Published on April 9th, 2011 | by Christopher DeMorro
Awesomesauce Saturday: Italian EV Truck Puts U.S. Pickups to Shame
We love trucks here in America (guilty), so convincing people to move away from petrol-powered pickups will be difficult. If we only had more mainstream options like the Bremech T-Rex, an EV work truck that puts most pickups to shame.
Bremech, based out of Italy, already offers a hybrid version of its T-Rex work truck, and now they’ve gone and upped the ante by offering a battery-electric version, as well as a CNG V8. The BEV T-Rex is not your average pickup though; from its state-of-the-art space frame to its hand-assembled body and wide variety of engines, this is a vehicle as versatile as you can be creative.
Arguably the biggest difficulty that comes with building an electric car isn’t moving the vehicle on electricity, but rather powering all the secondary systems (heat, CD player, headlights, etc.) Bremach seems to have solved those problems with the T-Rex, claiming 100 to 150 miles of range under work conditions, which is mighty impressive if you ask me as the T-Rex has a carrying capacity of almost four tons and a GVWR of 10,000 pounds (thanks to the aforementioned space frame.)
It’s a 4×4, can be configured in a variety of ways, and can climb slopes at 44 degree angles. The electric motor offers 200 kW of power from the 100 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and this ballsy little truck don’t take no guff from the likes of its gas-powered cousin. It’s even available as a series-hybrid with a 40 kWh battery that offers a 50-200% fuel economy improvement, and between 30 and 60 miles of all-electric range. Basically, this is the wet dream of many fleet owners; a capable medium-duty truck that has very low operating and maintaining costs. The downside? MSRP starts at $120,000 for the BEV, and $140,000 for the hybrid. That’ll put a dent in your bank account.
Which brings a few questions to my head. Bremach has been around since the 1950’s, so they’re no spring chicken when it comes to building trucks. So why hasn’t any other major automaker gone down this road? Are you telling me that a company like GM or Ford, with their massive factories and armies of engineers, can’t develop a capable, 100 mile EV pickup truck, and sell it for half the price of the T-Rex? Perhaps it is because the Big Three think they will have a hard time convincing and selling electric pickups to the average truck buyer. But what about fleet buyers?
Ford had an EV ranger in the 90’s, and such a truck would sell like hotcakes right now (I just paid $3.89 a gallon for gas.) Hell Ford, keep the current Ranger around, hotwire it with a battery and electric motor, and watch it fly off dealership lots. The F-150 and Chevy Silverado have been the best selling vehicles in America for decades; surely there are some truck owners out there for whom an EV pickup with limited range would work rather well.
Pipe dream, I know. But at least I have the Awesomesauce T-Rex.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.