Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Maxus T90EV pickup review

"The Maxus T90EV is the first electric pickup truck to arrive in the UK but it’s not likely to take the market by storm"

Carbuyer Rating

3.3 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review

Pros

  • Well equipped
  • Modern-looking interior
  • Potentially low running costs

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • No four-wheel drive
  • Poor towing capacity

Verdict - Is the Maxus T90EV a good truck?

Pickup trucks are almost all diesel-only, as that fuel type is ideal for commercial vehicles that need to be able to fill up quickly and be used all day, every day for towing, carrying heavy loads and off-roading on farms and construction sites. For these reasons, electric power has limited appeal, and for now the Maxus T90EV is your only option if you want an electric pickup. It can’t compete with the diesel establishment in the key areas of towing and off-roading, though, nor can it carry as much or as far. All this combined with a very high list price means the T90EV is hard to recommend.

Maxus T90EV models, specs and alternatives

The Maxus T90EV is the first all-electric pickup to go on sale in the UK. It’s a similar size to other models such as the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux, and is based on a truck sold in China, Thailand and Pakistan by Maxus’ parent brand, SAIC (the Chinese owner of MG and Maxus here in the UK). Here, however, the diesel engine has been removed and electric power put in its place.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Unlike virtually all other trucks here, the T90EV is rear-wheel drive only. This is because the battery pack is installed where the four-wheel drive system would be, and there’s simply an electric motor on the rear wheels – you can even see it from the back, poking out under the truck. This means it omits one of the key selling points of many trucks, that they are good off road.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Maxus uses a 88.6kWh battery pack, allowing a range of 205 miles on a single charge. This will be enough for some people and could be good for trucks based on a single site, such as a small farm, where it can be charged up overnight as well. It takes about 13 hours to charge to full on a typical wallbox charger (at 7kW), or 45 minutes at a public rapid charger (going from 20 to 80 per cent).

It’s easy to drive thanks to the nature of electric power – there are no gears, and thanks to the punchy motor (with 201bhp and 310Nm of torque) performance is good. However, it’s rather bouncy and uncomfortable and the steering is unpleasant to use.

The Maxus has a modern-feeling interior with nice-looking materials and a 10.25-inch touchscreen display on the dashboard. It includes Bluetooth and a reversing camera, so the T90EV is pretty well-equipped. However, you’d expect that of a truck costing around £50,000 excluding VAT.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s far more expensive than equivalent diesel trucks and it’s missing most of their key selling points including four-wheel drive, a decent towing capacity (only 1,000kg in the T90EV) and high ground clearance.

Range, charging & running costs

“Could be very cheap to run for some, but will need to fit your work schedule”

The Maxus T90EV was converted to be an electric truck from a diesel model, so under the bonnet there’s an odd empty space with a load of electrical parts. The 88.6kWh battery then sits under the floor where the mechanical parts for the four-wheel drive system would be. Finally there’s an electric motor at the rear that drives the wheels.
You can expect about 205 miles on a single charge according to the official figures, although as the T90EV is a working vehicle it’s likely to be quite a bit less if you are making use of its payload capacity. The more you carry, the lower the range figure will be, so you’ll be limited to a fairly small daily usage. That said, if you mainly do slow, low-speed stuff, this could work for some buyers who can keep it charging when not in use.

It takes 13 hours to charge at a 7kW wallbox charger according to Maxus, or nine hours if your work site has access to a faster 11kW charge point. Rapid charging is available too, and it takes 45 minutes to charge from 20 to 80 per cent, which could be useful on occasional longer trips.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Pickups are almost universally diesel-powered and this still makes the most sense for the vast majority of commercial pickup users. However if you’re a private buyer who is desperate for an electric truck, or a business with specific and limited usage, it could save some money on running costs. There’s still the matter of the asking price, though – it’s more expensive than other normal trucks so you’ll need to factor that in as well.

Model 

Battery size

Range

Maxus T90EV pickup88.6kWh205 miles

Electric motor, drive & performance

“The T90EV is quieter than almost all other trucks, but not very comfortable”

The Maxus T90EV uses a rear-mounted electric motor with 201bhp and 310Nm of torque. This is pretty similar to what you get in normal diesel trucks – the Ford Ranger, for example, uses a 210bhp 2.0-litre engine. The electric motor in the Maxus feels very different to drive than a diesel engine, though.

For example, all of the motor’s performance is available instantly, so getting up to speed is easier and quicker, though performance trails off as you start to go faster. It’s also super quiet, especially since we’re used to very noisy, rattly diesel engines in pickup trucks like this. Wind and road noise are on par with rival models, but it’s quieter overall since there’s no engine chugging away in the background.

The Maxus still feels very much like a truck in that it’s big and heavy, so rolls a lot in corners and the steering is numb and unpleasant to use; having to make constant corrections to keep the T90EV going in a straight line can be quite tiresome. We also found the suspension to be very bouncy and uncomfortable in the way most trucks are when unladen – yet the T90EV is always laden in a way, since it carries a heavy battery at all times.

