• 2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck

Another day, another company, another claim – but we are mighty impressed with this one

Atlis Motor Vehicles - Does this sound familiar? If you are a keen EV follower, you might remember this automaker as the one who “unrealistically” claimed that its battery can be charged from 0-100 percent in 12 minutes and 35 seconds. Although many people had laughed it off and questioned the company’s survival, Atlis is actually here with a fully electric truck - the 2020 XT Pickup.

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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In one word, this monster looks intimidating. Instead of playing it safe by opting for a design that will please all and offend none, Atlis decided to make the truck look quirky and bold; something that will draw polarising opinions. For a start-up that needs a strong customer base to establish itself for the long run, it feels as though Atlis is declaring a war on its rivals by going with this design language.

When viewed upfront, it looks like the truck has a face, and that’s it. The sides are literally invisible thanks to the boxy design language that Atlis has opted for. And, when we say invisible, we mean it.

The XT truck does not even have wing mirrors. Instead, Atlis decided to replace the wing mirrors with side cameras that project an HD video feed to displays located to the left and right sides of your steering wheel.

Complementing the slim LED headlights and daytime-running lights is a slim grille that features a very small ‘ATLIS’ badge. Below this is a pair of fake air vents and flat-black plastic that makes it stand out in a crowd. Although I did eek seeing the design the first time, I’ve got to say that this design has grown on me. There is a skid plate with fog lamps and two hooks that complete the front fascia.

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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The side is dominated by fat, beefy, off-road wheels that make it look like a rough-and-tough truck. The wheel wells and tires have a lot of space between them showing how high the XT’s body is raised. However, tire specs are not available at the moment. The boxy-design continues on the side, and ‘Atlis’ badging can be found on the fenders. The back of the XT pickup truck is comparatively plain-jane and features little more than tailights and an Atlas badge. We will talk about the flatbed storage details a little later.

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Interior

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Interior
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In terms of technology, the XT features a touchscreen display that controls most of the vehicles settings, climate-controls, and infotainment system. It supports both Apple Carplay as well as Android Auto. This is what Atlas has to say about their display - “The unique UI behind the wheel ensures the user is in complete control and allows for various customization. This creates a personal connection as you will be able to create an aesthetic you want.”

The interior can be customized to your desire and needs.

If you are looking for something luxurious, you can opt for leather seats and carpet floors.

If you need something that is durable and easy-on-the-pocket for rough-and-tough use, you can choose cloth seats and vinyl floors. The XT truck will be available in two cab configurations - 2+2 extended cab, or a four-door crew cab. The bed sizes offered will be either 6.5-feet or 8 feet long.

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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Adding to the overall cargo room available, there is space available in the front hood where a traditional truck engine would sit. Optional power outlets up to 240 volts and 40 amps can also be opted for depending on your needs. Heck, you can even get an air compressor built to blow up those air beds, clear out debris from the bed, or air up your tires.

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Safety

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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On the safety front, the Atlis XT truck offers up a pretty standard driver assistance package that includes:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Parking assistance
  • Lane keep assist
  • Backup camera
  • Corner peek cameras
  • Trailer hookup assist camera
  • Fifth wheel and gooseneck hookup assist camera
  • Forward-facing camera

The company will also provide updates for autonomous capabilities in the future but, as you can imagine, that’s still at least a few years down the road.

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Mechanical

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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The Atlis XT pickup truck is offered with a four-wheel drive system with independent traction motors at each wheel. This is quite similar to the system that Tesla will be offering on its semi-truck concept. In fact, the truck will also feature independent front and rear suspension.

Given that the towing load is rated at a mighty 35,000 pounds, the truck requires the ability to be leveled on demand.

To achieve this, Atlas decided to install air springs and independent rear suspension. This should counteract any squatting or poor ride quality when under heavy laad

Atlis will also be offering an optional long travel suspension with 15 inches of ground clearance to match the off-road packages provided by the competition, but this won’t be available on vehicles that are equipped to handle higher payload and towing capacities. The XT pickup truck will be offered in both single and dual rear wheel configurations, and when combined with the electric motors, Atlis aims to pull a 35,000-pound load up a six-percent grade at 65 mph.

