New Hyundai IONIQ T10 Pickup Truck Rumors Swirl

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Hyundai will follow up the success of its popular and award-winning IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 electric cars with a new all-electric pickup truck.

Rumors Of A New IONIQ Electric Vehicle Are Swirling

Hyundai’s foray into the electric vehicle field has been a smashing success, which accounts for why even the vaguest hint of the automaker’s possible interest in electric pickup trucks has set tongues wagging across the Intertubes.

Hyundai earned Car and Driver‘s 2022 Electric Car of the Year award for its IONIQ 5 electric vehicle, going on from there to receive top honors from WardsAuto in 2023 for its powertrain. CleanTechnica also weighed in by tapping the IONIQ 6 as USA’s 2023 Car of the Year, heading up a list of finalists that included the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, the Nissan ARIYA, and the Toyota BZ4X. It also came in second in the voting for 2023 European CleanTechnica Car of the Year.

“From the moment the finalists were set, it seemed clear who would win it. The Hyundai IONIQ 6 ran away with the title. The sleek electric model won 81% of the vote. I can’t say why each of you who voted for the IONIQ 6 did so, but I can explain why I love the electric car,” noted CleanTechnica editor Zachary Shahan (check out the story and our full Hyundai archive here).

With Hyundai’s reputation for fun, futuristic electric vehicle styling, one might be able to imagine what an IONIQ pickup truck would look like, but that’s about all. No images are available yet, not even leaked ones.

Ben Zachariah of the Australian news organization Drive set the pickup truck rumor mill in motion on February 8, when he scooped that Hyundai filed for a new trademark name.

Drive has discovered a trademark application filed for the Ioniq T10 name in Australia, categorised under names for ‘automobiles, electric cars … trucks, lorries, [and] sports utility vehicles,'” Zachariah reported.

Zachariah ticked off a list of clues, including a larger-than-car size denoted by the number 10 and the use of “T” for truck, though in Australia that would come out as “U” for ute, as in utility vehicle.

“The South Korean car giant has also filed a trademark for the Ioniq T7 name – which could point to plans for a second, smaller ute, possibly to replace the Santa Cruz in the US,” he also noted.

What Could This New Hyundai Electric Pickup Truck Possibly Look Like?

We’re guessing that the new T7 electric vehicle, if it is indeed a pickup truck, will look nothing like the Santa Cruz.

That guess is based on Hyundai’s sleek, three-row IONIQ 7 electric minivan, which the company unveiled in concept form to much fanfare in November of 2021. A production model is slated for 2024.

“From its signature Parametric Pixel lights that welcome you back with a unique light show, to a revolutionary lounge-like cabin tastefully designed with swiveling chairs and curved bench seat, SEVEN is a boldly electrifying concept SUV unlike anything you’ve seen,” Hyundai said of the concept model.

Light-duty pickup trucks like the Santa Cruz are enormously popular in the US, though we’re not sure how much use the typical electric pickup truck owner would get out of a lounge-like interior complete with a curved, padded, L-shaped bench seat. Somewhat more useful is a customizable, panoramic overhead display slated for the IONIQ 7, which could be used for maps, charts, and other work-type visuals.

The New T10 Electric Vehicle Rumor Is Just A Rumor, After All

It is difficult to overstate the gush-worthiness of the IONIQ 7 SUV, so if just a fraction of that aura transfers to the popular pickup truck format, look out world.

The question is whether or not an IONIQ pickup truck will actually materialize. To the extent that the T stands for truck, it could also suggest a delivery truck or other work-type van, providing Hyundai with a foothold in the increasingly crowded van space. Other electric vehicle makers are already elbowing in, including Ford with its e-Transit electric van, and GM with its BrightDrop electric van offshoot.

As a side note, the US Postal Service is finally hot on the trail of electric vehicles to replace its vast fleet of neighborhood delivery trucks. The e-Transit EV has already nailed down a slot, so we’re wondering if a van-type IONIQ 8 or 9 is already in the works.

We’ll have to wait and see about that, but Hyundai did lay the groundwork to fire off a series of electric vehicles in rapid succession back in December of 2020, when it launched a new multi-use electric vehicle platform called the E-GMP.

“The E-GMP — the Electric Global Modular Platform — opens up a new era for Hyundai Motor Group, pioneering the development of electric vehicles (EV),” Hyundai explains. “This dedicated platform is made especially for EVs. It comprises the chassis of the vehicle including the battery, motor and power electric system, and its scalable wheelbase allows it to form the backbone of many different types of vehicle.”

That could easily include pickup trucks. Along with 500 kilometers of battery range and EV fast charging, E-GMP accommodates rear-wheel drive, which is standard for most pickups.

The E-GMP platform also provide safety features that could come in handy for off-road use. Hyundai lists “an ultra-high-strength steel frame” along with a low center of gravity for improved stability.

“…in the case of a collision, the 8-point battery mounting absorbs impact to prevent deformation of the cabin area and keep everyone inside secure,” Hyundai adds, which would apply if one unexpectedly encounters a large farm animal.

A New Hope For Electric Vehicles

The burble of excitement of a possible Hyundai electric pickup truck is welcome news for electric vehicle fans after a run of non-welcome news, including a mixed record on EV sales in South America, an absolute cratering of EV sales in New Zealand, and a slowdown in demand for the much-lauded Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck.

Ford threw another bucket of cold water on the electric vehicle fire on February 6, when it reiterated a pullback on its plans for future EV investments.

“… with mainstream customer adoption of EVs happening at a slower rate than the industry expected, Ford said months ago that it’s deferring certain capital investments in EVs until they’re justified by demand and prospects for acceptable returns,” the company affirmed.

If you’re thinking that the demand slowdown does not represent a souring of public opinion on electric vehicles, drop us a note in the comment thread. My guess is that potential EV buyers are waiting for new solid-state batteries to kick in, bigger subsidies, more public EV charging stations, or all three. However, at the same time, electric vehicles grew much faster than the auto market as a whole in 2023. Full electric vehicles reached 11% of the auto market globally, and plugin vehicles reached 16%. Those figures were 16% and 24% in Europe, respectively. In the US, 100% electric vehicles rose to more than 7% of US auto sales, and four legacy automakers rose above 10%. Hyundai had 5.9% of its sales coming from fully electric vehicles. Looking ahead, Bloomberg expects 22% growth of the plugin vehicle market this year, to more than 16 million sales globally.

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Image: Hyundai is applying its universal E-GMP electric vehicle platform to a series of new EVs including the three-row IONIQ 7 SUV (courtesy of Hyundai).

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Tina Casey

Tina specializes in advanced energy technology, military sustainability, emerging materials, biofuels, ESG and related policy and political matters. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on LinkedIn, Threads, or Bluesky.

Tina Casey has 3240 posts and counting. See all posts by Tina Casey