June 15, 2024

Linkage Mag

Geared for the Automotive Life

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Are Electric Pickups the Next Must-Have?

Image: Courtesy of Cars & Bids

It is not uncommon to see the hottest new releases from automotive manufacturers sell on the secondary market, often over the MSRP paid at the local dealership.

This was the case for the drag-strip-ready Dodge Demon, the first mid-engined C8 Corvettes or almost any new model from Ferrari. Some may not understand spending thousands of dollars more than the MSRP to be the first to own one, but we all understand the appeal. Each offers style, performance and pulls at our desire to get behind the wheel.

The newest addition to the list of fresh-faced, MSRP-defying must-haves seem to be electric pickups.

2022 Rivian RT1 Launch Edition sold by Cars & Bids for $142,500.
Image: Courtesy of Cars & Bids

In the last two months alone, the online auction company Cars & Bids has sold six Rivian R1T Launch Edition electric pickups. The cheapest went for $116,000 with the most expensive landing at $142,500. The original MSRP for that $140k R1T was $76,075. To no one’s surprise, the most expensive was also one of the first to appear on the site. Everyone wants to be the first, I guess.

Pulling even larger prices is GM’s recently revived and newly electric Hummer — now branded as the GMC Hummer. Bring a Trailer has already sold two examples in May 2022. The Edition 1 Hummers sold for $230k and $243k respectively. And these sales are not exclusive to online-only auctions. Mecum also sold a Hummer EV at its recent Indy 2022 auction for $206,250. The base price for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 is close to half that, at $110,395.

Now to be fair, both the Rivian and new Hummer are worlds beyond the basic two-wheel-drive, 4-cylinder Toyota Tacoma that your neighbor drives. Not only do they represent the latest cutting-edge technology, but each also puts out some serious horsepower. The Hummer punches out a combined 1,000 hp and can dash to 60 mph in three seconds flat. The Rivian has only slightly less at 835 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds.

Based on those specs, I understand the massive hype and appeal of these modern marvels, but I am not sure the current excitement and bloated pricing can last.

Driving a vehicle with 1,000 hp sounds fun but how much of that can you use when driving on public roads? Half that is more than enough to blow past the Honda Accord at the stoplight next to you. I can’t imagine taking a 7,200-pound Rivian to the track in order to make use of those ponies would be all that fun either. And remember, this new EV pickup segment is only going to get more competitive with the likes of Ford just started production of the new, much-publicized F-150 Lightning a month ago.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup Edition 1 sold by Bring a Trailer for $243k.
Image: Courtesy of Bring a Trailer

I suspect pricing of these EV beasts will follow that of other gas-powered performance SUVs and pickups released the past few years, such as Jeep’s Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. A Hellcat-powered SUV? What was not to like? Sure, some brought big money for a brief moment, but the frenzy didn’t last. Anyone looking for a Hellcat-powered Mopar realized that the Challenger would be more fun to drive.

Are these new EV pickups destined for the same trajectory? Only time will tell, but I’d throw my money at a new Tesla Model S Plaid before paying over MSRP for a new Hummer. The Tesla would certainly be more fun on a spirited drive through the twisties.