Is This the World’s First All Electric Utility Truck?

Pickups have evolved over the decades. The world has seen technological advancements that offer versatility in every department and offer a wide range of experiences.

The truck’s purpose has not changed much, as hauling goods is a utility that is crucial for both commercial and recreational purposes.

You may think that truck manufacturers have tried and tested everything by now; Rotating frames, solid and independent axles, a range of gearing that puts to sleep tractors and Bonneville flats racers alike. Trucks have taken numerous forms throughout the years.

However, the truck world has yet to see one very prominent feature used in the design of pickups. With the increase in hybrid and electric vehicles, a new contender has struck the consumer truck market and is making waves.

The Rivian R1T is the markets first ever all-electric pickup. That’s right; electric utility trucks are no longer a dream of the future. Welcome to 2019; welcome the Rivian R1T.

Electric Waves

Since debuting at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Rivian R1T has shown much promise. It’s fulfilling the claims of being the electric dream truck folks have been wishing for.

It’s 2019, and the R1T is preparing to come off the shelves. It, along with its equally luxurious SUV sibling, the R1S, should be available by the end of 2020.

Rivian is a US-based manufacturer out of Florida. Manufactured in Normal, Illinois, there isn’t much normal about these rigs. The R1T and R1S are all-electric, battery-powered vehicles, ready for every season of on and off-road driving you take on.

It’s No Transformer But.

The Rivian R1T has revolutionised the word truck. Rivian has cut no corners in the design of their vehicles, as the R1T stands out as one of the most dynamic, feature-packed vehicles ever built.

We don’t mean complicated useless gags. We’re talking utilitarian, no-nonsense gear and features that tech geeks and overland pros alike will love.

Let’s take a look at the features of the R1T starting from the floor. Equipped with air suspension that gives you a three-inch lift on demand, you get 14.1 inches of ground clearance from the factory. You can run 33s without a problem.

Air doesn’t only control your ride height. Armed with an onboard compressor, you can inflate and deflate as the trail demands. The R1T makes quick work of raft inflation once you’ve reached camp or bicycle tube changes at the trailhead.

Behind each wheel is a 200 horsepower independent torque vectoring electric motor that puts power where you need it when you need it. The independent motor design offers specific capabilities not yet offered in any offroad vehicle.

Be it ice, sand, or three-wheeling; you won’t have a problem. The beautiful central display shows the torque vectoring of each motor, allowing you to see exactly what your truck is doing.

No one-tire-fires, only pure traction.

From The Ground Up

Offroad capability isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when discussing electric vehicles.

However, that will soon change. The skid-plated composite underside of the Rivian can carry the entire gross vehicle weight within a two-inch point of contact. It’s as flat as a level, meaning no catches when cresting questionable terrain.

This durable and smooth skateboard platform makes for a worry-free trail drive as high centring can be easily managed.

However, high centring will never even be a threat. This electric wheeler has frontal downward facing cameras to show you where you’re aiming your tires if you come up a steep and blind incline.

You’ll see this on the in-cab screen as well.

Super Electric Utility Trucks

Its no race car, but zero to sixty in three seconds from this 750 horsepower truck makes the typical “sports car” look a little stone-aged. The R1T might change the way you view your hotrod.

This power output is thanks to the four independent motors previously discussed. The R1T puts out an astonishing 1032 foot-pounds of torque. That’s enough to pull you away from traditional trucks altogether.

The hypercar rivalling acceleration and competition-beating torque isn’t the only on-road capabilities this vehicle offers. Reports claim the handling to be as great, being agile and holding its own in the corners.

This is in part due to its low centre of gravity. The volume of the truck is mainly body and cab components because of the position of the motors and batteries at the wheel level.

So what gives this truck the juice to perform such astonishing feats? Let’s check it out.

Inside Design

The Rivian features a solid frame chassis. This frame centres around the four batteries that run the Rivian R1T. The frame rails bordering its edges protect the battery like a safe. The full skidplate composite bottom protecting the underside and cab covering the top protects the battery from common wheeling threats.

The one main enemy of batteries is water. The Rivians design completely seals both the batteries and motors vulnerable components. This design, along with other safety measures allows for the Rivian to ford up to a meter of water.

The power given to the RT1 is well taken care of. It distributes to the four motors and through the independent axles for impressive suspension travel.

Further Tech

The R1T holds its own as a trail rig and can knock out some racecar’s zero to sixty times. But there’s more than impressive numbers with this truck.

