this could affect a potential new Chinese truck being introduced to American markets. Nissan could introduce the truck instead of DMC, but the trade war affects Japanese automakers, too.

Furthermore, the Rich 6 EV is purposely made for China, which means it may not comply with American regulations. If it requires modifications to meet those standards, then the Rich 6 EV may cost more.

Furthermore, there’s the question of demand. An electric F-150 is already popular despite still being in development. It’s unknown whether the Rich 6 EV will meet Americans’ high standards for trucks.