The Best Electric Trucks of the 2022 SEMA Show
Given that the facts about electric vehicles are more widely accepted than they were a year ago, to say that electric cars and trucks are now firmly entrenched in the global automotive space is like kicking a ass straight to the head! Electric vehicles are rolling in, almost to a point where battery-powered or gas-powered hybrid cars and SUVs are everywhere you look.
With GMC HummerRivian’s R1T, and Lightning Ford F-150 currently in circulation, and Chevy’s Silverado on deck for 2024Yes, EV technology in the pickup truck space definitely has a full charge. And factory-built, modified electric rigs, radical custom builds, and the hardware that makes their existence easier all shared a ton of spotlight at the 2022 SEMA Show in “SEMA Electrified,” a 21,000-square-foot, 60 (35 vehicles), dedicated space in North Hall and other locations throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Content producers from MotorTrend’s Truck and Off-Road group have put together photo gallery reports from SEMA 2022, focusing on the biggest and coolest trucks. In the electric vehicle sector, MotorTrend’s “The InEVitable” published a feature article on the all electric 1987 Datsun Sunny with a Nissan Leaf powertrain which was featured on the stand of Nismo (Nissan’s motorsport/performance arm).
Yes, custom electrified trucks are now fully included in the SEMA display strategy. Here are examples of the best EV platforms from the 2022 SEMA show, along with some of the key parts and systems that make ICE to EV conversions possible.
In our world of Lightnings, Silverado EVs and Rivian R1Ts, seeing Endurance, a true production EV pickup (albeit by a very small manufacturer), was refreshing. Lordstown Motors is the Pennsylvania-based company that builds these half-ton crew-cab pickups.
True four-wheel power
Power hits all four corners of the Endurance directly at the wheels, as the electric motors are mounted on the hubs. Targeted peak torque is 4,971 lb-ft, with 440 horsepower.
Charging, range and towing
The three main stats for electric trucks are the time they need to charge (usually up to 80%), the distance they can travel on a full charge, and their towing capacity. Using a 150kWh charger, the lithium-ion batteries in a Lordstown Motors Endurance can reach 80% charge in 45 minutes. The company is aiming for an EPA-registered range of 200 miles, and the pickup has an 8,000-pound towing capacity.
Jeep CJ Surge Concept
This platform was created to give Jeep designers and engineers the ability to explore efficient battery-electric propulsion systems for classic Jeeps. Although battery-powered, the CJ Surge is otherwise “all Jeep”, with a 2-inch lift, 18 x 8-inch wheels, 35-inch BFGoodrich tires, Dana 44 axles front/rear, bumper plates, rock rails and a Warn winch.
Take a leap forward
Here’s a look at the 400-volt, 200-kW electric drive module (motor) that powers the all-wheel-drive Jeep concept. A two-speed Jeep transfer case with selectable gear manages the torque.
fill it up
A plug-in port for battery charging is mounted in the Jeep’s stock fuel filler slot.
A total of 24 lithium-ion battery modules enclosed in this custom rear-mounted shell provide all the power needed to run the CJ Surge.
The center console is taken directly from the JK, Jeep’s latest Wrangler. Driver and passenger sit on custom cloth seats with houndstooth inserts and look ahead through a 2-inch cut windshield. A bespoke roll cage protects occupants from injury in the event of an accident.
Copper Canyon, Gloss Black and Surf Blue Surge are the colors that have been chosen to give this electric Jeep its identity.
1987 Sunny Datsun
We found this cool OG Datsun pickup at the Nismo display in the west lobby of the convention center. Details on its electrification and other Tommy Pike Design modifications (including the fascia of a Nissan Skyline grafted to the front) are covered in the aforementioned “InEVitable” report.
One of the things about the Sunny that really stands out is its bed-mounted battery that you can’t see, thanks to some very clever engineering. A small portion of the bed floor must be removed to detect the cell, giving the truck a fully utilitarian loading area.
Here is a great example of the wide variety of vehicles now receiving batteries. We actually drove past this sand buggy twicebefore noticing the roof of solar panels and investigating further.
Everything in the name
This tank is painted to look like a battery. Bug Juiced is actually a company name – bugjuiced.com is an upstart company that converts electric vehicles originally powered by air-cooled Volkswagen engines.
Unfortunately, details on the buggy’s new electric motor and other aspects of its construction were minimal. But it’s definitely really cool technology.
The motor, battery, and various power distribution parts are mounted in the back of the sand buggy, where an air-cooled Volkswagen engine is usually located. Look closely at the battery-themed tank and the simulated “juice” flowing through the clear tube.
For the do-it-yourselfers
How to convert a vehicle to battery electric is a big question that many enthusiasts are asking now. Ampere EV’s Atom Drive system is an all-inclusive package that helps an enthusiast do just that. It can be configured with a 42 kWh or 8 kWh battery and motor options ranging from 150 kW to 250 kW. Inline and transaxle transmissions are available, along with amenities to add comfort and accessories to the EV-converted platform.
Anything with a shifter is fun to drive. But can you imagine a BEV with a manual transmission? Electra-Five’s E-Train package makes it all possible. The set includes a five-speed gearbox, flywheel, clutch and release bearing, transmission bracket and engine-to-transmission adapter.
An electric motor is the second key component of the Electra-Five setup. Although it puts out 120 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t much by today’s standards, the uniqueness of this drivetrain combination makes it very cool.
It certainly makes sense for a battery company to build a few Rivians – pickups and SUVs – for the wide open…
Power at your fingertips
…and develop a lithium power station that has the ability to keep rigs charged anywhere, anytime.
Click on any photo to see the full gallery of the best electric trucks!