The R1T harnesses cameras, lidar, radar, and ultrasonic sensors to keep you and yours safe on the road.

Another huge milestone in these electronic adventure machines is level three autonomy. This lets you turn your primary focus on vehicle life while the truck takes care of the road.

Though accidents in a Rivian seem impossible, Rivian aims for an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus as well as a 5 star NHTSA crash test rating.

With no explosive fuel, a wide, low centred stance, and plenty of cushion around, the Rivian should perform very well safety wise.

Inside Outdoors

Though the Rivian is an element worthy rig, if you found your self inside one, you’d have a hard time believing it. The R1T’s interior makes for an incredibly comfortable ride.

Like the spacious seven-seater R1S, the R1T offers plenty of leg room, seat adjustment, and comforts found in most luxury vehicles.

While you let the R1T tote you home from a long day on the trail, you relax in a trimmed chic environment. Matte wood trims the interior along with polished metal accents.

Its a luxurious blend of rustic and modern styling that nature lovers and artists will love. Nothing is overbearing, but everything is eloquent. Navigation and display units are large and clean-lined.

The beautiful interior is excellent, but what makes a Rivian so worthy? Despite its elegant design, the interior can handle the elements as much as the rest of the truck! Dirty dogs and shoes are welcome aboard.

There are rubberised and sealed floormats, and the upholstery is durable, water wicking, and allows for easy cleaning. The electric vehicle aspect means no pesky driveshaft tunnel to trip over.

The door jams even feature a self-charging pop-out flashlight. Slide in gear till it’s packed and hit the road!

Utility Packed

Another way the R1T is revolutionising the pickup truck as a whole is by its ability to do that, pick-up! The R1T has more storage than you can imagine. Let us start with the front.

Pop the hood on the R1T, and you’ll notice something shocking. As you may have guessed, there is no engine up front as the four electric motors are wheel-side.

In its place, you have a large 11.6 cubic foot storage compartment for gear and groceries alike.  The frunk, as Rivian calls it, is lit up and accessible. You pop it like a hood and store anything you need to take with you.

Moving rearward, we stop behind the cab. Underneath the rear passenger seating, accessible from the exterior of the vehicle is a well-executed gear tunnel.

This dual sided accessible tunnel can store anything from snowboards to golf clubs and locks as the truck does. The central truck aspect of the R1T, the bed, is also pushing the limits of truck design.

Featuring an electric tonneau cover, electric tailgate drop, and locking gear strap that alerts your phone if it’s cut, the bed of the R1T ensures every piece of equipment you haul has a safe and secure spot.

Looking deeper, underneath the bed itself resides the full-size spare tire.

Time Will Tell

2020 is right around the corner. As the delivery date of this truck comes closer, more information will surface on its components and variation.

Upon its release, we will see the ways it is applied to peoples lives and what kinks Rivian may need to iron out.

But the future of electric utility trucks looks quite promising with Rivian, and we look forward to the evolution and integration of a rig such as this.

Keep locked into our blog to stay up to date with the Rivian RT1, and other electric vehicles soon to hit a market near you!

The Incredible Benefits of Switching to Electric Farm Utility Vehicles

Electric cars are an excellent way for drivers to save money on gas and maintenance. But the same benefits can also translate to commercial vehicles, including those you use for everyday farming tasks.

By 2030 It’s predicted that 125 million electric vehicles will be on the road. But the road’s not the only place you’ll find them. Have you ever considered what electric farm utility vehicles might be able to do for your farming operations?

If you don’t believe that electric utility vehicles are the way of the future, let’s lay out the benefits to help you make up your mind. Keep reading to learn why the best farm utility vehicle doesn’t run on gas!

Why Aren’t Electric Farm Utility Vehicles Popular Yet?

There’s been plenty of hype around electric cars for regular consumer use. It might seem surprising that in the farming industry, where these vehicles can make an even bigger difference, excitement is not the same. But there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for why electric vehicles haven’t taken over farming yet — and why now is the time for that to change.

First of all, there was the initial high cost of driving an electric vehicle. These cars started as niche items that were only available to the lucky few with the funds to buy them. Those who could afford an electric car often found that it paid for itself in gas savings over the years. But it took time for the vehicles to become accessible to everyone.

Now that the technology is less new, the price has come down enough to make electric farm utility vehicles affordable.

There was also hesitation due to the need for more research early on. At first, it wasn’t clear if this new technology would have other harmful impacts, such as environmental damage due to battery disposal. But now, all the issues have been worked out and the benefits of electric vehicles remain clear.

