HPAC Magazine

Shifting Gears, Slowly

More hybrid and electric options are joining the service vehicle line-ups, but if you want one today the choices are still limited.

July 12, 2022   By Jil McIntosh

Last year was an unusual one for the auto industry, as companies struggled with pandemic-related supply chain issues and, most notably, a shortage of microprocessor chips that stalled production. If you order a new vehicle, you may wait longer for delivery. It may also be missing certain features, such as heated seats, that dealers will retrofit once the chips come in. 

Many companies are bringing in electric work vehicles, and some are listed among the brands below. Electric options will bring down your fuel bills and cost less to maintain, but remember that their stated range is an estimate and cold weather reduces it, and you’ll have to install charging stations to keep them going. Following is a complete listing of your service truck and van choices for 2022.

Ford 

An all-new model for 2021, the F-150 receives only minor upgrades for 2022. New features include onboard scales, which can measure the payload weight, and Smart Hitch, which measures tongue weight. The 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel has been discontinued.

Cab choices are regular, supercab, and supercrew. Turbocharged engine choices, called EcoBoost, are a 2.7-litre V6 or 3.5-litre V6; non-turbo engines are a 3.3-litre V6 and 5.0-litre V8. The F-150 hybrid uses the turbo 3.5-litre, and automatically switches between gas, electricity, or a combination.

The newest F-150 is the all-electric Lightning. Depending on the model, it’s expected to have a range of 370 to 515 km on a charge, make up to 775 lb-ft of torque, and tow up to 10,000 lbs.

(F-150)

Super Duty models, the F-250, F-350 and F-450, receive minor upgrades for 2022, including an available 12-in. touchscreen, while King Ranch and Platinum trims come only with 4×4. Cab choices are regular, supercab and supercrew, and engine choices are a 6.2-litre V8, 7.3-litre V8, or 6.7-litre Power Stroke diesel that makes 1,050 lb-ft of torque.

(F-150 Lightning Pro)

(Transit Connect)

(E-Transit)

The full-size Transit van gets some new features, including an automatic idle shut-off with timer and new shelving options. It comes with two versions of a 3.5-litre V6, one turbocharged; with available crew van seating; and in three lengths and three roof heights. New this year is the E-Transit all-electric version. It has the same configurations and interior dimensions, gets approximately 203 km on a charge, and offers an available on-board generator.

The compact Transit Connect cargo van comes with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and can be ordered with a rear liftgate or cargo doors.

General Motors 

The mechanically-twinned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra receive a refresh for 2022, including new styling and interiors, new driver safety-assist technologies, 20% more torque on the 2.7-litre engine, and a 4,000-lb towing increase on diesel-equipped trucks to a maximum 13,300 lbs.

(Silverado)

Both brands are available in regular, double and crew cab. Engine choices are a 2.7-litre turbo four-cylinder; 5.3-litre V8; 6.2-litre V8; and 3.0-litre inline-six turbodiesel. The last-generation models are also being built as the lower-priced Silverado Limited and Sierra Limited. There will also be an all-electric Silverado by 2024. It will feature an integrated bed and “mid-gate” cargo bed extension, similar to the discontinued Chevrolet Avalanche.

(Savanna)

(Express)

The heavy-duty Silverado and Sierra are unchanged for 2022, and come in 2500 and 3500 configurations, in regular, double and crew cab. The two available engines are a 6.6-litre V8, or a 6.6-litre V8 Duramax turbodiesel that makes 910 lb-ft of torque. Available features include eight cameras, with hitch views and a “transparent trailer” view of what’s behind the trailer.

(Brightdrop)

The Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo vans come in 2500 or 3500 configurations, in regular or extended wheelbase. It’s a very old design and with no major updates for 2022, but it’s a proven vehicle and upfits can be easily moved from older versions. Available engines are a 4.3-litre V6, a 6.6-litre V8, or 2.8-litre Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel.

(Silverado EV)

(Sierra)

GM’s new BrightDrop division will produce all-electric delivery vans at its facility in Ontario. The EV600 light-duty van is expected to have a 400-km range and be available to order this year.

Mercedes-Benz

The full-size Sprinter comes with a choice of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine; a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine; or 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine. Available configurations are 2500, 3500, 3500XD heavy-duty, and 4500. The cargo version comes in three lengths, and with a standard or high roof. There’s also a five-passenger crew van, in high-roof and with two lengths.

Some models are available with all-wheel drive, which is updated for 2022. While the old system split the torque 35/65 front to rear, the new system varies the power distribution as needed for traction. There’s also a new Speed Delivery Door that automatically opens and closes when unloading, but it’s more suited for parcel delivery.

