Electric pickup truck market in China is going through an unprecedented, and unexpected growth. Every automaker is scrambling to put a new model onto the market, mostly by adapting already existing gasoline or diesel-powered trucks. That can lead to - let’s say interesting solutions.
Dongfeng is bringing an electric pickup truck based on its diesel-powered sibling, the Rich 6. The truck itself is a double cab body on frame with room for five adults and load capacity of 905 kg. If you think the Dongfeng Rich 6 EV looks familiar, then you’re absolutely right - it essentially is the 3rd generation Nissan Navara.
The truck is nearly 5.3 meters long with the bed dimensions 1,510/1,562/474 mm. There is enough room to fit a Euro pallet and with the tailgate down, two of them will fit side by side. This being an electric vehicle, it ends up being dressed up with blue accents which is a common thing in China.
The Dongfeng Rich 6 is a workhorse, it isn’t designed to be comfortable or offer the latest tech on board. The interior is functional and made of cheap materials, there is a digital instrument cluster and the center information screen looks like a head unit from the late 90s but everything works as it should. Thanks to Baidu CarLife the unit has all imaginable connections and offers the Chinese equivalent of Apple CarPlay.
There are two versions available of the Rich 6 EV, unfortunately both offer only a single electric motor and rear-wheel drive. The first option comes with a 163 hp motor and 60 kWh LFP battery good for 350 km CLTC rated range. The stronger 177 hp motor is coupled with a 77 kWh LFP battery for a 453 km CLTC rated range.
For $40,000 you are getting a truck that should deliver on what’s expected from pickup trucks and it looks alright, especially in that bright yellow color. Providing you don’t look too close under the rear bumper. Because when you do, you may start asking questions and you may not like the answers.
The electric motor powering the Dongfeng 6 EV is bolted on directly to the rear differential. It’s not protected in any way and it kinda just hangs in there with high voltage cables being held by zip ties. What looks like grounding wire, is just hanging loosely from the bodywork and the whole setup looks like something done on a weekend afternoon while enjoying a couple of beers and good chat with friends.
Otherwise, if you can look past that detail, the truck is fine. It starts from RMB 269,800 or $39,100. The bigger battery version starts at RMB 329,800 or $47,800 which in fact is nearly $20,000 more than its diesel sibling. Ouch.