Finally, there’s the marketing question. Whenever a new technology enters the market, it takes time to educate people on the benefits of it, and make them see how it could fit into their life.

The farming industry has long been resistant to changes — until farmers see how those changes will make their lives better. Today, there’s evidence supporting the benefits of electric vehicles.

The Benefits of an Electric Farm Utility Vehicle

How do the good things about electric cars translate into the farming industry? Let’s take a look at how electric vehicle benefits can help make farmers’ lives easier.

1. Reduced Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance can take a lot of time for farmers, and can also get very expensive. Not only is there the cost of repairs to consider, but there’s also the cost of putting operations on hold if you need to get an essential vehicle fixed.

While no farm equipment is ever maintenance-free, electric vehicles require much less maintenance than their traditional counterparts. Internal combustion engines have more components that can go wrong.

In an electric vehicle, there aren’t as many moving parts that can break and need repairs. You don’t need as much regular maintenance, nor are unscheduled repairs as common. That’s because these vehicles operate without motored starters, exhaust systems, radiators, and much more.

The one primary maintenance task you’ll need to tackle is replacing the batteries. However, those only wear out every eight years or so.

If you opt for a hybrid vehicle, you will still need regular maintenance on the traditional engine components. But because the electric aspects bear some of the workloads, the regular motor won’t get worn out as quickly.

2. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency isn’t just about saving the environment. It’s also about saving you money.

Gas-powered farm vehicles don’t use energy as effectively as electric vehicles. Meaning they waste more power, which translates into money you’re essentially throwing away every time you fuel up. Make your funds go further with electric farm utility vehicles that use energy well.

The environmental impact also has value, too. Even if you aren’t personally concerned about the state of the environment, you can open up new sales opportunities by branding your farm as one that uses efficient electric vehicles to reduce emissions. Many consumers care about these issues, and if you can show that your farm does too, you can break into new niche markets.

3. Improved Safety

Safety is a top concern on farms, and farm vehicles often contribute to preventable accidents. Switching to electric vehicles can help reduce those accidents.

Electric farm utility vehicles have different engines which give them a lower centre of gravity making them less likely to roll over when navigating uneven ground.

There’s also less risk of a fire or explosion since these vehicles don’t operate using flammable gas. Electric vehicles tend to stand up better to collisions, too, since they’re designed to be durable.

4. Better Health

The emissions from gas-powered vehicles pollute the air, which can lead to health problems for you and your staff.

The more vehicles operating on your farm, the more harmful emissions you breathe in. With electric vehicles, you can preserve the clean quality of the air on a farm far from the city.

5. Lower Running Costs

The day-to-day costs of buying gas for farm utility vehicles can add up fast. Electric vehicles put more money in your pocket by reducing running costs, too.

Charging an electric vehicle costs much less than filling a vehicle with an equivalent amount of gas. That’s even without factoring in the added efficiency and lower maintenance costs.

Making the Change to Electric

Electric farm utility vehicles aren’t just a new trend among environmentalists. They’re a very real way to keep more of the money you earned. You can invest those savings into your farm and help grow your business even more.

Are you wondering where to find electric utility vehicles? We’ve got you covered. View our selection here.

Small Electric Utility Vehicles News: Bosch Enters the Electric Utility Vehicle Market

Have you ever been stuck driving behind a delivery van?

It’s the worst! So much stopping, starting, idling, and usually big wafts of exhaust coming out the tailpipe to match.

Frequent stops and idling require commercial delivery vehicles to waste heaps of petrol. That’s why Amazon is ordering 100 electric vans by Mercedez-Benz to add to its delivery fleet in 2019.

Not to be outdone, the international electronics powerhouse Bosch is releasing two engine products for small electric utility vehicles. Could we be heading into an all-electric car era?

It’s clear more people than ever are open to the idea of electric vehicles. Whether they genuinely care about reducing emissions or want to look good for their customers, we’re not complaining. Progress is progress, after all.

Read on to learn more about how Bosch Electronics is helping commercial businesses go green.

Small Electric Utility Vehicles Race for Customers

Tesla helped changed the way consumers look at electric cars. But new electric vehicles for commercial purposes are still in developmental infancy. An order of 100 electric vans is a massive win for Mercedez-Benz.

It’s clear Amazon sticks to their values and wants to implement electric SUVs into their soon-to-come delivery service. So, which companies are going to be ready to meet that demand? A proper delivery fleet will require thousands of vans and trucks.