An electric eSprinter is sold in Europe, and it’s expected to be available in Canada in 2023 or 2024, built in the U.S.

(Sprinter)

(Metris)

The Metris is the only midsize cargo van in our market, and is unchanged for 2022. Available in two lengths, it uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with nine-speed automatic, and is rear-wheel-drive. The van can be optioned with a liftgate, or with a choice of dual cargo doors that open either 180 degrees or 270 degrees.

Ram

The Ram 1500 gets new trim packages for 2022 and options including an LED light that illuminates the hitch. The truck comes only in Quad or Crew Cab. Engine choices are a 3.6-litre V6, a 5.7-litre V8, or a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel. Standard on the gasoline V6, and optional on the V8, is a mild hybrid system called eTorque. The self-charging system adds electric torque on acceleration to improve fuel economy, but can’t run on its battery alone. Ram is planning an all-electric truck, expected to arrive for 2024.

The last-generation Ram from 2018 is still being built as the lower-cost 1500 Classic. It comes in regular, quad and crew cab, with 3.6-litre V6 or 5.7-litre V8 but without eTorque, and the diesel isn’t available.

(1500)

The Ram 2500 and 3500 come in regular, crew, or mega cab, which devotes most of its extra length to storage behind the rear seat. Updates for 2022 include an all-new infotainment system and an LED light for the trailer hitch. Engine choices are a 6.4-litre V8 or 6.7-litre Cummins turbodiesel, which makes 850 lb-ft of torque. The 3500 further offers a high-output 6.7-litre diesel that makes 1,075 lb-ft of torque. An optional rear air suspension levels the truck when it’s loaded.

3500 Heavy-Duty

Ram’s full-size ProMaster cargo van upgrades its six-speed automatic to a nine-speed for 2022, and adds a five-passenger crew van. New features include wireless phone connectivity and Wi-Fi capability.

The ProMaster uses a 3.6-litre V6 and is front-wheel-drive. That’s unique in the full-size segment and gives it a lower step-in height. It comes in 1500, 2500 and 3500 rating, with three wheelbase lengths, four body lengths, and two roof heights.

(Promaster)

(Promaster City)

The compact ProMaster City cargo van receives some new standard features for 2022, including driver’s-seat height and lumbar adjustment, cruise control, and backup sensors. It uses a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine and can tow up to 2,000 lbs.

Toyota 

The Toyota Tundra is an all-new model for 2022, with a fully-boxed frame and redesigned suspension. The “i-Force” uses a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6, while the “i-Force Max” adds a hybrid system. Both use a 10-speed automatic transmission, and the hybrid is self-charging and can run on its battery alone at lower speeds. Both engines are available in 4×2 or 4×4. Maximum towing is 12,000 lbs for the i-Force, and 11,170 lbs for the hybrid.

(Tundra)

The i-Force comes in double cab or crewmax, while the hybrid is crewmax only. Both come standard with driver-assist technologies including adaptive cruise control, emergency front braking, and lane-keeping assist.

Midsize trucks

While midsize trucks won’t handle the big jobs, they could be just right for lighter-duty such as service calls where a big truck isn’t necessary. There are a number of models to choose.

(Toyota Tacoma)

Ford’s midsize Ranger is unchanged for 2022, and uses a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine with standard 4×4. It’s available in supercab with six-foot bed, or supercrew with five-foot bed, and can tow up to 7,500 lbs. There’s also the all-new compact Maverick, with gasoline engine or hybrid powertrain, and while it’s intended primarily for consumers, some companies are successfully using it for business.

(GMC Canyon)

(Chevrolet Colorado)

General Motors offers the mechanically-twinned Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in extended cab, or in crew cab with two box lengths. Along with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder and 3.6-litre V6, these two trucks offer a 2.8-litre turbodiesel, and that gives you up to 7,700 lbs of towing capacity.

(Ford Maverick)

The Honda Ridgeline is also more consumer than commercial, but it’s still a very capable worker with its 3.5-litre V6 and standard all-wheel drive, and a dual-hinged tailgate that opens conventionally or sideways like a door, for easy access to cargo.

(Nissan Frontier)

Nissan has a new Frontier, its only truck now that the Titan has been discontinued in Canada. It comes in king cab or crew cab, with a 3.8-litre V6, standard 4×4, and a top towing capacity of 6,490 lbs.

(Toyota Tacoma)

The Toyota Tacoma comes in access cab or double cab, with 3.5-litre V6 and standard 4×4, and can tow up to 6,500 lbs.

Jil McIntosh is an automotive writer and reviewer with a specialty in trucks and commercial vehicles. McIntosh writes for several outlets and is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Her work can be found at WomanOnWheels.ca.

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