Electric Volkswagen Amarok ute unveiled could become a reality before 2030
An electric version of the new Volkswagen Amarok – a twin under the skin of the latest Ford Ranger following a partnership between the two auto giants – could be in Australian showrooms by the end of this decade.
German auto giant Volkswagen is expected to be at the forefront of introducing electric Utens to the global mid-size pickup truck market.
While these images of an electric Volkswagen Amarok are computer illustrations rather than the real thing, journey understands that the company has made good progress with plans for an electric pickup that will be a twin under the skin of the Ford Ranger Lightning.
Ford has already registered the name Ranger Lightning as a trademark – based on the model name of the electric Ford F-150 Lightning in the USA.
Given that the new generation Ford Ranger and soon-to-be-launched second-generation Volkswagen Amarok have been co-developed following a renewed partnership between the two auto giants, journey was told that there is a strong possibility that VW will adapt the same technology for an electric Amarok.
Ford and Volkswagen have yet to confirm such a model, but Ford’s global chief engineer for the Ranger and Amarok development programs has previously told the media that the platform is “package protected” for a range of electrification options.
While Ford has made good progress with a petrol-powered plug-in hybrid version of the new Ford Ranger – which could hit European showrooms next year – journey understands that Volkswagen has bypassed this version and will wait for the all-electric model.
Production of all-electric versions of the new Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger are believed to be slated for around 2028, when a mid-life facelift is likely due.
Representatives from Volkswagen and Ford declined to comment on future model speculation.
If the introductions of the electric Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok come true in 2028, they will likely be the first climbers in the mid-size pickup market mainstream automobile brands.
However, Chinese ute makers will beat them by half a decade on the starting line and in the showrooms. China’s LDV has an electric ute that will be operational by the end of this year or early next year.
While Chevrolet, Ford, and Tesla have unveiled full-size electric pickups for the U.S. market, electrification of the next size up remains in doubt: “compact” or mid-size utes like the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, and Isuzu D -Max, who are preferred workhorses in Australia and elsewhere in Asia Pacific.
Toyota has unveiled a concept version of a next-generation Toyota Tundra or Tacoma electric for the US market (pictured below), but a recent report by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries – the leading lobby group for multinational car companies in Australia – claims that before 2030 none will purely electric pick-ups to be built in Thailand.
But the report misses the possibility that a number of ute makers – namely Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota – could produce an electric pick-up truck on their South African assembly lines to supply the European market.
The Ford Ranger is assembled on at least four production lines worldwide – including Thailand, the main source for Australia, South Africa, where the Amarok is made for Volkswagen, and Detroit for the US market.
The Toyota HiLux also has a global production footprint, but Australia is sourcing the vehicle exclusively from Thailand for now.
Meanwhile, China’s LDV is the brand likely to beat everyone in Australia’s mid-size pickup market.
An electric LDV T60 – dubbed the eT60 – has already been unveiled in New Zealand priced at NZ$79,990 (pictured above) and there are plans to offer the model in Australia later this year or early next year alongside an electric LDV van. except for delays.
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