Will EV Trucks have a stake in the future?
It seems doubtful!
We remain unwitting guinea pigs in market research every time and article is dropped claiming that the auto manufacturers are looking into new technologies. There has not been overwhelming consumer demand for this type of technology, so it seems perfectly reasonable to say that this is simply the big autos way of sticking their toe in the water.
Comparing the Model T to just about any era of automatic transmission driven autos, and you realize it required a great deal of coordination, and ability to be able to drive and operate one, unlike our modern horseless carriages that are easy enough we let cavemen drive them. With such a vital creature comfort being introduced the to market you would imagine it would be all the rage, and that manual transmission would go by the wayside. But this is not the case. In 2019 there are still a few vehicles that you can order from the factory with a standard transmission, mainly being relegated to the racing segment and some of the medium duty truck segment. It has taken nearly 70 years to almost completely drive the standard transmission to near extinction.
Very few if any automotive innovations catch on and make previous technologies obsolete. This is largely in due to the fact that it takes sometimes as much as 20 years or more for all the cars to be replaced on the road in a locale. Yes, some people can afford new cars, but not all can. In my tiny town of 1500 people, its like stepping back into the late 1980's early 1990's. Most trucks are square body Chevys, most cars are models that have been out of production for years like the Chevy Lumina, and the Mercury cougar. While I drive a 2018 Nissan Titan, it likely will continue its life long after I sell it in the very same small town getting passed from farmer to son, and on to friends. This is one of the reasons that automotive technologies take so long to saturate certain locales. In some of the more urban settings where it seems like everyone is trading their car in every year or two this is less of an issue.
In addition to it taking a long time to get their products in the hands of the majority of Americans, you have the problems of infrastructure. Just about any street corner I go to I can get gas for my truck and get back on the road. This is simply not the case for EV's. While tesla and ev charging stations are becoming more common sights, it seems pretty likely that with EV's we will have the old android versus apple charger debacle. Tesla will want to use proprietary connectors to charge their vehicles and GM will likely want to use one of their own.
While I can say unequivocally that Electric trucks will not replace gas trucks in the next 60 years, I do believe that they will have a small market segment and cult following. Similar to the BMW Isseta, or the Reliant Robin, I believe that they will only be loved and enjoyed by the true enthusiast. While we look back fondly on certain features that cars and trucks used to offer like 3 on the tree, simpler carbureted fuel delivery (was it really simpler), and crank windows, we do have to acknowledge that cars and trucks now days are superior in almost every way. They are faster, stronger, safer, more comfortable, and more expensive.
So what does a more expensive electric truck get you? A smaller range, longer refuel/recharge times, and a revoked man card. The trade offs are few, like a false sense of helping the environment, and lower maintenance. I think with even these arguments alone, it is easy to see where the EV truck won't be the go to for Joe or Bob, now or into the foreseeable future.
When a customer is going to make the second largest purchase they will ever make in their life, they will consider all things. Jeeps have long been popular because they could do double duty. They could haul your butt to work all week and then over the muddy trails on Saturday. You'll be able to find EV trucks in the garage of the guy that already has everything, and in the garage of collectors of oddities and curiosities. The only way I can see EV trucks making their way into the market is through fleet sales, but for this to happen they will have to deal with some of issues like range, and recharge times.
When it takes more than 10 years to get auto manufactures on board with bluetooth, you can bet your sweet britches that electric trucks will struggle to launch.