Carmakers are keen to penetrate the EV market in the USA, which is still trailing behind 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 about a dozen off-road EVs or off-road capable EVs planned to be launched by 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, but the constraints on the supply chain could push its price up to over a million dollars, thus making little commercial sense. The new plan is to start manufacturing the Tesla truck in mid-2023.
Release Date: Production of the Cybertruck begins in mid-2023
Price: The Cybertruck is expected to range between $40,000-90,000
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. On June 18, 2022, GM rolled out a price hike of USD 4,655 for the GMC Hummer EV SUV. The price hike applies to the EV2, EV2X, and EV3X trims, but not the Edition 1 trim. The company has confirmed that the price hike isn’t applicable retrospectively, meaning that it is committed to the original prices for the reservations made by June 17, 2022. Reservations are currently on pause.
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.
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 SUV may feature four electric motors close to the wheels, all individually controllable. This setup should make it even more capable than the gas-powered G Wagon. In May 2022, Mercedes-Benz revealed a video (watch on YouTube) of an early prototype of the EQG doing a tank turn like Rivian’s R1S and R1T.
Building the EQG 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 between $140,000-190,000.
The Jeep Recon is an off-road SUV conceived as a 100% Jeep 4×4 and 100% electric. It is a true trail-rated model with the capability to cross the Rubicon Trail and drive back home on a single charge. Jeep says that the Recon features the Jeep Selec-Terrain traction management system, a one-touch power top, removable doors glass, electronically locking axles, and the latest generation Uconnect infotainment system (incl. travel guides of popular off-road trails). We’ll know more about this model when the company conducts its public debut in 2023.
Jeep plans to open reservations for the electric off-roader in the U.S. in early 2023 and manufacture it in a North American location from 2024.
Release Date: The Recon will debut in 2024.
Price: The Recon should be priced between $60,000-75,000.
Chevrolet Silverado EV Trail Boss
GM plans to first launch the Silverado EV in its WT (Work Truck) variant targeted at fleet customers and then gradually add several variants that suit the needs of private customers. The variants following later will include a fully loaded RST First Edition and a Trail Boss. 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 Trail Boss should feature twin motors tuned for off-road application. 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 Trail Boss 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 Trail Boss could follow in 2024.
Price: The Silverado EV Trail Boss could be priced from around $70,000.
Ford Bronco Electric
From Ford CEO Jim Farley 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 by 2025.
Price: Estimated to start from $50,000-60,000.
Featured image: Tesla