The off-roading vehicle market is increasingly crowded, but the new company Fering from Britain wants to break into the segment with the Pioneer. Unlike nearly every other rugged SUV on the market, this one packs a range-extended electric powertrain. The company predicts a range of up to an astonishing 3,780 miles (7,000 kilometres) between refuelling the tank and recharging the battery.
The Pioneer has an electric motor powering each axle, and they produce a total of 443 pound-feet (600 Newton-metres) of torque. By itself, the battery offers an electric-only range of around 50 miles. The pack uses lithium titanate oxide cells, which Fering reports are better in extreme weather conditions than the more common lithium-ion chemistry.
Gallery: Fering Pioneer
The range-extender is an 800cc three-cylinder that runs on biodiesel. Fering's announcement says a buyer needs to specify long-range fuel tanks to achieve the claimed, ultra-high range.
It's hard to get a good grasp of the Pioneer's proportions in photos. Fering reports that it is shorter than a Ford Mondeo Estate, which measures 4,867 millimetres (191.6 inches). For comparison, the new Ford Maverick pickup is 5,072 millimetres (199.7 inches) long.
The Pioneer has an aluminium spaceframe chassis, and the exterior has fabric panels to save weight. Fering says the material is easily replaceable and has better insulation than metal. The truck has a dry curb weight of around 1,500 kilograms (3,307 pounds). The claimed maximum payload is also 1,500 kilograms.
Fering already has a prototype Pioneer for testing. The company hopes to begin production in the first half of 2022. The brand intends the product to appeal to adventurers, explorers, and emergency services. Users could even use the range extender like a generator and power lights or other outdoor gear.
Ben Scott-Geddes is Fering's founder. He was formerly Director of Innovation, Body In White at Ferrari. He was also a member of the team responsible for the McLaren F1 and the BMW V12 LMR endurance race car.