Ask Nathan: Future Electric Pickup Trucks, Compass vs Bronco Sport and What’s Up With TFL Commercials?

Is this the face of future electric pickup trucks? Image: Wolfgang LA

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Future electric pickup trucks might be awesome!
  • Jeep Compass vs Bronco Sport?
  • Why do you do commercials?

The first question/statement comes from a fan who thinks people should embrace future electric pickup trucks.

Wolfgang LA

Q: (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) People should be inspired by how cool future electric pickups could be!

Almost every website has people complaining about EVs before they even try them.

I liked your article on the hyundai EV pickup and I want to see these pickups roll out soon! People bellach about the power grid and the time loss charging. My Model Y is two years old and I power up at home. Oh and I have solar which nets me nearly zero monthly to run my house and charge my car. If we could see greater use of solar, maybe we could find a way to use less grid supply. Especially of that solar is on the car or truck! I hope that becomes more common.

  • YetiMan44
Wolfgang LA

A: Yes, solar has a lot of potential, but there are some downsides.

While I was researching your question, I found these renderings. It’s called the “Thundertruck” and it is a 800 hp EV pickup with a 400 mile range. What caught my eye was the image of a solar-enabled “Bat Wing Awning.” At first, I thought this could be deployed to power the vehicle’s main battery. Unfortunately, according to the company, it’s for charging accessories. If you’re off-grid, it can power kitchen components and whatnot.

There are other companies that have roof-mounted panels, but none of the big players currently have a solar roof option just for charging the main battery. Why? The easiest way to explain is with this amazing video.

On top of the limitations for power, the solar panel does degrade over time. Still, despite taking up to, or over a week to charge a large battery, it could still be useful. Imagine: you deploy a huge solar awning when you go off-grid and eventually recharge your vehicle. Provided that it’s sunny, and not too windy, or rainy – or… you get the point.

Back in November, Toyota mentioned a roof solar panel on their upcoming BZ4x. According to Toyota, it could add up to 1,118 miles of range in a year. This is supposed to be an optional component, but I haven’t seen it in practice. Still, that bodes well for proponents of using a solar roof. Considering 12,000 miles driving is considered an average per year, nearly 10-percent of that could be powered from the sun.

I’m sure we’ll see more solar on all EVs in the future.

By the way, you may have noticed the 6×6 wheel version. That is Wolfgang’s TT Range Extender, and it can be added to your 4×4 model to convert it to a 6×6. This one will have a 210 kWK battery pack and and make 940 hp with 1200 ft lbs of torque – with 560 miles of range.

Keep in mind: these are claims from Wolfgang LA, and there are no facts to back it up. With that being said, it would be pretty cool – right?

  • N

The next question comes from a fan who is comparing the Jeep Compass and the Ford Bronco Sport.

Q: Hey Nathan. I’ve always been a pretty big Jeep fan.

For a while now, I thought about buying one. I was looking at the Jeep Cherokee at first, but I think the price is a little too steep. I drove a lower level Jeep Compass as a rental and I kind of liked it. But I want something a little bit more off-road capable. I’m wondering if I should consider the Trailhawk version.

Then a friend of mine told me that the Ford Bronco Sport was better. I wonder if you can help me with this? Do you think the Ford Bronco Sport is superior? I’m thinking about buying sometime this summer. That’s if the prices become more realistic. 

When I configure these vehicles, the Jeep Compass Trailhawk and the Ford Bronco Sport headlights, they came out to about the same price. Ford is a little bit more and I was able to get a little bit more content with the Compass.

Which one do you think will be a better daily driver? And which one do you think would be better to take on light off-road trails? I know you reviewed the jeep compass Trailhawk off-road. Do you think it’s superior to the bronco sport?

Please let me know when you have a chance.

Always a fan, Denis

A: Next to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs. the Ford Bronco Wildtrak, the Compass Trailhawk vs. Bronco Sport Badlands are the closest. At least, in terms of capabilities.

The only two crossovers that come close to these two (off-road) would be the more docile Subaru Forester, and more expensive Range Rover Evoque. Both of which are not as rough-and-tumble as the Ford and Jeep. I love both of these vehicles, but they have different personalities.

Let’s look at the numbers for both crossovers:

2022 Jeep® Compass Trailhawk

Jeep Compass Trailhawk

Available with only one engine, the 2.4-liter, (non-turbo) four-cylinder makes 180 horsepower and 172 lbs-feet pf torque. Hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission, it’s rated at 25 mpg combined.

The Compass Trailhawk is equipped with the Jeep Active Drive Low 4X4 system. with a rear axle disconnect, brake lock differential and selec-terrain system. The selec-terrain system comes with driving modes that include snow, auto, sand, mud and rock. One thing that impresses is the Compass Trailhawk’s 20:1 crawl ratio.

Jeep’s Compass Trailhawk has 27.2 cubic feet of trunk space and a total cargo volume of 59.8 cubic feet behind the front seats. The Compass Trailhawk has an 8.5-inch ground clearance, a 30.3 degree approach angle, 24.4 breakover angle and a 33.6 degree departure angle.

A fully loaded Trailhawk came out to $39,725, on their website.

The all-new Bronco Sport Badlands series in Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat. (Pre-production model pictured.)

Ford Bronco Sport Badlands

In this trim, you get the beefy 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo that makes 249 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. It’s hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission and gets 23 mpg combined. There is a more efficient, but less powerful 1.5-liter engine available, but not in this trim.

With a twin-clutch rear drive unit, the Bronco Sport Badlands uses the G.O.A.T (Go Over Any Terrain) terrain management system. In the Badlands trim, the modes consists of sand, slippery, eco, normal, mud/ruts and rock crawl.

The Bronco Sport has 32.5 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats upright and 65.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Off-road, it has a 30.4-degree approach angle, 20.4-degree breakover angle and 33.1-degree departure angle. The Bronco Sport Badlands has a crawl ratio of 18:1.

A fully loaded Badlands came out to $40,435 on Ford’s website.

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk and Ford Bronco Sport Badlands are more capable than some truck-based SUVs. On top of that, they are easy to drive daily.

To simplify the numbers and the thin line that separates these two, the Jeep is less expensive and more comfortable. The Ford is faster, more youthful and slightly more maneuverable.

Which one would I get?

Normally, I would jump all over the Jeep – but the Ford Bronco Sport’s turbo 2.0-liter is just too damn awesome for me to deny. I think the Compass is a great package, one that’s a little more refined. At the end of the day, I always go to the vehicle that’s the most fun, and that would be the Bronco Sport.

Either way, they are both pretty sweet!

  • N

The last question comes from a viewer who wants to know why we do commercials.

Our awesome, and award winning Keep commercial. My brother awarded it “funniest commercial I’ve made in 2022.”
As such – it’s “award winning.” (Image: TFLcar)

Q: (From YouTube) Are you guys addicted to making useless commercials.

Sorry guys but you are adding commercials to every video and we all hate it. There’s no reason to make so many when you are obviously being paid by YouTube too.


A: Sorry, but we have to keep it up. Them boxes of Beluga Caviar won’t pay for themselves.

All kidding aside, we have to bring in revenue in order to keep the lights on. YouTube doesn’t pay much, and to keep eight channels, four websites, two podcasts and over 10 employees going – costs moola. We are fortunate that we have a ton of support with our Patreon supporters; which helps us expand, along with commercial support.

You have two options: click past the commercial, or stop watching. It’s up to you, but we have to keep bringing in the dough to make the videos.

— N

Thanks to all of our support, and those pesky commercials – we’re able to do stuff like this!