Automotive

EdisonFuture blends old school with new in solarized electric SU-van

EdisonFuture blends old school...
With its sliding side door(s), the EF1-V promises to be a versatile cargo van and, potentially, family MPV
With its sliding side door(s), the EF1-V promises to be a versatile cargo van and, potentially, family MPV
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EdisonFuture plans to have a 17.5-in tablet-style infotainment display on offer
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EdisonFuture plans to have a 17.5-in tablet-style infotainment display on offer
The EF1-V is shaped like an SUV, equ
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The EF1-V is shaped like an SUV, laid out like a van
EdisonFuture plans for the EF1-V to ride on the same platform as the EF1-T and come in one- and two-motor electric drive variants
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EdisonFuture plans for the EF1-V to ride on the same platform as the EF1-T and come in one- and two-motor electric drive variants
With its sliding side door(s), the EF1-V promises to be a versatile cargo van and, potentially, family MPV
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With its sliding side door(s), the EF1-V promises to be a versatile cargo van and, potentially, family MPV
An available solar mosaic roof offers integrated battery charging for the EF1-V
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An available solar mosaic roof offers integrated battery charging for the EF1-V
EdisonFuture previews a six-seat interior on the EF1-T pickup
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EdisonFuture previews a six-seat interior on the EF1-T pickup
In place of the mosaic roof, the EF1-T gets a retractable armadillo-inspired solar cover
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In place of the mosaic roof, the EF1-T gets a retractable armadillo-inspired solar cover
The cover retracts out of the way when the EF1-T driver needs full bed access
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The cover retracts out of the way when the EF1-T driver needs full bed access
EdisonFuture plans 6.5- and 8-foot EF1-T bed options
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EdisonFuture plans 6.5- and 8-foot EF1-T bed options
The EF1-T joins a long list of upcoming potential Rivian e-pickup competitors
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The EF1-T joins a long list of upcoming potential Rivian e-pickup competitors
EdisonFuture takes a page out of Tesla's playbook in planning one-, two- and three-motor powertrains for the EF1-T pickup
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EdisonFuture takes a page out of Tesla's playbook in planning one-, two- and three-motor powertrains for the EF1-T pickup
While EdisonFuture is showing it as a commercial van, the EF1-V would also make a very cool on/off-road MPV and camper van
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While EdisonFuture is showing it as a commercial van, the EF1-V would also make a very cool on/off-road MPV and camper van
EdisonFuture will debut the EF1-T and EF1-V at the 2021 LA Auto Show this month
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EdisonFuture will debut the EF1-T and EF1-V at the 2021 LA Auto Show this month
Part large SUV, part rugged 4x4, part van, the EdisonFuture EF1-V promises to be a highly versatile electric vehicle
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Part large SUV, part rugged 4x4, part van, the EdisonFuture EF1-V promises to be a highly versatile electric vehicle
View gallery - 14 images

The convention of naming electric vehicle startups after iconic innovators of electricity past continues. EdisonFuture was founded in 2020 as a subsidiary of SPI Energy and it's about to introduce itself to the world in a big way at this month's LA Auto Show. It will host the premiere of both an all-electric SUV-like van and an electric pickup. It calls its EF1-V a last-mile delivery van, but its high ride height, large all-terrain tires and body form give it the look of a rugged, old-school SUV updated with a cutting-edge solarized transparent roof and potent electric powertrain.

When we first saw the name EdisonFuture, we thought it might be a revamped, rebranded Faraday Future, but EF is actually the latest automotive endeavor from SPI, a Hong Kong/California-headquartered solar energy and mobility company that also offers electric vehicles through its Phoenix Motorcars subsidiary. EdisonFuture will leverage SPI's expertise in solar charging and storage in a lineup of vehicles designed with utility and commercial customers top of mind.

The EF1-T joins a long list of upcoming potential Rivian e-pickup competitors
The EF1-T joins a long list of upcoming potential Rivian e-pickup competitors

The American electric pickup market officially made it to reality in September when Rivian began production of the R1T, and we expect to see many players, old and new, launching e-pickups in the coming years. EdisonFuture makes the EF1-T pickup the cornerstone of its brand, promising a rugged multipurpose truck good for work, travel and everyday driving, on-road and off.

