Geely will officially launch a 4WD version of its Radar RD6 electric pickup truck in the second quarter of this year. Originally launched as just a rear-wheel drive truck in November 2022 it is a rare breed.
There are few electric pickups available anywhere and most that are on sale are conversions of ICE vehicles like the Chinese Maxus T90 EV or as in the case of the Ford F150 Lightning heavily based on an ICE. The Radar is different being the first Chinese pickup designed from the ground up as an EV and unlike the Tesla Cybertruck it’s actually being delivered.
Geely seems almost to have as many brands as models and currently Radar just has the RD6 pickup for what’s positioned as a lifestyle brand. The RD6 rides on a dedicated EV platform for such vehicles, the Multiplex Attached Platform (MAP). This platform itself is derived from Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform as used by the Zeekr range, and the new electric Smart and Lotus cars.
Despite originally being rumored for the first half of last year the 4WD version finally seems set for launch. Speaking at Geely’s annual media conference Radar CEO Ling Shiquan said that it would now launch in the second quarter of 2024. Ling also gave details about the new version’s performance.
He claims that acceleration is in the same region as the Tesla Cybertruck and capable of around four second acceleration (0-100 km/h, 0-62 mph) while carrying hundreds of kilograms of cargo although he didn’t actually give a definite weight. Similarly Ling said that the 4WD RD6 had a wading depth which exceeded that of the Hummer EV (813 mm).
Currently the RD6 has a 200 kW motor powering the rear axle and is available with battery packs of 63 kWh, 86 kWh and 100 kWh which are good for ranges of 410 km, 550 km and 632 km respectively. As yet no details have been announced about the 4WD configuration but the battery packs are likely to be carried over and it is probable that like in the all-wheel drive Zeekr 001, the permanent magnet motor will simply be duplicated on the front axle. The platform can reportedly accommodate battery packs of up to 140 kWh and so it is possible that the 4WD version will come with a larger pack.
Crucially a big improvement over the existing 2WD version is the increase in payload, which will now be 865 kg up from 430 kg (400 kg in the 100 kWh version). Also up is the towing capacity, increasing from 2.5 to 3 tons. The pickup can power up to 6 kW of electrical items and has 12V 220V and 380V outlets in the truck bed. New to the 4WD version will be the ability to directly charge other EVs.
In 2023 Radar had a 61.5% share of the electric pickup truck market in China. In August the first RD6 pickups were exported most probably to Laos. Geely reports that exports to the South American market began in late 2023 and that it will expand the brand’s overseas expansion in 2023.