Canada Joins the Electric Pickup Scene With Its Havelaar Bison

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
canada joins the electric pickup scene with its havelaar bison

A paradigm shift must have occurred within the truck community, as electric pickups are beginning to become more than just an easily dismissed theory posited by a bunch of fringe engineering weirdos. Tesla has already announced plans for an electrified pickup, Workhorse is toying with the idea of bringing its W-15 to the consumer market, and now the Canadian division of Havelaar Group has unveiled its own in Ontario.

Dubbed the Havelaar Bison, the pure-electric pickup uses twin motors to drive all four wheels simultaneously, with a battery unit that allows for a maximum range of about 186 miles. The firm claims the truck is designed for the very worst weather conditions the Great White North can throw at it, using its adaptive dynamics to mitigate varied surfaces.

However, Havelaar is keeping a pretty tight lid on the specific components underpinning the Bison. The manufacturer claims it will possess a carbon fiber reinforced steel frame and “class-leading torsional stiffness” for enhanced durability and handling. Based off images of the truck’s frame, that will be further helped by the fancy-pants double wishbone setup allocated to each corner.

It’s also supposed to boast rugged off-road capabilities and allow for a 54-percent grade hill start with 21-percent hill climb, fully loaded. That information would be much more impressive if we had any idea what the maximum payload was. Havelaar didn’t mention hill assist, but specified the Bision would have “assistive technology calibrated to meet both the day-to-day work demands and active lifestyle needs of adventurers.” So, probably.

Other known elements include an external power port for tools and 46 cubic feet of external cargo space — with an additional 18 cubes of lockable storage. Combining the two averages out to a fairly standard box size, but having to split the difference limits loading options.

Concept drawings of the Bison hint at some pretty aggressive styling choices. The teaser images show a wedge-shaped hood, uncommon on just about every truck design in history. Havelaar calls the design “an evolutionary leap forward from traditional pickups.”

Launch of the brand new -Pickup at @EVVEconf 2017 lectric

— PIT_Group (@PIT_Group) May 30, 2017

The physical representation is a little less extravagant but no less strange. The Bison seems to be a hodgepodge of sports car styling mixed with an F-150. It’s much lower than anticipated and houses a Tesla-like vertical touch screen in the center console with dial-based gear selection. Seating appears limited to two occupants.

Additional specification gaps should be filled as the Canadian firm continues work on the project (with help from the University of Toronto – Havelaar Electric Vehicle (UTHEV) Research Centre) but we at least know what it looks like after today’s debut at the EV/VÉ Conference and Trade Show in Markham, Ontario. Hopefully, it assumes a more practical form in future incarnations and Havelaar does away with the Lamborghini-style badge before it finds itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

The vehicle’s timetable isn’t known, though Havelaar is currently taking reservations for the Bison, with those persons being first to receive pre-order information.

[Image: Havelaar Group Canada]

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6 of 7 comments
  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on May 31, 2017

    Looks kind of like a last gen Dakota up front.

  • NMGOM NMGOM on May 31, 2017

    This Bison looks like a dumb idea whose time has finally come. There are museums for Rube Goldberg devices that never worked (^_^). 178 mile range? (My diesel gets ~ 1000.) Water Immersion Depth - not listed (Think the electric motors might short out?) Max HP and Torque - not listed Hauling capacity - not listed Towing capacity - not listed Ground clearance - not listed Break-over angle - not listed Departure angle - not listed RTI (articulation) - not listed Full Recharge Rate in hours - not listed Battery Pack life and Replacement Cost? (I keep my trucks for 15-20 years.) Estimated price - not listed ($60k maybe?) Continued Torque delivery towing up a long grade for 1 hour at 70 mph? Battery pack overheating, you say? Driving in Winter at -20 deg F. for 200miles? -- can't make it, you say? Can't use heater, you say? Gee, are we seeing a trend here? Can you guess why there are so many things not listed or unspecified? BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT BE COMPETITIVE! Only a eco-nut, whining liberal would ever consider such a disaster! You'd be way better off getting a simple basic Ram 1500 or Ford F-150 work truck for ~$38K. Even a basic Chevy Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, or Nissan Frontier for ~$28K might do better ... ============================

    • See 3 previous
    • Brandloyalty Brandloyalty on May 31, 2017

      @SCE to AUX People chasing chemtrails frequently drive uphill at 70mph for hours at a time.

  • Jkross22 This might just be me, but the times that I've driven an EV, I use the brake regen paddles to quell my inner MT/control freak nature.
  • Randy in rocklin I had a 82 733 at one time. It was an awesome car. Good power and great handling. Smooth shifting and ride.
  • Jkross22 Gavin Newsom may not be aware of the fiscal problems of the state he leads, as his focus is on criticizing other states. It's actually better that he has someone shining a laser light on a map so he can stop making things worse here. Just lace his hair gel with some catnip and have him hit himself trying to get to it. Things in LA are getting so bad that even the leftists and progressives are showing up to LA city council meetings with mirrors to protest, well, everything - gas prices, the homeless pandemic, the house pricing pandemic, the crime pandemic. It shocked the City Council that their subjects dare attempt to ask for accountability. The Council president insisted that people with mirrors be escorted out, lest the council be reminded of their incompetence and hubris. That being said, there is no connection being made between the way LA subjects vote and the results it yields. Never underestimate the stupidity of the typical CA voter. The state is a basketcase but voters keep electing the same retreads every time.
  • ScarecrowRepair Too much for too little, unless you treat it strictly as a toy.
  • DedBull Mk2 Jettas are getting harder to find, especially ones that haven't been modified within an inch of their life. I grew up in an 85 GLI, and would love to have one in as close to stock configuration as I could get. This car isn't that starting point, especially sitting 3-4 years in the NY dirt. It's a parts car at best, but there might still be money in it even at that price, if you are willing to take it down to absolutely nothing left.