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What is the future of electric pickup trucks?

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After securing an auto dealer bond, along with the license to legally operate your truck dealership, you might wonder whether you should add electric vehicles (EVs) to your available lines. While electric vehicles, including electric pickup trucks, have become increasingly popular, they still do not represent a sizeable market share.

However, as reported by Forbes, EV sales during the second quarter of 2022 accounted for 5.6% of the total market share, which was more than double the sales during the second quarter of 2021. President Biden has stated that the goal of the U.S. is to reach a 50% market share for new EVs by 2030. While that goal might be laudable, you might wonder how that will translate to pickup truck production and practicality.

Here’s some information about the future of electric pickup trucks, along with a few pros and cons that customers might need to consider prior to purchase.

Future of electric pickup trucks

1. Greater distance

Currently, electric pickup trucks are not the first choice for purchasers who want to use them to travel long distances. This is due in part to a general shortage of EV charging stations. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently allocated $5 billion to build EV charging stations and has approved plans to install them along interstates in all 50 states.

2. Heavier duty

Certain electric pickup trucks now boast heavy-duty designs that rival those of gas and diesel-powered trucks. Towing performance, off-road prowess, and throttle power are all improving across the board.

3. Electric roads and vehicle-to-vehicle charging

A major drawback to EV pickup trucks is the fear that they won’t reach a destination in time to charge up. While the need for more charging stations is a genuine concern, many commercial pickup trucks will be used on local routes, where they can easily return to base for charging. However, batteries are increasing in size efficiency, and have a greater capacity to hold charges for longer.

The future might also allow for vehicle-to-vehicle charging, in which one truck could be charged by connecting to another. Some cities, including one in Sweden, are also discussing plans to create electric roads that will allow people to charge their vehicles as they drive.

Now that you have an idea of what the future of electric pickups might be, here is a brief look at the pros and cons of these vehicles, and what might lead a customer to opt for or avoid an EV truck.

Pros of electric pickup trucks

1. Availability of EV tax credits

Purchasers of EVs, including electric pickup trucks, are eligible for tax credits. This can help bring down the high cost of these vehicles. Manufacturers of medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles must also comply with stringent carbon dioxide emissions limits in their total vehicle sales. For this reason, manufacturers can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions numbers while receiving tax credits. Fleet managers that opt to add EV pickup trucks to their fleets can receive multiple benefits, including rebates, reductions in vehicle registration fees, and more.

2. Lower fuel and maintenance costs

Customers who make the switch to electric vehicles can save significant amounts on fuel costs. The equipment involved in maintaining electric pickup trucks is also less complex and requires less maintenance. For example, an owner of an EV truck won’t need to worry about replacing spark plugs or getting oil changes. EV motors can also slow themselves, helping owners to avoid some of the wear and tear on brakes.

Cons of electric pickup trucks

1. Sticker shock

The cost of electric pickup trucks is very high and might scare off some potential buyers. Some electric trucks are nearly twice the cost of their gas-powered counterparts. Even with the fuel and maintenance savings they offer, the upfront cost of a new electric pickup truck might drive away certain customers. However, as the technology becomes more widespread, prices are likely to decline. Just how much cheaper EV trucks will get remains the key question.

2. Public perception

The public’s perceptions of EV trucks are a muddled affair. Brand-loyal pickup truck owners will likely need a lot of targeted marketing to convince them that the benefits of making the switch to electric pickups are well worth skipping diesel power and supercharged V8 strengths.

3. Power

Drivers of combustion-engine pickup trucks can save on fuel costs by shifting gears, which helps to reduce the amount of fuel they need to maintain speed. By contrast, EVs require more energy to go higher speeds, and EV drivers are recommended to go under 60 mph to preserve the battery life of their vehicles. EV batteries also don’t fare so well in cold temps, which greatly reduces their battery life. Using the vehicle’s heating system can also significantly draw down the power of the battery.

Adoption by fleet owners

Fleet owners are likely to be among the first to broadly adopt electric pickup trucks, due in part to local-route deliveries. In states like California, where high-occupancy vehicle lanes are a mandated norm, EVs often qualify and therefore deliver cargo faster. Electric pickup trucks might be used to deliver goods along routes that meet the battery’s range while charging overnight after returning to the fleet’s base.

Granted, the technology that makes these machines move will likely undergo significant improvements over the next decade alone. Thus encouraging more consumers to opt for electric pickup trucks over petroleum-powered alternatives. Dealerships can stay ahead of the game by paying close attention to trends and anticipating when the best time might be to expand their EV offerings, which from the looks of things will likely be sooner than later.

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