Atlis Is the Dark Horse Electric Truck Company Nobody Is Talking About

Atlis is making a modular electric work truck. But what is Atlis?
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Atlis Motor Vehicles has flown under the radar recently, but is making waves with its work-focused electric
pickup truck
.
Atlis founder and CEO Mark Hanchett saw an opportunity in the early 2010s when electric vehicle technology was starting to take off. Recognizing the potential for high torque and responsive traction control enabled by electric motors, Hanchett set out to create his
electric truck
brand with a focus on utility on the job site.
But where is the brand today?

Atlis makes electric trucks purpose-built for industry

What Hanchett ended up creating was the Atlis XT, a purpose-built electric pickup truck designed for the agriculture, utility and construction industries. 
The Atlis XT electric pickup looks vaguely like something out of a vaporwave music video, with sharp corners and scarce contours around the belt line with square-shaped light rings in the interior’s roof. Essentially, it looks like a futuristic work truck rendered on a Sony Playstation—which is not necessarily a bad thing.
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A modular work truck

The Atlis XT is based on the Atlis XP
skateboard platform
, which features a “plug-and-play” modular architecture that enables users to convert their vehicle from a pickup truck to a box truck to a flatbed. It’s also designed to be user-serviceable, meaning drivers aren’t forced to go to an authorized dealer or service technician to adjust their configuration.
Hanchett planned for his 500-mile-range pickup truck—which the company claims will charge to 100% in 15 minutes—to surpass the capability of others reaching the market while still staying affordable (around $45,000 MSRP). “[It] is going to be bigger than a Cybertruck and a Rivian; it’s going to be like that of an F-350, a big class 2 or 3 truck,” Hanchett said to
HotCars.com
.
The heavy-duty truck segment hasn’t been fully explored by more well-known automakers like Tesla, GM and
Ford
, which have all entered the electric light-duty pickup truck game with the
Cybertruck
,
Silverado
and
F-150 Lightning
, respectively.

Atlis started with a hobby and grew into a full-fledged car company

Before Hanchett formed Atlis in 2016, he served as a director at Axon, which is known for producing the tasers used by police around the world. When he realized the potential for electrifying pickup trucks, Hanchett tried his hand at replacing his own GMC pickup’s
diesel engine
with an electric powertrain.
As HotCars.com reports, this experience caused Hanchett to look at the direction the electric vehicle industry was headed, leading him to raise money to form Atlis. He told the publication that he views Atlis as a battery company first and a truck maker second.
In its latest move, Atlis recently announced a collaboration between it and Belgian automotive supplier VCST to support the truckmaker’s product development with VCST’s e-drive gearbox technology. The two companies note that this tech will increase the efficiency, range and performance of Atlis trucks.

A capable heavy-duty electric truck

The XT pickup will offer what Atlis is calling best-in-class towing of 17,000 lbs. with a hitch while using a
fifth wheel
and gooseneck will give users a max tow rating of 35,000 pounds. 
The XT will offer different configurations including service body upfits, 2-door or 4-door cabs, 6.5-foot and 8-foot beds with an option for dualies and towing capabilities of 10,000 lbs.,14,000 lbs. and 17,000 lbs.
XT owners will be able to choose from a 300-, 400- or 500-mile battery pack that ranges from 125kWh up to 250kWh capacity. The truck maker states its batteries will fully charge in 15 minutes using a 1.5 MW charging station.
No official release date has been set by Atlis, but production is slated to begin later in 2022.
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