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BYD Is Readying a "Global" Electrified Pickup Truck—Could It Come to America?

posted on 09/04/2024
BYD electric pickup truck 3

Chinese automaker BYD is officially entering the pickup truck game, sending out an image of a camouflaged truck to its followers on X, formerly known as Twitter. BYD, whose name stands for "build your dreams," hasn't specified where it plans to sell this new electrified pickup, but notes it will be for "global markets," per CNBC. If the U.S. is one of those markets, you can bet Ford, Tesla, Rivian, and Chevrolet—makers of the F-150 Lightning, Cybertruck, R1T, and Silverado EV—will find other words to form the acronym BYD—like, maybe, Boy, Yonder's Danger.

Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic. Even though BYD is fast becoming known as a global sales challenger to Tesla, with a fleet of affordable yet competitive electric vehicles, this pickup truck wouldn't necessarily be "cheap" if it makes it stateside. Import tariffs on trucks generally—remember the Chicken Tax?—make any foreign-made pickup virtually bargain-proof, so unless BYD has plans to open North American manufacturing facilities geared toward U.S.-bound products (it's already putting down roots in Mexico, but not for vehicles bound for north of the Rio Grande), any panic over a Lighting, R1T, Cybertruck, or Silverado EV–slaying BYD truck is premature.

Another caveat? It also might not offer an all-electric variant. Another BYD X post describes it as offering the company's off-road-focused "DMO technology" with a plug-in hybrid mode. Either way, you can bet the big guys in the American truck industry are eyeing this development sternly.

So, What Is This BYD?

Nameless so far, the truck has appeared only in bright camouflage, though the sheetmetal and trim underneath looks pretty final. Described as a midsize-to-large truck, it appears to be roughly similar in size to the U.S.-market Rivian R1T and gas-fed midsize pickups such as the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma.

It's a vehicle size common to global truck markets in Southeast Asia, Australia, South America, and Europe, and one that's growing here in America after years of decline and the evaporation of cheap, small trucks. Here, the closest electric pickup in size would be the midsize-plus-sized Rivian, though Toyota is working on an electric Tacoma-sized truck, and regular Tacomas are available as non-plug-in hybrids.

We'll know more about the BYD truck soon. How do we know? BYD's X post says "coming soon."


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