Delivery companies aren’t the only massive corporations interested in buying up electric vehicles. Major metropolitan areas have started offering better routes, preferred parking, and even tax incentives to companies that implement energy efficient vehicles.

Competitors, start your engines.

Other Electric Commerical Delivery Vehicles So Far

Nissan just hired Margot Robbie to promote the new e-NV200. The all-electric van has a towing capacity of 430kg and extended the range of 280km on a single charge.

As mentioned, Mercedez-Benz created new all-electric vans and is promising to offer electric drive in existing products. Besides that, there aren’t many other small electric utility vehicles.

An excellent delivery fleet will need to tow bulky goods to warehouses though. Current runners for best electric work trucks are:

  • ABLE by Tropos Motors
  • GEM eL XD by Polaris
  • XUV865M Cab by John Deere
  • Electric Bubble Buddy LSV by Moto
  • Carryall 710 LSV by Club Car
  • ParCar Summit Utilitruck by Columbia

Let’s see what Bosch is bringing to the table.

Bosch Presents: eAxle

Bosch doesn’t make its cars from start to finish. Instead, they create parts for the companies who do.

The eAxle drive system is a cost-effective option for both fully electric and hybrid vehicles. What sets eAxle apart is how compact it is.

eAxle is an electric motor, power electronics, and transmission combined as one unit to power whatever axle they’re attached to. Compared to anything else out there, this power chain system is lightweight and more efficient (read: “cheaper”).

The beauty of such a compact system is how much less energy it requires for the same functions as other drive systems. It’s hard to list eAxle’s specifications since the size and function of the rest of the vehicle will dictate Km per charge and towing strength. The eAxle is designed to be a flexible manufacturing product with a spectrum of uses.

Bosch plans on marketing the eAxle drive system to everyone in the EV industry. Expect to see this drive system in anything from electric sports cars to light towing vehicles.

Bosch Presents: Electric Drive Module

For automotive companies that want to start offering hybrid options, enter the Electric Drive Module.

Like the eAxle, the Electric Drive Module is a combination of otherwise bulky parts that help streamline the electric vehicle drive process. The Electric Drive Module, however, is just the motor and electronics permanently attached in one device. It’s designed to fit alongside most pre-existing transmission systems easily.

This modular design makes it as easy as possible for automotive companies to incorporate energy efficient features in their best selling vehicles. It can be installed on the front or rear axle of fully electric or hybrid cars of any size.

There’s much to be said for products that remove the need for bulky components like cooling systems and high-voltage cables. By reducing the costs of automobile electric systems, Bosch could be handing the automotive industry the tools they need to make EV accessible to everyone.

The eAxle and Electric Drive Module can be seen IAA 2017 in Hannover, Germany and EICMA in Milano, Italy. If Bosch can generate enough interest, the electric SUV industry is about to see tons of growth.

New Electric Vehicles Deliver Change

Energy conscious brands like Amazon are driving up demands for small electric utility vehicles. Barring any major catastrophe, we can expect a wide variety of fully-electric and hybrid sprinter vans on the streets soon.

To recap, Mercedez-Benz and Nissan Leaf are offering two competitive choices for sleek, powerful electric delivery vans.

There are plenty of smaller businesses and startups attempting to create the first genuinely great electric towing truck. They have yet to capture any significant corporate attention, but Tropos Motors hopes to make waves with its new ABLE model.

Regardless of vehicle size, German engineering powerhouse Bosch is now producing EV power systems more streamlined and compact than ever.

Bosch’s eAxle combines a motor, electronics, and transmission all in one. Similarly, the Electronic Drive System permanently attaches an engine and electronics able to be installed next to any transmission.

Does electronic vehicle news like this interest you? Want to learn more?

Stay posted on the newest EV innovations right here on our blog.

How Electric Utility Vehicles Will Save You Money

Did you know that on average, Australians spent a whopping $143.54 a month for fuelling up their rides in 2017?

Yes, there’s about a $20 difference across regions. But the $122 spending of South Australians (Queenslanders paid $162 and Victorians $146) is still a lot of money.

With such a massive chunk of Aussies’ budget going towards fuel, it should no longer come as a surprise that more of them now change gears in an electric car. The same goes for farm owners, many of whom now rely on electric utility vehicles.

The question is, how can these electricity-powered machines cut your vehicle operation costs? Knowing this will help you realise why you should make the switch ASAP.

It’ll also help you understand how experts can forecast the global electric vehicle market to reach 10.8 million units in 2026.

So, read on to learn these hows and whys!

