Most of these designed trucks look a lot less insane than Tesla’s $ 40,000 ultraprismatic Cybertruck with its seemingly bullet-proof windows and dent-proof body. However, they boast surprising sounding capabilities that, in many cases, far outweigh even heavy trucks for gasoline and diesel.
“The big question is, when do you actually start using those trucks how they’re meant to be used, how much is going to degrade the range in the truck?” said Sam Abuelsamid, transportation analyst with Navigant Research. Petrol and diesel trucks also travel much less miles on a fuel tank for towing heavy loads, for example.
Many of these trucks take advantage of other advantages of electric motors in addition to heavyweights pulling the power they enable. Electric motors are also much more compact than petrol engines and do not require a multi-speed transmission, another thing which takes up space. This frees up a lot of space for something usually lacking in gas and diesel powered trucks, lockable storage space.
Bollinger Motors, another startup, is creating the B2 electric truck with a tunnel running through the front of the truck. It has a lockable door between the headlights and the other end opens into the passenger compartment. Another door opens onto the bed offering the possibility of transporting long objects through the truck from one bumper to another.
Bollinger, founded in 2014 in New York state but now based outside of Detroit designed its truck to look like it wasn’t designed at all. More than anything else, it looks like a huge operable chest. Even the interior is devoid of decorative finishes unless you want to count the wooden board that constitutes the “central console”. (It’s in quotes because it’s literally a bolt-on four-legged metal board.) The steering wheel appears to have come out of a 1963 truck instead of one that is expected to go on sale next year. There is no airbag in that steering wheel because, as far as safety requirements are concerned, B2 is classified as a commercial truck and not a passenger vehicle. B2 also costs as much as a large commercial truck, with prices set as low as $ 125,000 – more than double that of some of these other electric trucks.
Despite some real benefits, pickup truck buyers are likely to be slow to adopt new trucks in the beginning, said Abuelsamid. Electric trucks can supply power to power tools in the workplace, and since they don’t burn petrol or diesel and have fewer moving parts to maintain, they will be cheaper to use. Fleet buyers, who look more closely at the cost of the operation, will likely be among the first buyers, he said.
“I think it will start as a niche and I think it will gradually grow,” he said.