For the next couple weeks, you could try to win an electrified first-generation Bronco in Big League Impact's charity sweepstakes.
Car and Driver / Ezra Dyer / Jun 1, 2020
You say you want to own an electric first-generation Bronco, but you don't have $265,000 sitting around to commission one from Gateway Bronco in Illinois? Well, you could try to win one, via a charity sweepstakes to benefit Big League Impact, an anti-poverty organization founded by Saint Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright. Through June 17, you can toss your hat (and some money) into the ring for the chance to park an electric 1968 Ford Bronco in your driveway. Winners also get the applicable taxes paid, plus $20,000 in cash. Which would certainly help offset your electric bill for a while.
These kinds of charity sweepstakes aren't a new idea, but in this case the desirability of the prize is certainly goosing the interest. "It's already been a runaway success," says Gateway founder Seth Burgett. "We have three electric Broncos in production now, and we think we'll have many more going forward."
The one pictured here is actually the first electric Bronco that Gateway built, and not the one being given away. That truck, a 1968 that started out as a six-cylinder, is mostly ready but awaiting direction from the eventual owner. "We'll finish it for the customer, with the paint and interior how they want it," Burgett says. Customers who commission one of Gateway's electrified Broncos can end up spending around $300,000, depending on options. If you can resist the heated and cooled cupholders, maybe you could stay closer to the $265,000 starting price.
Gateway's builds use two electric motors that, they say, combine for more than 400 horsepower. The batteries come from Tesla, but it's not like a Model S pack is bolted to the underside of the truck. Gateway dismantles Tesla packs, tests each cell, and reassembles the best ones into custom packs that are arranged to optimize storage and weight distribution. Total capacity is more than 100 kWh, and Burgett says he's confident that that the trucks will deliver more than 200 miles of range. As Bronco builders go, Burgett is probably more comfortable than most with the nuances of electrification—he's an inventor, and his patents include a system for magnetically navigating a medical device inside the body of a patient. So reconfiguring Tesla cells for a Bronco is not a particularly daunting project.
Surprisingly, the electric motors run through a Tremec five-speed manual transmission—not because they need to, really, but because that's just good fun. "Most people could leave it in second or third gear, and that's all they need," Burgett says. The higher gears do help bring the rpm down on the highway, but the Tremec is really there as a literal connection to the Bronco's past. "The market research we've done shows that people want a manual transmission with electric," Burgett says. "This resonates because it's electric, but also nostalgic."
Given Ford's investment in Rivian and its plans to electrify the F-150, it seems inevitable that the 2021 Bronco will eventually spawn an electric variant. But if you want to score an electric Bronco a whole lot sooner, you still have time to try to win one.