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Performance

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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Talking about the XT's performance data, it can zoom from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds, before topping out at 120 miles per hour.

These figures may not be class-leading, but they are not mediocre in any way. But if performance is your criteria, you should look at the Rivian RT1 that can sprint to 60 mph in three seconds flat. However, if you decide to test the strength and agility of the XT truck, it can speed to 60 mph from a standstill with its maximum gross combination weight rating in 18 seconds. Pretty cool, huh?

Towing And Hauling Capacity

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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Now, let’s talk about the 2020 Atlis XT Pickup truck’s most impressive feature - the Towing and Hauling capacity.

Atlis claims that the XT truck will have a maximum trailer towing capability of 20,000 pounds, and a maximum fifth wheel and gooseneck towing capability of 35,000 pounds.

How about you lie down and take a minute to let that sink in. To put things into perspective, you could tow a Navy ship anchor down the interstate here. And, it beats the hell out of the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Ram 1500, all of which boast a maximum towing capacity of 14,500, 13,200, and 10,760 pounds, respectively. The maximum payload capacity is a decent 5,000 pounds.

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Battery

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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Mark Hanchett, CEO of Atlis Motor Vehicles, had initially said this about the truck’s USP, “We have completed preliminary testing of our prototype battery pack with fast charging capabilities, and we’re proud to announce that we did better than expected. We beat our charge time by 2 minutes and 25 seconds by charging a 3 kWh pack to full in 12 minutes 35 seconds. This was the key to proving our technology – recharge times for batteries is still one of the largest obstacles to wider adoption of electric vehicles.”

This is the aspect that grabbed everyone’s eyeballs when Atlis announced itself to the world and is also the most important to most EV buyers.

If you charge the batteries with the company’s Advanced Charging Station, you can charge the XT truck in just 15 minutes.

Even though the 12-odd minute mark was not achieved, this is very close to the company’s initial claim. The company will be offering the truck in various configurations with total range falling between 300 and 500 miles per charge, all based on unloaded trucks with no cargo or trailer, of course. We are hoping for Atlis to throw more light on this soon. Of course, you can charge the XT truck at other charging stations as well, but it will take longer to charge the battery pack.

Our Take

2020 Atlis XT Electric Truck Exterior
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The EV industry has a lot of start-ups who wish to make it big like Tesla. Up until now, Rivian looked like a threat and perhaps even the next big thing; but now that Faraday is (maybe) back on its feet and Atlis throwing its hat with a capable pickup truck, things are getting heated. Even though it sounds ridiculous, given that they will go head-on against not just Tesla, but also established, mainstream automakers, these companies have left us spell-bound.

Coming back to Atlis, this start-up claimed a ridiculous charging time and featured in the headlines a few months back, and now, they are here with a proper prototype on offer. Do things look promising? Definitely. It all boils down to how the automaker decides to price the XT truck and provide after-sales services. And, the company needs to prove that it can live up to its claims! Given the numbers, stats, and specifications the XT pickup truck offers, we would not be surprised if the price touches six figure. But if it wants to take on the upcoming and highly impressive Rivian RT1 truck, and propose itself as a value-for-money truck (which we doubt it will), it needs to come with a price tag of nothing more than $90,000.

Which feature of the 2020 Atlis XT Pickup Truck do you find the most impressive, and feature the worse? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • Still a fairly unknown brand
    • Not a road-runner by any chance
    • Will certainly be priced at a premium

Further reading

The 2020 Rivian R1T Electric Truck Middle Fingers Tesla with a 3-Second Sprint to 60 mph and 400 Mile Range Exterior
- image 806396

Read our full review on the 2020 Rivian R1T Pickup.

2021 Tesla Cybertruck Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 682271

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Tesla Pickup.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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