In July 2021, the Dongfeng Warrior M50 pickup entered production in China as the civilian version of the reverse-engineered Humvee used for decades by the Chinese military. Half a year later, reports from local media suggest that Dongfeng is developing a fully electric variant of the Warrior, with production set to start in 2023.
According to Car News China, the vehicle is codenamed M18-1 and will be followed by the M18-2 and M18-3 variants. All of them will be reportedly based on Dongfeng’s new “MORV” electric platform for off-road vehicles. It is not clear how close it will be to the body-on-frame architecture of the Warrior M50, but the EV will allegedly measure 5,200 mm (204.7 inches) long, have a six-seater cabin, and weigh 3,100 kg (6,834 pounds). We also don’t know if Dongfeng will opt for an old-school boxy design approach similar to the M50, or try something fancier, bringing the EV closer to the rival GMC Hummer EV.
Dongfeng will allegedly equip the electric Warrior with a 140 kWh battery pack, allowing a rather optimistic 500 km (311-mile) range. The Chinese website mentioned a fast charging time of 27 minutes but we would take this with a pinch of salt.
The electric powertrain is said to produce as much as 1,073 hp (800 kW / 1,088 PS), allowing a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration in under 5 seconds. This would make the M18 significantly faster than its ICE-powered sibling that is fitted with the old 4.0-liter Cummings turbodiesel producing only 200 hp (149 kW / 203 PS). The EV truck is also rumored to get Level 2.5 autonomous capability using Dongfeng’s latest ADAS features.
The Chinese company has started building a new factory for the production of the M18 EVs. The annual production capacity will be 20,000 units initially, with plans on increasing it to 50,000 vehicles later on. Dongfeng is targeting a price range between ¥600,000-700,000 Chinese Yuan which is equal to $94,000-110,000. By comparison, the ICE-powered Dongfeng Warrior M50 starts from ¥668,800 ($105,140), while the significantly more modern GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 is selling for $112,595 in the U.S.