This electric pickup has been on our radar for a while now.
Geely has teased the first vehicle from its new commercial vehicle spin-off brand called Radar, which is expected to debut sometime this month.
The new brand is expected to sell battery-electric vehicles.
Dubbed the “pickup truck” for now, the Chinese automotive company has shown off a camouflaged prototype in a set of four images uploaded to its Twitter account.
At this stage we don’t know what electric powertrain setup this Radar pickup will receive, nor what battery or claimed range it’ll have.
Geely did say in response to someone asking if the Radar pickup is a battery-electric vehicle on Twitter that more is coming soon and to stay tuned.
Overseas rumours have pointed toward this electric pickup being built on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform that can support single-, dual- or tri-motor electric powertrains, as well as range extender options.
SEA will support over-the-air updates and autonomous driving technology, with Geely claiming it’ll offer a maximum range of over 700km using the more lenient NEDC standard.
We first caught wind of this new brand back in November 2021 when The Financial Associated Press reported Geely was looking at creating another spin-off brand from its Geely Commercial Vehicle division that’ll produce premium electric commercial vehicles.
Geely was reportedly benchmarking the mid-sized Rivian R1T all-electric pickup.
Chinese outlet NetEase Auto also reported Geely filed trademark applications for Radar in December 2021 and April 2022, with the slogan “a new and diversified outdoor lifestyle”.
Recently, the Radar electric pickup was leaked in a set of patent images.
Geely is said to have invested 2.42 billion yuan ($A530 million) in a new manufacturing facility in Shandong Province, and the new Shondong Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd will reportedly focus on research, development, manufacturing and sales of mid-to-high-end pure-electric pickup trucks.
Geely currently sells only one pickup, the unusual Farizon FX, which is based on the Geely Boyue crossover and features unibody construction.
The pickup body style is becoming increasingly popular in urban China.
While much attention has been lavished on full-sized electric pickups like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Tesla Cybertruck from the US, Chinese brands have been making headway in the mid-sized EV pickup market.
LDV has an electric version of its T60 ute in China, which is going on sale in New Zealand in late 2022, and Nissan’s joint-venture partner Dongfeng has introduced a Navara-based electric ute called the Rich 6 EV.
While Geely has produced EVs under many of its brands, including Volvo and Polestar, it hasn’t produced an electric pickup before.
It did recently reveal an electric semi-truck concept called the Homtruck, however, which is slated for a 2024 launch.
The Chinese conglomerate also owns London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), which produces an electrified version of the iconic London taxi as well as electric commercial and camper vans.
Its TX taxi and VN5 commercial vans both come with a 1.5-litre petrol range extender engine for when the battery runs out.
Large Chinese automakers are known for rolling out a plethora of brands, and Radar would be the latest for Geely after EV brands Geometry (launched in 2019) and Zeekr (2021).
Zeekr is its premium electric vehicle brand, and its only model so far – the 001 – uses Geely’s new SEA platform.
In addition to rolling out this new platform, Geely is aiming to have 5000 battery swapping stations across China by 2025.
Known as E-Energee, the battery-swapping service revealed at the 2021 Wuzhen Internet Conference allows EV owners to swap their existing battery for a fresh one in 59 seconds.