The electric pickup market appears to be one that manufacturers are starting to take seriously. Tesla flagged its intention to enter the market in April and Ohio-based Workhorse Group followed suit in May by announcing the range-extended electric W-15. The latest to join the fray is Canadian-based Havelaar with its all-electric pickup called the Bison.

The fully-electric Bison power train sees a dual-motor (front and rear) set-up driving all four wheels with peak power of 220 kW and 510 Nm torque. The prototype, sporting a 40 kWh battery pack, is estimated to make 60 mph (96 kph) in roughly 6 seconds. Production models will be offered with either 50 kWh or 90 kWh packs and the top speed is listed at an electronically limited 130 km/h (80 mph).

According to Havelaar, the higher-end 90 kWh model should achieve a 300 km (186 mi) plus range, with the smaller battery pack making 170 km 106 mi). Curb weight is 2375 kg and 2155 kg (5236/4750 lb) respectively, ground clearance is 0.26 m (9.8 inches) and there's 1.3 m³ (46 ft³) of exterior cargo space and 0.51 m³ (18 ft³) lockable storage.

The Bison's radically angular body is built around a high strength steel chassis with integrated composite panels designed to withstand the rugged terrain of Canadian backcountry.

"We came up with a body-on-frame monocoque hybrid system," says Havelaar Canada's VP of Engineering, Nathan Armstrong – who has worked with the likes of Aptera, Volvo and Tesla Roadster. "The build is like a traditional pickup but bolted together rigidly instead of flexibly. This gives us the ability to change out the bed and in turn achieve class leading torsional stiffness.

"The composite body construction which utilizes the latest in low volume, high tech environmentally responsible manufacturing methods. The blend, comprised of carbon and glass fibers, is used primarily in the prototype production series but will be tested in hail conditions in Canada. If successful we could have a hail-proof truck by 2020."

Armstrong also points out the Bison's double wishbone suspension and low centre of gravity helps put 95 percent of the mass below top of the tires. The result should translate into superior, flatter handling.

The minimalist interior is marked by an oversized Tesla-esque touch screen and an array of nine cameras provide a 360-degree view of the surroundings. One unique selling point missing from similar gas trucks is the Bison's ability to act as an onsite generator via a 120V socket located in the bed and down in the bumper.

Havelaar, which is backed by a consortium of Dutch, Chinese and Canadian partners, revealed the Bison at the EMC show in Toronto, Ontario earlier this week. It is targeting the first 100 production models at fleet operators and municipalities with a delivery date slated for late 2020. A consumer version is expected to land follow in 2021 and the base model Bison will sell for around CAD$60,000 (US$45,000).

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