The Lowdown on Electric Utility Vehicles

To understand how an electric utility vehicle can bring your farm, nursery, or vineyard operating costs down, let’s talk about electric vehicles first.

These vehicles run on electricity contained in a battery pack. The battery supplies power to the electric motor, which then allows the driver to turn the wheels. When it runs out of juice, drivers need to recharge the battery through a wall socket or a specific charging unit.

These machines don’t need any type of petrol (no gasoline, no diesel). They only require electricity to bring their passengers from point A to point B and back. These savings alone should give you a picture of the savings you can get.

Fuel Costs vs. Energy Costs

Here are a few stats to put things in better perspective:

The national average price of one litre of gas is $1.51. A litre of diesel, on the other hand, costs an average of $1.55.

Now, let’s say you use the same average fuel consumption in 2016 today, which is 10.6 litres per 100 kilometres. If your day-to-day driving distance is 50km, that means you spend about $8 a day on fuel alone!

So, imagine not having to rely on gasoline or diesel to go about your farming chores. Without the need for fuel, you can already see how many hundreds of dollars you can save with an electric utility vehicle.

But how do you calculate the cost of operating an Electric Utility Vehicle if it doesn’t use fuel? You need to factor in where exactly you are in Australia (for electricity rates) and how far the vehicle’s battery can take you.

On average, you’d need to use about 18 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy to cover 100 kilometres. Now, multiply this by $0.33 – the national average electricity rate per kWh.

These calculations show it’ll take you less than $6 to travel 100 kilometres! Now, compare this with the nearly $16 you’d have to spend to cover the same distance on gasoline or diesel.

That’s almost $1,200 savings every year.

Factoring in Battery Life

Like everything else that runs on battery-stored energy, you’d need to recharge an electric vehicle. It’s for this reason you also need to factor in battery life when calculating the costs of operating Electric Utility Vehicles.

Note, however, that electronic technology has gone through significant improvements over the years. Nowadays, you’ll find EVs (including Electric Utility Vehicles) to have a greater range in between charges. There are also tricks to maximise EV battery life, so make sure you keep these in mind too.

To understand how battery life affects the cost, let’s use the Nissan Leaf battery electric vehicle (BEV) as an example. This one has a 24kWh battery that can cover 170 KMs.

If we follow the above-cited example (driving 50 kilometres a day), this means you have about three days and a half before you need to recharge. In other words, you most likely only need one recharge a week.

So, what about the recharge expenses?

The expense depends on what type of charger you have or use, and you have three choices at the moment:

  • 20 to 30 minutes at a fast charging station
  • 8 hours with a wall recharger
  • 14 hours with a general power (socket) outlet

Fast charging stations charge about $0.45 per kWh of electricity and a $1 fee for a charging session. Wall rechargers cost between $500 and $5,000.

Even with all these recharging expenses though, you can still see the considerable difference between operating a fuel-powered car and an electric one.

Saving Money and The Environment

Battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have much less impact on the environment. Especially BEVs, which don’t generate tailpipe pollution. After all, these don’t have a tailpipe.

Low emissions, plus using renewable energy sources like solar, makes electric vehicles almost emission-free. So, aside from helping you cut back on transportation-related costs, it also gives you the chance to go green.

Are the Savings Enough to Recoup Purchase Cost?

Indeed, many of today’s electric vehicles cost more than the standard base model of, let’s say a sedan. This initial purchase price is one of the reasons many Australians still haven’t made the switch to EVs and Electric Utility Vehicles.

On the lower end, we have electric cars priced at $27,000. On the higher end, like the Tesla Models, we have the vehicles above the $100,000 mark. Ford also has its more affordable offer, the Focus Electric, which we’ll soon see followed after the company has invested $11 billion for electric vehicles.

The thing is, buying a brand-new car in Australia now can set you back $28,000 on average. Top that off with the cost of petrol, and you can see that an electric vehicle offers a much more cost-effective option.

Making the Switch to an Electric Utility Vehicle Now

More and more farm, nursery, orchard, and vineyard owners now recognise the enormous benefits of switching to electric utility vehicles. Many of them want to lessen their dependence on fuel, not only because they can save money by doing so, but also because they know of the toll it has on the environment.

All these should already push you to become an Electric Utility Vehicle owner as soon as possible. You may not see the savings right away, but you will in the long term.

If you want to know more about electric vehicles and the good they can do, make sure you head to our blog! We’ve got more news and useful info there about BEVs and Electric Utility Vehicles!