Electric pick-ups are in fashion, there is no doubt. The latest to join this trend is the Chinese group Geely Holdingsowner among other brands of Volvo Cars, which has just introduced a new electric pick-up under a new brand of electric vehicles called Radar Auto.
This is the Radar RD6, the first model of a newborn brand focused on vehicles for leisure and recreation far from urban areas. Among the future range of this brand will be pick-ups, SUVs and even ATVs. All of them will be built on the SEA platform (Sustainable Experience Architecture) by Geely, specifically for electric vehicles. That is, it will be a purely electrical brand.
The SEA platform will actually have five variants: SEA Entry, SEA1, SEA2, SEA Sport and SEA Commercial. It is a modular architecture that makes it possible to have vehicles of many different segments, sizes and types. This platform is the same used by the new Smart #1, which will be used by the future Volvo XC20 Recharge (the electric SUV smaller than Volvo) and also models from Lynk & Co, Zeekr or Polestar, all of them brands belonging to the Geely group.
Geely has said that the Radar RD6 will be offered with single motor and twin motor versions, although it has not announced the specifications. According to the Chinese press, versions between 200 and 400 horsepower will be offered with a range of up to 600 kilometers in the CLTC cycle. However, we insist, Geely has not confirmed any of these specifications.
The use of a specific platform for electric vehicles has made it possible to optimize space, offering, for example, a second trunk under the front hood, and bidirectional loading capacity. In the rear cargo drawer there are several power outlets into which different utensils or power tools can be plugged. The RD6, designed by Peter Horbury, is “similar in size” to the Toyota Hilux.
It is curious that Geely has chosen to launch an electric pick-up in China, given the small market volume that this type of vehicle represents. Only 2% of cars sold in China in 2021 were pick-ups. In fact, in many cities their circulation is prohibited (although some cities do allow their access to certain areas). However, there is a reason behind all this and that is the pick-up segment is growing at a faster rate than sedans and even SUVs.
In addition, more and more Chinese citizens are seeking outdoor activities away from cities. According to Ling Shiquan, CEO of Radar Auto, “More and more people are seeking a healthy lifestyle with more outdoor activities, while governments are also relaxing restrictions on pickup trucks in cities. These changes are supporting the growth of pick-ups.” So much so that Radar Auto will launch a lifestyle sub-brand ‘Radar Weekends’ “to create a fun and diverse outdoor ecosystem.” Among other things, it will create together with NatureHike a variety of camping accessories outdoors built into their vehicles.
Geely will start production and deliveries of the Radar RD6 in China in the fourth quarter of this year. At the moment its price is not known or if it will arrive in Europe, although it does not seem likely. Radar Auto CEO Ling Shiquan did tell Reuters that the company is considering selling it in other markets in Southeast Asia and may also try to bring the model to the United States, the world’s largest pickup market.