Fabric-bodied hybrid pickup can go 4,350 miles between fill-ups

Here’s one way to reduce electric vehicle range anxiety. The fabric-bodied Fering Pioneer is built on an aluminum space frame chassis. (Fering) A new plug-in hybrid off-road pickup being developed in the U.K. will be available in a version that can travel 7,000 kilometers, or 4,350 miles between fill-ups. The Fering Pioneer features a fully independent suspension system. (Fering) The Fering Pioneer is a 4×4 series hybrid driven by a pair of electric motors that draw power from either a small battery pack that’s good for 50 miles of all-electric driving, or an 800 cc three-cylinder diesel generator that allows it to get 42 mpg and provide off-the-grid power for equipment. This design rendering offers a look at the style of the production truck. (Fering) The vehicle is about the same length as a midsize SUV, but weighs just 3,300 pounds thanks to an aluminum frame skinned with the kind of fabric material typically used for hiking boots, which the company says is resistant to damage and easy to repair. It’s creators are applying lessons learned from their backgrounds in auto racing, aeronautics and supercar design.

Fering says the Pioneer’s motors provide a maximum of 443 lb-ft of torque, which is similar to a V8, and that it rides on global standard 22.5-inch commercial truck wheels to make replacements easy to find just about anywhere. A long-range tank option will provide the maximum range, but the space can be used for water tanks instead.

The vehicle is being targeted at a niche market that includes overland adventurers, rescue crews, research expeditions and commercial customers operating in remote areas and comes at an exotic price of £150,000 ($206,000). Fering said it expects to build 150-200 annually starting next year.

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