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Will EV Trucks have a stake in the future?

Updated on February 22, 2019
Zack Dylan profile image

Zack has worked on cars from the time he was 13 years old, and even in a professional capacity in his early twenties.

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.


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    • Zack Dylan profile imageAUTHOR

      Zack Dylan 

      12 months ago from Dallas

      Ken, thank you for the compliment. I am hopeful in the people's unwillingness to endure tyrannical, authoritarian government.

      I don't anticipate that my kids will all be driving around EV as will I in 2035. Not do I see it making a lasting impact. The auto manufacturer is going to have to test the market more thoroughly. Until I've driven one with significant improvement to my life (as this is the 2nd largest purchase we make), I see no reason to make the change. As demand for more electricity runs up for charging, the infrastructure will have to be upgraded as well and of course it is the customer that foots the bill for these improvements. So electric rates once more will increase again. If this were to happen the squeeze would be too great and we would face legitimate economic collapse like we have never seen before. People would have to reconsider where they live, and the frequency in which they use their cars. I live in a rural area, and we would have to legitimately turn to living off the land with no income or move. It would make our land worthless. I don't think the average person sees enough gain in going to EV to make that decision.

      It appears to me the common man isn't clamoring to get in a Tesla, it's those that are simply looking for a status symbol. They are now practical for occasional use for the upper middle class in some scenarios, but they will never be a full replacement to gas engines. I hope and pray like hell you are wrong. I do understand this is what the media reports and that these are the claims of some companies and some Congress people, but the people will speak louder and clear. I do have faith in that. Thank you for your insight!

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 

      12 months ago from Florida

      Good article, EV and Hybrid pick-ups are already on the verge of being common-place reality. I wrote an article on Workhorse a while back, and they are manufacturing them in Indiana/Ohio ... they have a backlog of orders.

      Ford is revamping to go full out Hybrid & EV by 2020-2022 that is their future.

      When the Democrats reclaim the White House in 2020 they will slam gas with a $5 a gallon federal tax while giving $10k in tax incentives for an EV purchase... a company like TESLA only needs to wait it out, when Trump is gone those incentives will be back... what Obama only talked about (hitting gas with a massive tax) this group of more extreme 'progressive' politicians will slam through.

      EV will not only become normal by 2022, it will become the predominant new vehicle of choice of all purchasers.

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