Carmakers are keen to penetrate the EV market in the USA, which is still trailing behind markets like Europe and China. Keeping with the tradition of SUVs, which saw a spree of launches in the past decade, electric off road vehicles seem to be an area of focus for manufacturers, with at least 9 off-road EVs planned to be launched by around mid-decade.
Tesla Cybertruck Quad Motor
One of the electric off road vehicles we are particularly excited about is the Tesla Cybertruck. Specifically, we are talking about the Cybertruck Quad Motor that Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter on December 3, 2021. Musk said that the Quad Motor Cybertruck variant will be the first to hit the production lines and that its independent motors would provide “ultra-fast response.” It could beat the tri-motor Cybertruck’s 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds and offer a higher towing capacity (tri-motor: 14,000+ lbs).
Production of the Cybertruck has been delayed owing to the global chip shortage. Musk has said that technically the company could begin producing the Cybertruck now, but the constraints on the supply chain could push its price up to over a million dollars, thus making little commercial sense. Tesla could share new information about Cybertruck’s production sometime in March 2022 or soon after that during its next earning’s call.
Release Date: Expected to be announced by the middle of this year, which is when an exact timeline of production is expected to be shared, too.
Price: Expected $40,000-85,000
Hummer EV SUV
The electric off road vehicles from the GM stable hold a lot of promise, partly due to the advanced Ultium platform that, as seen on the Hummer EV Pickup, has a lot of capability. The Hummer EV SUV will be the next launch, promising similar strengths but in an SUV body style.
As it did with the Hummer EV Pickup, GM will launch an Edition 1 of the Hummer EV SUV and prioritize its production over other variants.
Release Date: The Hummer EV SUV Edition 1 (incl. Edition 1 with Extreme Off-Road Package) will go on sale in early 2023. The EV3X and EV2X variants will follow in spring 2023, and then the EV2 variant in spring 2024.
Price: The Hummer EV SUV Edition 1 is priced at $105,595.
The Vanderhall Brawley is the only model in this list not classified as an automobile, in the sense that it is not road legal. It is available in three variants.
The base variant does not have a roof and exhibits the character one expects from an off-roader, just like the Jeep Wrangler with a removable roof. The Brawley has an electric motor at each wheel, and like the Hummer EV, it can crab walk in addition to performing a ‘tank turn’ and low-speed incline crawling. All variants get 140 miles of range, but the top-end GTS variant is available with an optional 200-mile range package. The Brawley could be the most capable of electric off-road vehicles in not just its class but in other segments, too.
Release Date: Vanderhall has not yet announced when deliveries of the Brawley would commence.
Price: The Brawley is priced between $34,950-49,950.
Adding to the list of electric off-road vehicles with quad motor capability is the future Mercedes EQG. Like the Concept EQG, the production EQG may feature four electric motors close to the wheels, all individually controllable. This setup should make it even more capable than the ICE G Wagen. Building it on the same ladder-frame chassis as the normal G-Class would ensure it offers similar levels of robustness. Another benefit of that, compared to developing it from the ground up on a new EV platform, would be reduced development cost and thus a lower price tag.
Release Date: Britta Seeger, Mercedes BoM member responsible for Marketing & Sales, has confirmed that the Mercedes EQG is coming to the first market in 2024.
Price: The Mercedes EQG could be priced from $150,000-175,000.
Jeep Wrangler EV
Jeep has confirmed that it will launch a Jeep Wrangler EV and indicated the usage of the successful heritage design language that incorporates the signature elements from the 1942 Willys Jeep. We also know that the Magneto concept Jeep showed last year is undergoing grueling testing. Jeep says that its performance is comparable to that of the Pentastar V6 motor. The company knows that customers will expect the production Wrangler EV to be trail-rated and more capable than the ICE Wrangler.
Release Date: The Jeep Wrangler EV may debut in 2024 and go on sale by 2025.
Price: The Wrangler EV should be priced between $60,000-75,000.
Deliveries of the R1T started in 2021, but in very limited units. 2022 should hopefully be the year when we see more of this electric pickup on the roads.
Rivian has reportedly ramped up production of the R1T to 200 units per week, compared to just 50 units per week it produced in 2021. Rivian builds its EVs locally at a factory in Normal, Illinois. Currently, the R1T Launch Edition is being made which features a 128.9 kWh battery pack and an electric motor at each wheel for a combined 835 hp.
Release Date: Deliveries commenced in 2021 in very limited units. Production and dispatches should normalize this year.
Price: Starting at $67,500
Chevrolet Silverado EV Trailboss
GM plans to first launch the Silverado EV in its WT (Work Truck) variant targeted at fleet customers and then gradually add several more variants that suit the needs of private customers. The variants following later will include a fully loaded RST First Edition and a Trailboss. The company wants to have a Silverado EV at various price segments, from USD 39,900 to higher than USD 80,000.
The Chevrolet Silverado EV Trailboss will most likely feature twin motors. The output figures could be close to that of the Chevrolet Silverado EV RST‘s motors, which will deliver up to 664 hp and more than 780 lb.-ft. of torque in a boost mode called Wide Open Watts mode. The Trailboss variant should boast off-road tires and a special suspension setup that provides better all-terrain capability.
Release Date: The Chevrolet Silverado EV WT is planned to launch in spring 2023 and the Trailboss could follow in 2024.
Price: The Silverado EV Trailboss could be priced from around $70,000.
Ford Bronco EV
From Ford CEO Jim Farley Jr. hinting at a Ford Bronco EV with a tweet in May 2021 to Ford North America Product Communications director Mike Levine tweeting the outline teaser of a Bronco EV with what appeared to be a battery pack on its floor pan in August 2021, it seems that a Bronco EV certainly exists in the pipeline.
Hau Thai-Tang, Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, Ford, has revealed that the company is making a new rear-wheel drive/all-wheel drive Battery Electric Vehicle flexible architecture which he said would underpin “rugged SUVs for our adventure-seeking customers”.
Release Date: Expected to be revealed sometime in 2024-25 for a later launch
Price: Estimated to start from around $50,000-60,000
Humvee EV (Army)
Rounding up the list of electric off-road vehicles but maybe not one that can be bought commercially is the planned Humvee EV which GM Defense is planning for the United States armed forces. The Hummer EV-based eLRV (electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle) is expected to be put into testing and military evaluation this year and its performance will give the Army a minimum technical/performance standard which GM later would use to produce the vehicle.