The market for electric pickup trucks is booming in China, with many car makers developing and launching new models. The latest addition to the segment is the updated Dongfeng Rich 6 EV, a rear-wheel drive body-on-frame double-cab electric pickup truck with five seats. The Rich 6 EV was first announced in 2020, but production and sales were limited due to the pandemic. The updated 2023 variant gets an additional powertrain and a lower price.
The Dongfeng Rich 6 EV is the electric variant of the petrol-powered Dongfeng Rich 6. It is available with a 158 hp 2.4 or a 163 hp 2.3-liter turbodiesel. Price ranges from 128,800 to 194,800 RMB (18,665 – 28,230 USD).
The Zhengzhou-Nissan joint venture manufactures the Dongfeng Rich. The largest shareholder in this rather complicated joint venture is Dongfeng Motors. The JV makes cars under the Dongfeng and Nissan brands. The Dongfeng Rich 6 is based on the third-generation Nissan Navara, also produced by the joint venture.
The Dongfeng Rich 6 EV is a large truck. Size: 5290/1850/1820, with a 3150 wheelbase. Size of the bed: 1510/1562/474. The maximum load capacity is 905 kilos.
Like many Chinese electric cars, the Rich 6 EV is dressed up with blue detailing.
The functional interior is a sea of cheap black and gray plastics with a few blue lines to liven things up. The steering wheel is a giant, typical for a workman-style pickup truck. It has a digital instrument panel and a basic infotainment system.
This looks like an after-market system from the mid-2000s. But it has Baidu CarLife.
The drive selector is located on the center tunnel.
Dongfeng sells two versions of the Rich 6 EV:
- Rear-wheel drive. Single motor with 163 hp and 420 Nm. 100 km/h top speed. 60 kWh LFP battery for a 350-kilometer CLTC range.
- Rear-wheel drive. Single motor with 177 hp and 450 Nm. 120 km/h top speed. 77 kWh LFP battery for a 453-kilometer CLTC range.
This second power train is all new. It is an additional option and does not replace the 163 hp version.
The rear bench is wide enough for three adults.
It is a nice-looking truck. The design is still fresh, even though the petrol version came on the market back in 2020. It has roof rails, a rack in the back, big bumpers, and wide wheel arches. But something odd is going on under the rear bumper. Let’s have a better look:
Is that an electric motor hanging out?
Yes, it is. The motor hangs low between the wheels, with thick wires sticking out as well. We have seen this kind of cheap construction on many cheap low-speed electric vehicles (LSEVs), but rarely on a mass-market pickup truck. I almost couldn’t believe it so I checked some other photos:
A white example at the dealer. Same thing.
Wow. That’s an awful lot of exposed machinery there. The entire motor is out of the car, and so is much of the electric wiring. The motor hangs far to the right, putting extra pressure on the old-school leaf-spring suspension. This doesn’t look safe at all. By the way, I do really like how they attached the mud flap to the leaf spring! That’ll save some money too.
Talking about money. The price of the Dongfeng Rich 6 EV ranges from 269,800 to 329,800 RMB (39,098 – 47,793 USD). That makes it an expensive car for what it is, especially in comparison with the ICE version, which costs 28,230 USD at the most. But it is still cheaper than it was. In 2020, Dongfeng said the 163 hp version would cost just under 300,000 yuan (43,380 USD).