Published on January 31st, 2019 | by Steve Hanley0
$5,000 Electric Pickup Truck Coming To Europe & US
January 31st, 2019 by Steve Hanley
China’s Kaiyun Motors says it will bring its Pickman electric pickup truck to Europe and the US this year. The diminutive vehicle is not a gargantuan Rivian and it probably won’t scare the folks at Tesla, but it has something those others don’t — a price tag of just $5,000.
What do you get for that? Not much, frankly. The Pickman is more of an electric ATV than an on-road vehicle. It has a top speed of just 28 miles per hour. Then again, it can carry up to 1,100 pounds and go 75 miles on one battery charge, which is almost as far as a first generation Nissan LEAF. The Pickman is basic transportation that could serve the needs of lots of folks who need to haul stuff on farms and other places where public roads are not part of everyday life. At $5,000, it costs less than lots of gasoline powered ATVs.
Will there be a market for such a limited use vehicle? The US ATV market averages more than 40,000 sales a year. Surely an inexpensive carry-all like the Pickman could grab some of those sales for itself. Autoblog reports that Kaiyun founder Wang Chao told Bloomberg in a phone call recently, “2019 will be year one for Kaiyun as we take on overseas markets including the U.S. We can make our Pickman as successful as the F-150.”
That may be more hyperbole than reality, but keep in mind the original Suzuki Samurai barely had enough power to pull the skin off custard and acceleration that could only be described as “leisurely.” Yet it became sort of a cult favorite among people who needed a trucklet to go where full size machines feared to tread.
Something else to keep in mind is that the very first Hondas sold in the US were little 50 cc scooters which were sold in hardware stores. That marketing strategy turned out fairly well for Honda. Kaiyun has offered no details on whether it has a dealer network planned for the American market.