Big and Bold – Maxus gets tough with T90 pick-up

I have always thought that the pick-up is probably the most complete vehicle you could imagine – the only car you’ll ever need’, sort of thing – to borrow a phrase, reports Export & Freight’s Austin Lynch.

You have that extra height which makes you feel you are both safe and secure with a commanding view of the road, and other road users around you.

And you also have the practicality to carry loads that no other car could contemplate – without sacrificing the comfort and equipment levels of a car.

With many versions having crew cab configuration – with seating for up to 5 people, and four-wheel drive there is nothing more you could ask of a vehicle.

But how about one that doesn’t use any fuel?

Enter the Maxus T90EV – the new fully electric pick-up truck from those new guys at Maxus. Well, they are not new – but new to the UK and Ireland market in the last four years or so.

We should all be getting used to electric vehicles entering almost every sector of the automotive industry, but this was honestly the first time I realized there was a completely electric pick-up. And a very good looking one it is too!

Thanks to Mark Barrett and the people at Harris Group I recently had the opportunity to take one of these vehicles out for a test drive, and to say I was impressed would be an understatement.

This is a big, impressive looking pick-up with smart strip LED run lights at the front and attractive lines right the way around. Put it this way – this new kid on the block is not going to get teased in the playground on its looks.

So, what about when you get inside??

Well, things just keep getting better as you climb aboard this substantial vehicle, and take your seat in its very comfortable – bordering on luxurious – interior.

I have to make a confession at this point. This was the first fully electric vehicle I have driven. During the same trip to Liverpool I also drove the brand new eDeliver7 van from Maxus – details of which you can find elsewhere in this issue.

I have driven hybrids before, and diesels and petrol powered vehicles aplenty, but never have I put the pedal to the metal in a vehicle without one of them engine thingys under the bonnet.

It was simple enough to be honest– press the brake, turn the key, wait for it to say ‘Ready’, then put it in ‘D’ and you are good to go.

Any misgivings I might have had about being in an all-electric vehicle were about to be dispelled. As there are no gears to worry about, you just put the foot down and you’re away, and you quickly realize you are in a very powerful vehicle that could go anywhere.

The model I drove is the T90 EV 88.55kWh, with a 198 mile range and a 150KW motor driving the rear wheels.

During my half hour test drive, two words kept coming into my head – smooth and powerful.

Sitting in a big pick-up, you normally expect to hear a big roar from the engine when you plant the throttle. Obviously, this is missing completely here, but after a few minutes, and a bit of driving, you soon get used to the quiet (it’s much easier to hear the music on the digital radio).

It also took me a while to get used to the regenerative braking. In an electric vehicle, when you lift off the gas it slows down by itself much more than a petrol or diesel ever would. But again, you very quickly get used to this trait – something we will all be getting used to sooner rather than later I am starting to believe…

This version is not a four-wheel drive vehicle, but I understand that is coming. But unless you intend to drive through the muddiest fields, or halfway up the nearest mountain I think this new Maxus will be up the task. To my mind it certainly ticks all the boxes for anyone in the market for a pick-up who is tired of diesel and is willing to try something new and exciting.

In terms of equipment, the dash is all digital, with a normal speedometer and a power use gauge/dial where a standard rev counter would be telling you how much power you are using at any time, with a 10.25 inch digital touch screen instrument cluster giving you access to all the tech onboard this vehicle.

And in the middle of the drivers dials you have the all-important ‘range’, which didn’t reduce too much during my half hour.

Maxus is a new name to many in this part of the world, but expect to start seeing a lot more of these vehicles on the roads here very soon.