The EF1-T will come standard with a single-motor 470-hp electric powertrain, competing with electric supertrucks like the GMC Hummer via an optional range-topping 816-hp triple-motor "Super" trim. The lineup will come with traditional 6.5- and 8-foot bed options, along with an available retractable solar panel roof that drops back over the bed.

In place of the mosaic roof, the EF1-T gets a retractable armadillo-inspired solar cover
In place of the mosaic roof, the EF1-T gets a retractable armadillo-inspired solar cover

Anyone can tease another electric pickup truck, but EdisonFuture distinguishes itself from others with its second vehicle, the EF1-V. Built atop the EF1-T truck platform, the EF1-V is a sort of utility vehicle/van mashup that pushes the imagination to immediately brainstorm work, play and everyday use cases. From the outside, it's shaped more like an SUV or single-cab EF1-T with a neatly integrated utility canopy over the pickup bed. However, its sliding side doors give it van-like loading, working with the dual swing-out rear doors to provide flexible access into the cavernous cabin. EdisonFuture plans variants with between 260 and 400 cubic feet (7.4 to 11.3 cu m) of cargo space, enough to rival all but the largest configurations of the full-size Ford Transit.

While EdisonFuture is showing it as a commercial van, the EF1-V would also make a very cool on/off-road MPV and camper van
While EdisonFuture is showing it as a commercial van, the EF1-V would also make a very cool on/off-road MPV and camper van

The EF1-T platform and large all-terrain tires below its segment-bending body give the V more off-road presence than you'd get from even the most heavily modified 4x4 van, pushing it closer to a Land Rover Defender Hard Top. Other EV startups, such as XBus and Neuron, have shown similar van cabins atop electric pickup platforms, but the EF1-V is the most SUV-looking of the lot, regardless of its sliding van doors.

We imagine a passenger-ready SU-MPV variant will be in the cards if and when the EF1-V commercial cargo van proves itself on the market, and, of course, an overland camper could make a cozy home inside that big, empty body.

EdisonFuture doesn't yet plan a "Super" triple-motor EF1-V spec, but the high-riding utility van will come in both 400-hp single-motor and 689-hp dual-motor variants. An optional "solar mosaic" roof will take the place of the EF1-T's armadillo retractor cover in providing integrated solar charging.

An available solar mosaic roof offers integrated battery charging for the EF1-V
An available solar mosaic roof offers integrated battery charging for the EF1-V

EdisonFuture doesn't give any indication of the battery size or range of its single-, double- or triple-motor trucks, let alone how all that rooftop solar might impact range, but it expects 0-60-mph (96.5-km/h) times to come in around 6.5 seconds for the EF1-V and between 3.9 and 6.5 seconds for the various EF1-T models. Towing will range between 7,500 and 8,500 lb (3,400 and 3,855 kg).

We'll get a closer look and more details about EdisonFuture's launch vehicles and market plans once the LA Auto Show opens to the media on November 17. The company plans to start taking reservations at the show.

Source: EdisonFuture

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7 comments
7 comments
paul314
Is there any real need for motors that big, or just for posturing? (Albeit the typical hp rating of electric motors tends toward the fictional, so maybe it all balances out.)
Douglas Rogers
4 x 8 bed makes it "utility"!
JDC1
Nice looking. Wonder why they wouldn't make the ability to make the truck more like a ladder rack...IE put the solar cells on an hinged set up, so you could use the whole pick up bed, yet still have the cells working on horizontal basis just elevated to roof level, then when bed is unloaded, stow the brace and angle the cells back down as shown.
jerryd
While I like these depending on price a commercial van would rather have the space, aero, range, softer ride and payload of much smaller tires. 4 15" rim will safely do 3 tons, what more do you need?
Aross
I don't understand why every article about electric cars has to be about 0 to 60. Most importantly it should be about range/run times per charge, how long it takes to fully charge the batteries by plug in or solar. Not to mention what impact there is on the driving range if used in colder climates.
RandomPerson
Definitely designed from the back half forward... the font look is really quite atrocious
BlueOak
It is exceedingly difficult to take a fresh (2020) subsidiary of a tiny company with only a US$120 million market capitalization seriously.

That paltry kind of money goes nowhere in eVeh R&D, to say nothing of production.

Southern California is polluted with a multitude of wanna-be eVeh startups that will never go anywhere.