The fact that there are many “electric vehicle startups” vying for a foothold in the U.S. auto market by 2022 underscores an important fact: Times of chaos and change often provide entry points for newcomers. new players in a certain industry. Think about it.
As listening to popular music became ubiquitous on mobile — and digital — Apple jumped in to challenge established companies like Sony. Since then, the iPod has given way to the iPhone, but Apple has still made its way into music storage.
And when it comes to online shopping, it’s not Sears, JCPenney, or even Target that leads the revolution, but Amazon — a company that didn’t exist until 1994.
No, as the auto industry plunges into the EV era, new companies are making a lot of news. Unless you’re holed up on a desert island, you certainly know about Tesla, but other startups — including FiskerLucid, and Rivian—Also giving news.
And, as startups, these newcomers don’t play by all the same rules as the old automakers, especially when it comes to design. Ford’s new F-150 Lighting electric pickup, which is about to begin production, is an example of new technology’s response to established design expectations. I imagine that in many cases the average consumer might mistake the Lightning for a moving Ford pickup.
Here, we take a look at three new pickups — from just one side — to see how bold the designers were. We started with the Chevrolet Silverado EV and went on to review two trucks from the startups: the Rivian R1T and the Tesla Cybertruck.
Electric pickup in profile
2023 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST
Given that the 2023 Silverado EV is an all-new vehicle in an entirely new segment, the truck’s credentials are surprisingly unchanged. Critics – many critics – have called the sailboard behind the cab a point of contention. Intentionally or not, this dashboard resembles the 2002-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck, which has a similar dashboard, although that example is a separate section made up of composite plastic and appears to be less integrated. Fits well into the pickup’s design.
More interesting is the Silverado EV’s integrated “one-piece” pickup bed and cabin. Unlike the regular Silverado, which has a separate cabin and bed like all traditional full-size pickups, the Silverado EV has a clean, seamless look. The Silverado EV is shown here in top RST trim.
2022 Rivian R1T
The words “tidy” and “definitely” come to mind when I look at the Rivian R1T. This upstart all-electric pickup, assembled in Normal, IL, has plenty of fans and a waiting list of buyers for it. I’m curious how the truck’s C-pillars are integrated into the rear door. Currently, the R1T is only available in a single cabin/short bed configuration, and it’s surprisingly compact. While the Silverado EV shown above stretches 233 inches from bumper to bumper, the R1T is just 217 inches long overall. It’s comfortably shorter than the longest version of Chevy’s Colorado midsize pickup, at 224.9 inches. Deliveries of the R1T began late last year. Question: What do you think of these wheels?
It’s hard to consider the Cybertruck in any real-life context, as the basic shape is clearly designed to shock rather than work in any real sense. However, Tesla still has a habit of making things work – often after periods of painful failure – and it’s likely that the production version of the pickup will look something like this.
The Cybertruck’s most obvious lack, at least on record, is backseat space. That said, visibility into the area ahead, around those long, thick A-pillars, can also be an issue. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Cybertruck production has been delayed at least until mid-2023, so the company has some time to work out these issues — or not.
Electric pickup truck showroom
(Click below to see enlarged image)
Electric pickup truck
Electric pickup truck