Surge in options for electrified SUVs and trucks

In the Middle East, we love SUVs and ‘lifestyle’ pick-up trucks. Usually with at least a six-cylinder engine up front, and ideally a stonking V8. But as we transition to cleaner, more sustainable motoring solutions, does it mean we have to give up our beloved family tanks, desert warriors, and leisure loaders?

Not at all. The auto industry has been keenly throwing investment into reconciling our adoration of colossal carriages with the need to neuter the NOx and cut our carbon footprints.

The route to electrification has defied traditional thinking, that imagined all EVs to be tiny city cars, and instead embraced the likes of a 7-seater off-roader and fast flatbeds that can carry your dirt bikes into the dunes.

As well as being functional and dependable, these vehicles also have to have an element of rugged style and desirability. They have to be ‘cool’. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the newest and forthcoming electrified SUVs and trucks worth getting excited about.

Top Five Electric SUVS

Earlier this year, Mercedes went viral with a video of four EQG Concepts (fully electric versions of the iconic G-Wagon) spinning on the spot, otherwise known as ‘tank turns’, on the streets of Las Vegas. Expect to see production versions later this year with about 600km of range, 200kWh fast charging and a ton of torque from its four motors. Luxury, style, ability, class and heritage, the G-Wagon has it all, so these will be hits in the region for sure, despite the projected $150,000 starting price.

When the current Range Rover was launched about two years ago, they claimed there would be an all-electric version. It’s taken a while, but later this year the first ever official battery-electric Range Rover will go on sale, said to equal the V8 in terms of performance. It’s already been out testing in Dubai!

Mercedes clearly sees huge potential in the GCC for its EQG Concept.

The Kia EV9 is a blocky, futuristic mid-sized family SUV. Designed by Lebanese-born Karim Habib, the EV9 won the prestigious World Car of the Year 2024 title. Can’t argue with that!

Saudi-owned Lucid revealed its SUV, the Gravity at the end of last year, and the 700km-range, super-sleek SUV is said to be capable of hauling your family to 100kmph from rest in just 3.5 seconds. Expect it to go on sale at the end of this year at prices from $80,000.

The Polestar 4 has landed to much acclaim, with advanced features including a rear-view camera monitor fitted where the inside mirror should be. There is No rear window! New tech means it not only reduces glare at night but answers one of the biggest issues with these systems, depth perception, thanks to a stereo camera mounted on the roof to provide a 3D image. Plus, it’s a crisp and capable SUV.

The Kia EV9 has already won huge plaudits around the world, including the title of World Car of the Year 2024.

Top Five Electric Pickup Trucks

Love it or hate it, the Tesla Cybertruck is a spectacular vehicle that acts as a conversation starter if nothing else. Just about the most Instagrammable truck of the moment.

Followed closely by the GMC Hummer EV with its extraordinary scale, 1000bhp and crazy ‘crab walk’ feature thanks to its four-wheel steering. The platform is shared with the Chevrolet Silverado EV and forthcoming electric Cadillac Escalade IQ.

Not to be outdone by its arch-rivals, Stellantis Group’s Ram 1500 REV is set to launch with claims of 650bhp and up to 800km of range. Expect prices of around $60,000.

Finally, let’s really go off-piste with a pair of oddities that may not be on your radar as yet. The brilliant retro-looking Alpha Wolf, from a new California-based start-up. Range is about 300km and it will reach 100kmph in under five seconds, but the Mad Max style makes it achingly cool.

By contrast, there is the Canoo Pickup also from a little-known Californian EV company, but this one looks like it belongs in a sci-fi film. Compact, cute and extremely versatile, this thing packs an astonishing 500bhp and again claims around 300km of range. Prices from around $35,000.

BYD’s Yangwang U8 is a formidable vehicle. It offers excellent off-roading, the ability to turn 360 degrees on the spot and can even ‘swim’. 

Top Three PHEV SUVs

If you’re not quite ready for full electric but still want to clean up your act, then Plug-in hybrids (PHEV) are the way to go. Here again, there are some exciting options to consider.

BYD’s luxury arm, Yangwang, is aiming to steal the thunder from both the Electric G-Wagon and Range Rover with its range-extender Hybrid U8 full-size SUV. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s powerful with nearly 1200bhp, it does tank turns and (very pertinent in light of the recent flood events) it can even float and manoeuvre in water during emergencies.

The Jeep Wrangler is much-respected in the region, and the PHEV Wrangler 4xe has been available in international markets since last year. The turbo petrol four-cylinder and electric motor combination with 375bhp makes it the most powerful Wrangler aside from the V8.

This last suggestion is still some way off, with production not slated for a couple of years, but the second car to be introduced by Ineos, is an exciting offering that looks the part. Similar in style to a slightly downsized G-Wagon, the Fusilier is the smaller brother to the Grenadier. Initially, this will come with a range-extender petrol engine, with a full EV in the works.

The BYD Shark is a stunning vehicle that looks to be ideally suited to our region.

Top Three PHEV Pickup Trucks

The Ford F-150 Lightning is the fully electric version of America’s best-selling truck, but with the company pulling back production of the slow-selling Lightning, it will be the Powerboost Hybrid 3.5L V6 that will take centre-stage as the conscientious choice.  The acceleration time is about five seconds and it’s 20% more economical than a conventional equivalent.

The Ram 1500 is a hugely likeable truck, and while America gets a range-extender PHEV called the Ramcharger, not yet available in our region officially, you can opt for the mild-hybrid 3.6L Pentastar V6 with ETorque.

Potentially the most anticipated new electrified truck to be launched will be BYD’s first electrified pickup truck, newly revealed to be called BYD Shark. The company has released pictures of a boxy dual-cab camouflaged prototype, being tested on the road.

No spec details have been provided, but it appears to be about Ford Ranger-sized and has been dubbed a ‘new energy’ vehicle which confirms electrification. Some outlets have reported it will be fully electric, however, the huge grille and conventional styling suggest it could be a plug-in hybrid as corroborated by reporting in Chinese automotive media. Stay tuned for more on this as soon as we get it!

Fancy something a bit different? The retro-looking Alpha Wolf could be one for you.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Why are hybrids so popular?

Why are hybrids so popular?

Hybrid cars are surging in popularity as they offer good fuel economy and practicality. They bridge the gap between traditional cars and EVs.

Recent Videos

25 Apr, 2024