SsangYong to build the first electric pick-up?
SsangYong is looking to beat Tesla to the punch and introduce the world’s first electric pick-up truck.
The company’s managing director of product planning, Sungchin Park, confirmed the ute during a media conference in South Korea recently, while outlining a range of new and updated models for the next five years.
The ute, codenamed H100, is currently under development, and will use a new EV platform. “I can’t speak about technical features. We’re still developing this project. The original plan was to use the C-platform, but we’re looking at different options,” said SsangYong’s executive director of export markets, Daniel Rim, adding that it could be all-wheel-drive. He wouldn’t confirm if it will feature one motor per axle, however.
Rim also said the ute wouldn’t be ready for action for another five years. Provided Tesla doesn’t get its own pick-up into production during that time, SsangYong could be the first brand to have an electric ute on the market.
“Yes, if Tesla doesn’t beat us to it. I’ve seen some concepts from Tesla, the pick-up truck concept. I think we are launching around 2023. It’s changing. It depends on different countries and their regulations,” he said.
However, it isn’t confirmed for Australia or New Zealand at the moment. SsangYong Motors Australia managing director, Tim Smith, said that he didn’t think an EV ute would work now.
“But the market’s changing quickly. A hybrid or EV would work around town and if we had an LCV with an electric option and there’s market demand for it – everything would depend on market demand – then yes, certainly.”
Other upcoming SsangYong releases include an electric crossover based on the e-SIV concept, arriving around 2020. It is expected to feature a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain and enough battery life for 450km of range under the NEDC cycle (probably closer to 300km in the real world.)