The future of electric pick-ups is promising as the first retrofits may be on the road as early as September. RV-maker Gulf Steam is teaming up with a California-based company, Electric Motors Corp. (EMC), to produce 50,000 electric trucks annually by 2013.
The first pickups off the line from Gulf Stream and EMC will be retrofitted light-duty trucks boasting 40 mpg using a plug-in serial hybrid electric powertrain. Any light-duty truck–the Chevy Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, and Dodge Ram 1500–can be converted. [a picture can be found here]
The retrofit reconfigures the truck as follows. The powertrain system uses an electric motor to power the wheels. A small gas engine is as an onboard generator and range extender. In all-electric power mode, a retrofitted truck could travel 40 miles before the gas engine would need to recharge the batteries.
By July, two static displays of electric trucks should be public. In September the company will have two drivable trucks for promotional events and then a low-volume production should ramp up by 2010.
No final announcements for pricing have been made, but eventually, the partnership expects to retrofit mid-sized and heavy-duty pickup trucks as well. The production of these trucks will be centered in Indiana.