Maxus T90 EV: an electric pick-up… are you sure?

At the outset, I apologize for the gross sexism in the following quote, for which there is no excuse, but only in the context that it was said by the great man of letters Dr. Johnson in the 17th century, and he was . A different time from the 1970s: “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog walking on its hind legs. It’s not done well; but you wonder if it’s done at all.” Is.”

Here’s how I feel about the Maxis T90, the first all-electric battery-powered pickup to appear on the UK market. It’s built in China by the giant Shanghai Automotive Group, and imported by Harris Motors, and it’s quite an impressive novelty. You see, the way battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are engineered, they’re generally poorly suited for towing, as some pickups traditionally should. BEVs are heavier than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, which means they have lower payloads, yet the way the weight is distributed around the BEV makes them slightly lighter at the front. can make

The extra weight also increases the load on the BEV’s brakes and suspension, reducing downforce. Since BEVs use a lot of regenerative energy from braking, a heavy load on the rear end can draw a lot of power back through the powertrain, which isn’t good for it either. Adding together means the vehicle’s stability can also be compromised. (These kinds of obstacles, writ large, are also partly why battery-electric lorries are taking so long to become viable). The Maxis is two-wheel drive only, and a low-slung electric motor/differential under the rear axle reduces ground clearance a bit.

(Sen O’Grady)

Of course, BEV manufacturers could build cars capable of towing but they would cost a lot to engineer, and the volume wouldn’t make it worthwhile – there aren’t many people who can tow a trailer or caravan. need of In the long run, this could be really bad news for small businesses and caravan enthusiasts.

But the Maxis can tow, albeit with “only” 750kg (a diesel Ford Ranger will happily tow 3,500kg) and a ton of payload in the back, qualifying it as a commercial vehicle and eligible for the usual tax breaks. makes With its reasonably comfortable four-door “double cab”, like other vehicles like the Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max, it’s a handy dual-purpose vehicle. The dog can walk!

(Sen O’Grady)

Another drawback is cost: at £50,000 or more, almost double the price of a budget SsangYong Musso. As with passenger cars, there is still a premium over ICE counterparts such as Ford, Toyota, Isuzu or SsangYong (the Maxus is a Europe-only BEV), and there is still no all-wheel drive option. You’d have to do a lot of mileage for the BEV Maxus to make pure commercial sense; But for large businesses with fleets, it can reduce their average CO2 emissions. (By the way, cardholders may be concerned to know that there is an MG-badged version in China too, the MG Extender DC 2.0X, with all-wheel drive and ICE).

So, like Dr. Johnson’s dog, it’s surprising that an electric pickup is made at all, although it’s not, in some cases, compared to its more established and familiar rivals with conventional petrol and diesel propulsion. Is. In the US, Ford produces the F150 Lightning, which is much larger and one you’ve seen Joe Biden look cool in, but it’s really ill-suited for European roads. The much popular and equally full-size Tesla Cybertruck is not yet available. An electric Ford Ranger is rumored. For now, Maxx has the field to himself. For that alone, it is respectable and deserves success.

(Sen O’Grady)

So let’s celebrate Maxis as a pioneer in the field of sensible, practical BEV production, and some well-deserved credit for rising to the challenge (and spotting the opportunity) and outgrowing the competition. I drove the Maxis T90 all over Ireland (Dublin to Mayo), with just a short top-up for safety’s sake – with proper maintenance, getting it into “eco” mode and stabilizing it, it’s possible. could Doing the whole trip on a full battery charge in motorway conditions – the 220 claimed range seems pretty credible. (It takes about 35 minutes to charge from 20 to 80 percent on a fast charger). The 88.5kWh battery pack and 174hp should be enough for most applications.

(Sen O’Grady)

It’s fair to say that the cabin lacks some of the frills you’d find in a Ford Ranger, but it has an accessible 10.5-inch screen that does most things right, though there’s no built-in satnav and you’ll need It must be ensured that the phone is compatible for connectivity. Like all electric vehicles, it has impressive performance, and perhaps a little too impressive as it can feel a little squishy with its high center of gravity and bouncy suspension meant to tow really heavy loads. The Progress is mostly as quiet as any BEV, with only an artificially generated low-speed screech to alert pedestrians of your presence. The lane departure warning beep is unnecessarily sensitive and intrusive and is best turned off. Some other warning sounds turned on and off a bit randomly.

(Sen O’Grady)

Much of the styling is typical pickup, and quite traditional, apart from the front treatment, with its large chrome grille and narrow headlamps. It looks big, bad and bold, but it’s a bit love it or hate it. If I were Maxis/Harris, I’d widen the range’s appeal and market an even more outrageous-looking version with a body kit, a larger row of spotlights above the cab, and wilder paintings. And also find a way to get a two-door cab with small steel wheels, a matte black grill and trim, and a suitably utility spec for environmentally conscious public forestry agencies and the like. Consumers like choice, after all.

As I say, my guess is that the main market for this Maxis will be individuals, companies and public agencies that need to go green and go green, and there is definitely a place for it. Before long, though, that location will be legally mandated, and you’ll be seeing a lot of them.

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