Atlis Motor Vehicles Punts Another Electric Pickup Into the Auto Arena

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
atlis motor vehicles punts another electric pickup into the auto arena

It didn’t seem like it was all that long ago when the idea of an electric pickup was patently ridiculous. Now, they’re emerging from the woodwork like an incestuous family of rats. Workhorse first unveiled the W-15 in 2017, Rivian followed with the R1T less than a year later, and Tesla aims to reveal its own all-electric pickup sometime before 2020. In the interim, Atlis Motor Vehicles is putting the finishing touches on its own electric truck — the all-new XT.

Unlike some of its would-be competition, the XT is banking on ability rather than accessibility. Atlis wants to offer a proper full-sized pickup that doesn’t sacrifice anything just because it’s electric. The company promises payloads of up to 5,000 pounds and a dually version capable of towing 35,000 pounds up a 6-percent grade at 65 mph. It also suggests a ludicrous maximum range, meaningful suspension options, plenty of new automotive tech, and advanced driving aids that will (of course) someday evolve into fully autonomous transportation.

With specs like these, we’re feeling a little cautious. A range of 500 miles would represent a massive achievement in present-day battery technology. While Rivian promises range in excess of 400 miles with a 180-kWh pack, Atlis seems to think it can do better. However, it should be noted that the firm was careful to say “up to” 500 miles, which saves it from having to deliver the whole hog come production time — assuming production time eventually comes.

The XT’s towing capabilities are equally impressive. Depending on configuration, the Atlis has a conventional towing ability between 5,000 and 20,000 pounds, a 5th-wheel trailering capacity of up to 35,000 pounds, and payload capacities ranging from 1,000 and 5,000 pounds. Gear can be plopped into either a 6.5 or 8-foot bed, depending on whether you want to use the extra cargo space for a crew cab that raises total occupancy to six.

Power comes via a quartet of independent electric motors, making this an all-wheel drive vehicle. Atlis hasn’t issued any output figures, but claims 0 to 60 in around 5 seconds. All trucks come standard with independent air suspension and 12 inches of ground clearance. However, the hopeful automaker said there will also be a special off-road variant with longer suspension travel and 15 inches of clearance.

Additional standard equipment includes a spray-in bed liner, advanced regenerative braking with dynamic load control, and a huge storage compartment in the front of the vehicle.

Based on the startup’s claims, the least-capable XT will still haul 1,000 pounds of scrap, or drag a 5,000-pound trailer, while boasting an unladen range of around 300 miles. But fully equipped models sound like they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Still, it’s all theoretical right now. Funding is yet to be secured, though Atlis says it wants to launch the XT sometime in 2020 if everything goes swimmingly.

We’re hoping it does, even if it’s just to see what the production model looks like. As it stands, the concept is gorgeous, inoffensively futuristic, and slightly menacing. It’s not quite as refined as the smaller Rivian, but it smacks of attitude thanks to the “aftermarket madness” look Atlis went with. Hopefully we get to see more of it in the coming months.

[Images: Atlis Motor Vehicles]

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  • Jeanbaptiste Any variant of “pizza” flavored combos. I only eat these on car trips and they are just my special gut wrenching treat.
  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.