Many electric pickups will hit the streets in the next few years. Who will buy it? Maybe drivers looking for power, not eco-friendly references.


Right now it’s impossible to buy an electric pickup. However, that will change. Automakers from Tesla and General Motors to Ford, Rivian and Lordstown want to bring them to market. Camila Domonoske from NPR reports.

CAMILA DOMONOSKE, BYLINE: If you’ve watched car maker promotional videos, you may know that the Hummer EV is a thousand horsepower pickup truck that can turn all four wheels to go diagonally.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON # 1: Without borders, without emissions and without equality.

DOMONOSKE: The electric F-150 can pull a freight train.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON # 2: Are you kidding me?


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON # 2: Dude, it moves the train.

DOMONOSKE: And in a tug of war between a traditional truck and a Tesla Cybertruck …



DOMONOSKE: … or a Lordstown Endurance …




DOMONOSKE: … The electric pickup wins. All of these stunts are designed so that an electric pickup is a better pickup. And the potential market here is big. The best-selling vehicle in the US is a pickup truck. The second best vehicle is a pickup. The third, also a pickup. This market is so big and profitable that even a small fraction of it could mean big money.

ALEXANDER EDWARDS: A third of all pickup truck owners are open to the idea of ​​electrification.

DOMONOSKE: Alexander Edwards is President of Strategic Vision, a company that regularly surveys new car buyers. He points out that these aren’t specific electronics customers, but they could be convincing. And it is crucial that this group of people is different from the current owners of electric vehicles. You are not that rich. They are less liberal and less interested in the environment or in high-tech innovations. But they can also be influenced by other arguments.

EDWARDS: You looked at this electrification of your vehicle to improve the overall load force (ph).

DOMONOSKE: It’s that truck-ness that automakers put on all these stunts. Imagine a truck trying to tow a heavy load. It takes a lot of low-end torque and a lot of rotational force to get all of this weight moving. Some motors can do this better than others, and electric motors are really good at it. They have an advantage over gasoline or even diesel. Edwards says a performance advantage could convince some truck buyers who are not moved by appeals to protect the environment.

EDWARDS: These guys are looking for sturdy, powerful and capable vehicles.

DOMONOSKE: World governments are pushing for electric vehicles as part of the fight against climate change. And many automakers are now convinced that electric vehicles are the future. A nice electric pickup truck could help get the general public on board. Of course, some people don’t need to be persuaded. There are drivers who definitely want an electric pickup before they’ve even had the chance to take one for a spin. Madison Gross is the Director of Consumer Insights at CarGurus, which recently interviewed truck owners.

MADISON GROSS: It’s really Gen Z and Millennials who are increasing interest in electric pickups.

DOMONOSKE: But for these younger drivers in particular, being interested in a vehicle does not mean being able to afford it. New trucks are already expensive. New full size pickups cost nearly $ 55,000 on average. And while electric vehicles cost less to run, they are more expensive upfront.

PAT TURNER: You don’t seem to be attainable for this foreseeable future anyway.

DOMONOSKE: Pat Turner (ph) from Baltimore is 30. He drives a Nissan Frontier. And he’s pretty excited about the prospect of electric pickups. But…

TURNER: The prices are just crazy. I mean, GM brought out their EV Hummer for over $ 100,000. That’s crazy.

DOMONOSKE: Affordability has been a major problem for pickup drivers for some time. Turner says he’ll keep an eye on the electric pickups but probably won’t buy one until prices drop significantly. Camila Domonoske, NPR News.


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