Keep On Truckin'

Electric Workhorses with Show Horse Style

Written by Andre James | Photography courtesy of the manufacturers

2022 FORD F-150 LIGHTNING

Priced from $39,974 to $90,474 (ford.com)

Ford's F-Series has been America's best-selling truck for nearly five decades. To stay ahead of the curve, they've added to the F-Series with the electric F-150 Lightning, scheduled to roll off the line next year at a new high-tech factory dedicated to sustainable manufacturing practices at Ford's Rouge complex in Dearborn just outside Detroit. "For both Ford and the American auto industry, F-150 Lightning represents a defining moment as we progress toward a zero-emissions, digitally connected future," said Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company.


Powered by dual in-board motors and with standard 4x4, F-150 Lightning can take on rough terrain with Built Ford Tough durability and capability. Along with a high-strength, military-grade aluminum-alloy body, a new independent rear suspension delivers improved ride comfort. In addition, an all-new frame uses the most robust steel ever put in an F-150 frame and supports a maximum 2,000-pound payload and up to 10,000- pound towing capacity. F-150 Lightning targets 563 horsepower, 775 lb.-ft. of near-instantaneous torque—more than any F-150 ever—and a 0-60 mph time in the mid-four-second range when equipped with an extended-range battery that offers a targeted EPA-estimated range of 300 miles.


Inside the cabin, the F-150 Lightning offers an ingenious array of connected, intelligent features that improve over time via over-the-air software updates – called Ford Power-Up – to improve the technology experience, add new features, and fix issues without trips to the dealership.

The FordPass app provides seamless access to charging stations and remote vehicle controls. At the same time, available BlueCruise offers true hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of prequalified divided highways in the United States and Canada.


Enhanced Pro Power Onboard powers job sites or campsites with outlets in the sizeable lockable frunk and the cab and bed. Ford Intelligent Backup power is capable of providing enough energy to power an entire home. Based on an average 30kWh of use per day, F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery generates full-home power for up to three days, or as long as ten days if power is rationed, with results varying based on energy usage.


Making its truck debut on F-150 Lightning in the Lariat and Platinum series is SYNC 4A – a sleek, modern interface supported by a 15.5-inch touch screen designed to adapt to driver behavior. SYNC 4A employs natural voice control, cloud-connected navigation, and wireless access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated Amazon Alexa, and SYNC AppLink apps. A 12-inch instrument cluster features a customizable interface to provide relevant information as needed. Animated graphics relay how the vehicle is performing in hands-free highway driving mode or how well the driver is bringing power back to their truck through regenerative braking.


Ford is the only automaker to offer an 80-amp charge station as standard equipment, helping customers easily charge an extended-range truck at home. This setup takes advantage of the only dual onboard charging system on an electric truck in the industry for even faster home charging. With this, F-150 Lightning adds an average range of 30 miles per charging hour, fully charging an extended-range truck from 15% to 100% percent in about eight hours.

2022 GMC HUMMER EV PICKUP

Edition 1 priced from $112,595 (gmc.com)

The first retail production unit of the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Edition 1 sold for $2.5 million at the 2021 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction. The full hammer price was donated to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. And while the charitable intent certainly helped drive up the bidding, the multi-million-dollar sales price, and the fact that reservations for Edition 1 models are all spoken for, indicate the intense interest in this electric off-road beast.


Not your typical truck, apart from the "H" repeating motif in the headlamps, taillamps, and wheels, arguably the most arresting exterior feature is the Infinity Roof, offering open-air driving via modular, transparent Sky Panels. Even the I-Bar mounting frame for the panels is removable for an unobstructed open experience above, while a power-drop rear window fully embraces the open-air concept. The roof panels can stow in accessory cases inside the front storage compartment known as the "frunk" when equipped with the dealer-available accessory storage tray.


The 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Edition 1 will be the first vehicle in production with GM's all-new Ultium battery architecture. A trio of electric motors offer a GM-estimated 1,000 max horsepower and, when multiplied through the front- and rear-drive unit gear ratios, offer up to 11,500 lb-ft of torque to the wheel. The range is estimated at 350-miles, and HUMMER EV will have the ability to take advantage of the industry's fastest 350-kilowatt DC fast chargers. Available apps can help drivers find charging locations and can even precondition the battery to get the most efficiency out of their upcoming charging session. HUMMER EV is the first GMC vehicle to offer Regen on Demand and One-Pedal Driving – both driver-controlled braking features, which can convert the kinetic energy of the truck's forward momentum into electricity stored in the vehicle's battery packs to maximize the driving range.


One of the most talked-about performance features is the driver-selectable Watts to Freedom, HUMMER Ev's launch control mode. When selected, it channels the propulsion system's power into acceleration bursts — including reaching 0-60 mph in approximately three seconds. As the vehicle readies itself for Watts to Freedom, a series of interior experiences convey the feeling of a "pre-launch countdown," including unique sounds through the Bose speakers and engaging screen animations. The vehicle also activates the Adaptive Air Suspension and lowers two inches to prepare for the launch, providing a lower center of gravity. "It'll put a smile on your face every single time," said Al Oppenheiser, HUMMER EV chief engineer.


The unique e4WD drive system with torque vectoring will enable maneuverability and traction unlike anything GM has ever offered with capabilities including climbing 60-percent grades (forward and reverse), scaling 18-inch verticals, and fording water more than two-feet deep.

