• Kaiyun Pickman

News: $5,000 Electric ‘Pickup’ Coming from China?

Startup Wants to Sell 10,000 Units In The U.S. This Year

We’ve been down this road many times for more than a decade; Chinese automakers trying to crack the U.S. market. Only this time it’s not a car, it’s a “pickup truck.” Well, sort of.

Bloomberg is reporting that China’s Kaiyun Motors is set to begin exporting its petite Pickman electric pickup truck to the U.S.. Folks who work on the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 and FiatChrysler’s Ram pickups won’t lose any sleep over this news.

Kaiyun Pickman

Small, but electric and functional

The tiny pickup is targeted to sell for $5,000 in the U.S.—and for good reasons.

The Kaiyun Pickman has a 5.5-horsepower motor that’s good for a top speed of just 28 mph and a battery that provides 75 miles driving range on a full charge. This classifies it as a low-speed or neighborhood electric vehicle (LSV/NEV). Regulations regarding their operation vary state to state, but they are street legal (with restrictions) in most states.

Five-figure Ambitions

Kaiyun Motors’ founder, Wang Chao, told Bloomberg in a phone interview it has the required approvals and plans to sell as many as 10,000 of its Pickman electric trucks in the U.S. this year. The company cleared regulatory approvals and certification processes for sales in the European Union in January and will start shipping the first batch of Pickmans to Germany and Italy after this month’s Lunar New Year holiday, he said.

Kaiyun Pickman

Not many amenities in this little truck

Wang said his company shipped a small volume of Pickmans to the U.S. over the past year to test them out and get consumer feedback. The company has continued to tailor the vehicle to the market. As a result, the company has added some unspecified “reinforcements” and options such as air conditioning, heated seats, alloy wheels and a gun rack.

Calling the Kaiyun Pickman a pickup is a stretch, but it’ll be able to haul up to 1,100 pounds, which, if true, puts it within spitting distance of some full-size pickup trucks. That might be enough of a spec to attract a few folks in the construction industry, farmers and those who have large industrial facilities.

“Two-thousand nineteen will be year one for Kaiyun as we take on overseas markets, including the U.S.,” Wang told Bloomberg. “We can make our Pickman as successful as the F-150.”

Now that’s a real stretch.

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About Author: Larry E. Hall

Larry E. Hall is the Editor-At-Large at Clean Fleet Report. His interest and passion for automobiles began at age 7, cleaning engine parts for his father, a fleet manager for a regional bakery. He has written about cars and the automobile industry for more than 25 years and has focused his attention on “green” cars and advanced technology vehicles. Larry’s articles have been published by Microsoft’s MSNBC.com and MSN Autos as their alternative vehicles correspondent, and is currently the Senior Editor at HybridCars.com. His work has appeared in metro and suburban newspapers as well as business publications and trade journals. He is the founding president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association and a member of the Motor Press Guild. Larry lives and drives in Olympia Wa. with his wife, Lynne, who shares his passion for cars.

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