Ask Nathan: Honda EV Pickup, Hyundai Santa Cruz Updates and Donkeys?

It’s not exactly a Honda EV pickup, but it could be. It is a Honda Ridgeline 2025 Pickup concept by Rohan Dhing

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will they build a Honda EV pickup truck?
  • Any Hyundai Santa Cruz updates?
  • Hauling my donkey?
Rohan Dhing

The first question comes from a Honda fan who wants to know if there will ever be a Honda EV pickup.

Q:  Greetings from Alberta!

Love all of your channels and you guys make learning about cars and trucks so fun! Speaking of trucks. I wanted to ask about my favorite car company Honda. I own a 2014 Ridgeline and it has nearly 100,000 kilometres on it. Still runs great!

I noticed that Honda builds a EV hatchback for the overseas market. Do you think it will ever come here? Also, do you think we will see a Honda EV pickup like my Ridgeline? I would love that!

Thanks Nathan and give Stephen our regards!

— Cooper M

Rohan Dhing

A: Hi Cooper!

Thanks for reaching out!

These concept images, which were created by Rohan Dhing, remind me of what the Honda EV pickup truck of the near future could look like. That’s because Honda now has quite a few years worth of experience building and selling the Ridgeline in the United States.

I think, an EV pickup could be based on a similar design. This is all based on guesswork and a little bit of logic. Honda has never stated a desire to build an EV pickup for our market.

The reason I think Honda will get into the EV pickup marker is simple: they just inked a partnership with General Motors to build EVs together. Two electric vehicles will be built at GM plants in the United States. These two vehicles will go on sale in North America in 2024.

Based on GM’s Ultium propulsion system, these vehicles will look uniquely like Honda products, but they will share much of their tech (including a version of Cadillac’s Super Cruse) when production begins.

This much power for a small EV? Doubt it.

This platform has the ability to hold 50 to 200 kwh. It can be front, rear or all-wheel drive (AWD) and has the potential of up to 1,000 horsepower.

The thing is, Honda already builds an excellent little EV – the Honda e has been lauded for its excellent driving dynamics, design and economy. Currently, Honda is looking at our market to see if it’s feasible to bring a version of the Honda e here.

With that in mind: what else would Honda want with a powerful EV platform here? The answer is simple, to build crossovers and pickup trucks, because that’s what Americans want.

What do you think? Will we see a Honda EV pickup come to market in the next few years? I think we will.

— N

Speaking of small pickups, the next question comes from a long suffering Hyundai fan. He wants Hyundai Santa Cruz updates.

Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen) Help me TFL! Need updates on the @Hyundai Santa Cruz!

I hear it’s coming then NOTHING! Not a word from my dealership or anything. The minute they go on sale, I’ll buy one! I promise Hyundai! But is there a chance they won’t build it now with COVID?

— TomKnock

A: Hi!

Yep, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is still coming. Hyundai announced (in November 2019) that they would build the Santa Cruz at its U.S. assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama. Since then, the facility has undergone a $410 million dollar expansion to accommodate this new vehicle.

We’ve seen lots of test vehicles running around that don’t look quite as slick as their 2015 concept, but it’s still a real thing – one that will be here soon. Production is still supposed to happen in 2021.

“Bringing the Santa Cruz to HMMA demonstrates that Hyundai Motor Company is confident our more than 3,000 team members are ready to build a quality crossover for the U.S. market.” We never were in doubt that it would be a unibody design like the Honda Ridgeline, but Hyundai is going one step further by saying its crossover creates a new segment “that successfully combines capability and utility to meet the unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers, especially millennials.”

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama president and CEO Byungjin Jin

You can read more details here.

I am looking forward to the Santa Cruz as well. We were not only one of the first outlets to cover the concept’s reveal on video, we got to talk to Hyundai’s people about our impressions. I hope they can undercut the Ridgeline’s price point by a noticeable margin.

I also feel that the Santa Cruz would fill part of the void left behind from the death of small pickup trucks. Let’s hope that all of this buildup was worth the wait!

Thanks for watching!

— N

The last question comes from a reader who wants a good van to haul her prized… uh, – – donkeys?

Q: Hi Nathan!

I have a Baudet du Poitou donkey and a Miniature Mediterranean donkey that I take all over country. We participate in Draft Horse, Mule & Donkey Shows, and it’s my favorite thing to do. My girls are sweet and very well behaived. But my miniature Lu is skittish in trailers and Bo, my Poitou, gets grumpy without Lu.

Lu is small enough to ride in a truck, but then Bo gets nasty and makes a real racket. Lu is a people person and gets lonely in a trailer, I think. It’d a real problem. They were raise together and they don’t like to spend time apart.

My sister suggested trying something other than a trailer. But my dad says that vans are not built to hold that much weight. Combined, my donkeys weigh about 1,200 pounds. I don’t think it’s too much, but I have no van experience.

I’ve watched lots of your van and truck videos. I don’t have a ton of money to work with and I probably want to reside in the van during shows. Do you think that a converted van will work with my little critters? Please let me know when you can.


— Emily

Nashville, TN

Popular in Europe, converted horse vans are staring to come to the U.S.
Image: Bloomfield Horse Boxes

A: Hi Emily

That’s a great – and unique – question.

I have no personal experience hauling large animals in vans; however, I did a bit of research. More importantly, I reached out to our resident farm guru Mr. Truck regarding suggestions. I have a few bits of info for you.

There appears to be two directions you could go. There is a company in the United States called that builds custom vehicles that would work well for your donkeys. They base their vans on the Ram Promaster platform, which is low to the ground and fairly efficient. These vans can hold two full size horses, easily doubling the weight you mentioned.

Their base price for a Regent One is $76,000. Aside from the price, you mentioned that the little donkey likes to be with people. The aforementioned vans have the driver and passengers isolated from the animals with a bulkhead wall. I don’t know if that would be an issue.

Quote the sage:

Mr. Truck says, “Country folks (haul) sheep, goats, miniature donkeys (in vans). But they need a bulk head behind the front seats. And Febreze.”

Mr. Truck – trailer, truck and farm animal whisperer

If that’s not quite right for you, there is the option of simply buying a van and converting it as needed. A high roof Ram ProMaster High-Roof 2500 starts at about $35,000. I would recommend the heavier-duty 2500 over the 1500 as it can hold up to 4,130 lbs.

Mr. Truck has mentioned that equine trailers are best with special floors that allow easy removal/drainage of waste. That’s something you would need to figure out along with camping out with your animals in a confined space.


There is one other possibility: a used toy-hauling RV.

Once again, it would require some modifications, but you would have a proper sleeping area for yourself. I don’t know of the holding area would work for your animals as there are a ton of different layouts.

I wish I had more information for you. Please let us know how it goes!


Speaking of RVs…