The driver can also tailor the HUMMER EV's driving experience for different conditions through four pre-configured modes: Normal, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, and Terrain, along with the configurable My Mode — featuring a new Adrenaline Mode. Each has specific chassis, suspension, and propulsion characteristics. Along with the distinctive suspension and torque variables, the interior display screen graphics and colors, and vehicle sounds will be changeable with the different modes.


Terrain Mode offers two braking calibrations, with a mild braking option for two-foot driving and a purpose-designed OnePedal Driving, enabling the driver to accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal. With Terrain Mode, that same One-Pedal Driving control is adapted with unique calibrations for speed-limited off-road driving, helping the driver to negotiate steep grades, rock crawling, and other challenging terrains without having to toggle between the accelerator and brake pedal.


When the road gets tough, the upcoming available Extract Mode enables the Adaptive Air Suspension height to be raised approximately six inches in order to help the GMC HUMMER EV negotiate extreme off-road situations, such as clearing large boulders and fording deeper water.


In-vehicle technology is accessible through two large displays: a 13.4-inch diagonal color touchscreen that's part of the GMC infotainment system5 and a 12.3-inch diagonal driver information center display. Powered by Epic's Unreal Gaming Engine, HUMMER EV's graphic HMI displays make features and selections easy to find and intuitive to navigate. Further enhancing the cabin experience is HUMMER EV's Bose Premium sound system with Centerpoint surround signal processing and 14 high-performance speakers.


Able to accommodate five passengers, the bold cabin design is geometric and textured with newly developed surface materials that are hardworking and high-end. A versatile and easy-to-clean vinyl floor, topped with rubber flooring made from recycled materials, is functional and imbued with distinctive design elements.


At launch, the 2022 HUMMER EV will be offered in Edition 1 trim, featuring a white exterior color, a unique high-contrast Lunar Horizon interior color, special Edition 1 interior badging, and the Extreme Off-Road Package. The latter adds Adaptive Air Suspension with available Extract Mode capability; Four-Wheel Steer with CrabWalk (rear wheels can turn 10 degrees in either direction enabling the truck to move diagonally while still pointed straight ahead); 35-inch-OD Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires; underbody armor; rock sliders; and underbody cameras.


Initial production of the HUMMER EV begins in fall 2021, at GM's Factory ZERO, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center — a nearly 40-year-old facility repurposed and retooled with a $2.2-billion investment devoted to electric vehicle production. Future production vehicles out of the factory will offer zero emissions.

RIVIAN R1T

Priced from $67,500 (rivian.com)

Rivian debuted at the LA Auto Show in 2018 as the world's first Electric Adventure Vehicle company. Built at their plant in Normal, IL, the five-passenger all-wheel-drive Rivian R1T is powered by an EV quad-motor powertrain delivering 750 horsepower and enabling a three-second 0-60mph sprint. At 180kwh, the R1T has the world's largest, most durable automotive battery pack, offering more than 400 miles of range. The sleek electric truck boasts 14 inches of ground clearance with adjustable air suspension, a towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds, and a wading depth of three-plus feet.


Defined by strong proportions and clean, continuous bodylines, the truck's most distinguishable exterior characteristics are its "stadium" headlights and a daytime running light that extends the vehicle's entire width.


For those who plan to take their truck on backcountry adventures, the Rivian R1T has several useful features for that purpose. The bed features three 110-volt outlets, integrated compressed air, and two integrated Gear Guard locking cables. Any gear stored in the bed is monitored by a bed camera and alerts owners should the bed or contents be tampered with. A lockable 'gear tunnel' and "frunk" allow for more sealable storage than what's available in a typical gas-powered off-road vehicle. Drivers can light their surroundings and cook using the vehicle's power for over a week using only 20 kWh – or 11% of the battery pack. Detailed, downloadable maps are available in the R1T's user interface, so you can navigate even when offline. Rivian has developed a racking system that utilizes telescoping racks with easy-to-use mounts that quickly attach to the roof of either the R1T or R1S, as well as the bed rails and bed floor of the R1T. The racks integrate with a range of accessories.


The company is working hard to make away-from-home charging convenient with the Rivian Adventure Network, exclusively for Rivian owners. Powered by renewable energy, the more than 3.500 DC fast chargers at over 600 sites planned in the US and Canada through 2023 will enable 140 miles of range with a 20-minute charge. Rivian is also installing 10,000 Rivian Waypoint chargers—open to the public and capable of delivering 25 miles of range per hour— at restaurants, hotels, shops, and parks in all markets that their vehicles are available. In addition, drivers can locate, monitor charge status, and get notifications through in-vehicle navigation and the Rivian app.

Inside the cabin, the "Adventure" package, available in three color combinations, features sustainably sourced natural-grained ash wood wrapping around the center display. "The biggest challenge was creating an interior design that delivered a premium experience while still being comfortable as a space that is heavily used," said Jeff Hammoud, VP of Vehicle Design. "To do this, we looked outside the automotive industry and took inspiration from contemporary furniture, as well as hiking and outdoor gear, to drive the design." Rivian Elevation by Meridian delivers an immersive audio experience and features a removable Bluetooth speaker that allows you to extend the auditory experience outside the truck.


Customer deliveries are expected to begin in fall 2021.

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