With the electric revolution upon us, solar power can often seem like an afterthought in the auto industry, relegated to quirky student-design projects. But Wolfgang LA, a creative agency in, yes, Los Angeles, aims to change that with a new electric, all-terrain pickup concept.
Meet the Thundertruck, a battery-powered 4×4 that looks like something out of a sci-fi flick—and a would-be rival to the Cybertruck. Unlike the Tesla, though, this EV truck incorporates solar power directly into its design: A solar-enabled “Bat Wing Awning” expands above the truck to capture the sun’s rays and power accessories like a built-in induction stove, fridge and, of course, the A/C. You can also use it to keep your satellite phone charged when you’re off grid.
The retractable solar awning would, in theory, free up the EV’s 180kWk battery to power its substantial mill. That’s no small feat. According to the agency, the Thundertruck will feature a dual motor drivetrain that makes 800 hp with 800 ft-lbs of torque. The setup would propel the truck from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, despite its hefty 6,120 pounds. The EV will also have a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds and a cargo bed with up to six feet of space. That kind of payload has the potential to drain power and range. Nevertheless, Wolfgang claims the truck will be able to travel 400 miles on a single charge, a figure that would immediately place it among the market leaders. If true, of course.
Aside from its solar super power, the Thundertruck is designed to be a fully fledged all-terrain vehicle. Like the Cybertruck, the body is decidedly geometric, eschewing curves for angular lines. In renders, the EVs exterior is sleek and black, which allows those blue light-emitting headlights to pop. And because this vehicle is made for overlanding, it comes equipped with extendable loading ramps in the rear for two- to four-wheel bikes.
The noir theme continues inside. The studio hasn’t revealed many details about the cabin, but the renders show a monochrome interior with “head up” holographic instrumentation displays that project your speed, temperature and fuel levels onto the windshield so you can keep your eyes on the road—or lack thereof. There’s also a sizable touchscreen to the side of steering wheel, which would likely control the infotainment system.
For those who crave even more power, Wolfgang’s TT Range Extender can be added to your 4×4 model to transform it into a beastly 6×6. The larger model promises an even more robust 560 miles of range, operates on a bigger 210 kWK battery pack and delivers more grunt, too—a whopping 940 hp with 1200 ft lbs of torque. All that with an expanded 10-foot cargo bed.
The downside is, of course, that the Thundertruck is only a concept at this point—and, notably, not one by an established automaker. Wolfgang LA founders—Mike Geiger, Seema Miller, and Colin Jeffery—point out that they have all partnered with carmakers like BMW, Kia and Chevrolet before starting the agency. Will that translate into a full production version of the Thundertruck? We, for one, hope it does.