Telo’s EV Pickup: Betting on America’s Dreamy Future

Telo Trucks: The Future of Electric Pickup Trucks?

The automotive industry is undergoing a major shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) as a way to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. However, most automakers are still focused on producing large trucks and SUVs that are popular in the US market. Telo Trucks, a young startup, is taking an alternate route by betting that there is a market for a petite pickup truck that is both functional and environmentally friendly.

The Problem with Large Trucks

Most trucks today are far too big and heavy, with shrinking beds and expanding cabins that reflect their turn from a classic workhorse into a status symbol-meets-family car. These huge vehicles are uniquely deadly for pedestrians and cyclists and counterproductive to decarbonization work. They demand more raw materials and ultimately bigger batteries, and they stir fears that compact cars can’t hack it alongside them on roads today. In other words, they’re bad for people and the planet.

The Opportunity for Electric Vehicles

The switch to electric vehicles offers an opportunity to shake things up, sizewise. Yet in the U.S., most automakers won’t risk it, and there’s a financial basis for that. Trucks like the F-150 and Silverado are more popular than ever, giving little incentive for companies to carve out a new path. Still, Telo Trucks is taking an alternate route anyway. It’s betting that lots of Americans actually want a petite pickup — one with the “footprint of a two-door Mini Cooper” and the “same interior and bed space as a Toyota Tacoma,” Telo CEO Jason Marks told TechCrunch.

The Telo Truck Solution

Marks argues there’s an untapped market of city dwellers who could use a cargo utility vehicle — gardeners, surfers, snowboarders, hikers and so on — “but they can’t have a big truck because it’s way too big for the city.” That’s who Telo is targeting, at least on the consumer side. The company kicked off preorders — really, paid reservations — for its first vehicle this week, charging folks $152 for the chance to one day buy a 152-inch truck that’s slated to cost $50,000 at launch before government incentives.

According to Marks, Telo is now working toward getting its first prototype on the road by year’s end. In the following years, the plan (as I understand it) is to navigate some government red tape, hand-build some vehicles and then work with contract manufacturers to make mini trucks en masse. But remember: EV startups usually launch with cool ideas. Delivering these vehicles to lots of drivers while turning a profit? That’s a lot rarer in this business.

Telo has lots of work ahead of it no matter how much demand there is for pint-sized pickups. However, Marks argues Telo has some “distinct advantages” because it’s getting started today instead of a decade or so ago. “Contract manufacturing is a big one but also the supply chain,” Marks said. “I know that everyone’s talking about how bad the supply chain is, but the truth of the matter is that we can buy a motor off the shelf that fits into our packaging requirements, and it comes with software pre-populated.”

The Future of Electric Pickup Trucks

Telo Trucks is one of many EV startups trying to disrupt the automotive industry with new and innovative designs. The company is betting that there is a market for a petite pickup truck that is both functional and environmentally friendly. While large EV trucks still pump less carbon pollution into the atmosphere than their gas-powered counterparts, Telo believes that there is a need for smaller, more efficient vehicles that are better suited for city living.

In conclusion, Telo Trucks is taking a bold step towards creating a new market for electric pickup trucks. While the company faces many challenges ahead, its unique approach to design and manufacturing could pave the way for a more sustainable future in the automotive industry. As the world continues to shift towards electric vehicles, it will be interesting to see how Telo Trucks and other startups like it will shape the future of transportation.