Interior & comfort

“The T90EV is really quiet and has plenty of kit, but feels spartan considering the high price”

The Maxus T90EV is a double-cab pickup with a typical truck-like interior – it’s functional and hard-wearing rather than luxurious. However, as it costs around £50,000 to buy – significantly more than other trucks – expectations are inevitably higher, and it’s a bit disappointing as a result. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The dashboard has a modern look and uses a 10.25-inch screen for all the main functions, including smartphone connectivity. The climate controls are separated from the screen with a panel just below, but they’re touch-sensitive rather than using dials and knobs, which is a pain when wearing gloves (as people who drive trucks often do). You’ll have to take them off to adjust the settings.

There’s a spot for your phone and a USB charging port, plus some storage areas around the cabin. The fake leather seats feel hard-wearing, and there’s a decent amount of space for passengers inside. There are also three-pin sockets, which are pretty useful.

Heated front seats are available as an optional extra, as they aren’t standard-fit. A reversing camera, parking sensors, automatic windscreen wipers, LED lights and air-conditioning are all included, though we would expect more for a truck costing this much.

Practicality & load space

“The T90EV’s poor towing capacity is a key factor, but payload is decent enough”

The Maxus T90EV is about the same size as other trucks in the UK such as a Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux. It’s a double-cab only and features a relatively modern-looking cabin, although the materials seem to be hard-wearing in the way most pickup trucks’ interiors are.

Some drivers will find the lack of adjustment on the steering wheel a bit uncomfortable, but there’s a decent amount of space in the cabin for passengers. The rear seats are rather upright, but there are sockets for charging USB devices and even three-pin outlets that use the large battery for power, which could come in handy.

Size

The T90EV is 5,365mm long, 1,900mm wide and 1,809mm tall, so it’s about the same size as a Toyota Hilux. The load bay measures at 1,485mm by 1,510mm and is 530mm deep, which is a little smaller than you get in the Toyota. It uses a typical tough plastic-lined load bay and there are accessories available to cover it and protect your carried items. 

Size comparison

Model 

Length

Width

Height

Maxus T90EV 5,365mm1,900mm1,809mm
Ford Ranger 5,282mm1,977mm1,815mm
Toyota Hilux5,330mm1,855mm1,815mm

Payload and towing capacity

The heavy battery in the T90EV means that the truck weighs 2.3 tonnes when unladen, but thankfully it is still capable of a 1,000kg payload capacity, which is what most people will expect of a pickup truck like this.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Towing capacity is pretty poor, though. Most trucks are capable of towing the maximum 3,500kg permitted by law, but the T90EV is only able to pull 1,000kg with a braked trailer. This is less than many normal cars and SUVs, and since towing is a huge part of why many choose a truck over a car or van, this is a rather large blot on its record.

Towing comparison

Model 

Max capacity

Maxus T90EV1,000kg
Ford Ranger3,500kg
Toyota Hilux3,500kg

Reliability & safety

“Maxus offers a decent five-year warranty, but reliability is hard to predict”

The Maxus brand came to the UK when it acquired LDV, or Leyland DAF for those old enough to remember. However, despite being a young brand, there are around 60 dealers (Harris Group) that will be able to look after your T90EV. That said, it’s nowhere near as much of a sure-fire bet in terms of reliability as something like a Toyota Hilux.

Still, you do get a five-year warranty as standard with all Maxus models, which is pretty good, and the fact the truck is fully electric should mean there are fewer problems. There aren’t as many moving parts in an electric motor and there’s less potential for catastrophic failure. Since it’s based on a normal truck the other areas that could go wrong like suspension and brakes aren’t too difficult to get sorted, either. 

Safety

Safety features are rather poor here, especially next to the Toyota Hilux. The T90EV comes with a reversing camera, parking sensors at the rear only, six airbags and Isofix, but not much else in terms of safety. The Hilux comes with more modern tech including seatbelt pretensioners, emergency brake assist, hill start assist and more. Plus, the T90EV is rear-wheel drive only and very heavy at 2.3 tonnes, so it’s much less dependable and safe to use off-road than four-wheel drive rivals with tech such as downhill assist.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Top 6 best pickup trucks 2024
Best pickup trucks
Best cars
8 Jan 2024

Top 6 best pickup trucks 2024

Ford Ranger pickup review
Best Pickup: Ford Ranger
In-depth reviews
28 Nov 2023

Ford Ranger pickup review

Toyota Hilux GR Sport II is a Dakar Rally-inspired pickup
Toyota Hilux GR Sport II
News
17 Oct 2023

Toyota Hilux GR Sport II is a Dakar Rally-inspired pickup

Toyota Hilux pickup review
Toyota Hilux
In-depth reviews
5 Sep 2023

Toyota Hilux pickup review

Have You Considered

Ford Ranger Wildtrak review
Road tests
5 Oct 2018

Ford Ranger Wildtrak review

Ford Ranger Wildtrak
Car trim reviews
27 Feb 2015

Ford Ranger Wildtrak

Most Popular

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed
Alpine A290 front quarter
News
13 Jun 2024

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

More on T90EV

Top 6 best pickup trucks 2024
Best pickup trucks
Best cars
8 Jan 2024

Top 6 best pickup trucks 2024

A good pickup truck must be capable, reliable and practical; we list six of the best pickups you can buy

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024