At the most recent Los Angeles Auto Show, one vehicle that received a ton of press and attention was the R1T, an electric pickup from Rivian that will offer a range of nearly 600 km and impressive performance capabilities.
Now another small firm has stepped out of the shadow with its own work-in-progress in the electric truck segment. Founded in 2016 by Mark Hanchett, and engineer and pickup enthusiast, Atlis was operating in near-total obscurity until it presented its XT full-size pickup, which is fully electric and will benefit provide owners with a range of up to 500 miles, or around 800 km.
The company is also promising the XT will have superior towing and payload capacities and feature a very large interior with room for 6 occupants. The cargo bed will be removable so it can be replaced by z closed cabin, for example, to fit the needs of owners. The images shown of the XT show 8-lug wheels, an indication of the heavy-duty work capabilities that will be expected of its. In terms of overall size, Atlis’ truck appears to be bigger than the RAM 1500 but smaller than the 2500.
The platform the X1 is being built in will modular, which most likely means we’ll be seeing an SUV from the company as well, just like Rivian is planning. What’s more, Atlis says that will make the platform available for sale to manufacturers of RVs and commercial vehicles.
Structurally the model is designed to accommodate an electric motor connected to each wheel, and a single-speed transmission will send power to each. Other features include an air spring suspension system and four-wheel steering. Buyers will be able to opt for dual rear wheels.
As for the body configuration, the truck will be offered in both extended and double-cab versions, while two bed lengths will be available, 6.5 ft or 8 ft.
Atlis is promising a 5,000 payload capacity and a maximum towing capability of 35,000 lbs. For now it is not known what the output of the powertrain will be, but the company does say it will be able to accelerate to 100 km/h in around 5 seconds, with top speed being capped at 200 km/h. Different battery configurations available to buyers will give the truck a range of 300, 400 or 500 miles.
The company expects the XT pickup to come with a base starting price of around $45,000 USD.
Also noteworthy are Atlis’ intention to copy the Tesla model and develop its own charging network, and its claim that recharging to full capacity will be doable in just 15 minutes. Consumers will be able to choose a monthly rate, expected to be in the neighborhood of $700 USD, that includes maintenance, insurance and free charging.
Unlike Rivian, Atlis has not announced where in the U.S. it will build the truck, nor has it said what its production targets are. Both of these are crucial points, especially given that a go-to-market date of 2020 has been advanced.
Here’s hoping this new project moves beyond existing on paper only; the prospect of electric pickups competing on the market is an attractive one for many consumers.