The United States is the country of pick-up trucks. Such models have been leading the sales lists for decades, so that as a manufacturer you are almost forced to have a pick-up in the range to score. That is why brands such as Tesla and other electric start-ups focus on that part of the market.
Elon Musk had been dreaming about it for years before the Cyber Truck was unveiled; a fully electric pick-up truck. At first sight, this is a crazy idea, as such vehicles are popular as a daily mode of transport in only a few countries, including the United States.
On closer inspection, it is not such a crazy idea. In the United States alone, nearly 2.8 million new pickup trucks were registered last year. If you can get a piece of it, it is almost automatically about large numbers.
In 2019, 243,356 all-electric cars were sold in the United States. Nearly 79 percent of that was a Tesla. The brand will need to capture approximately 7 percent of the pickup truck market to double its annual sales compared to this year.
In any case, they are already ahead of things in the state of California. There, a law was passed last Thursday that requires manufacturers to sell a certain number of electric pick-up trucks on their total from 2024. This was already the case with passenger cars.
Conservative buyer audience
Electric cars have a long way to go in the United States. Last year, the all-electric models accounted for 1.44 percent of total passenger car, SUV and pickup truck sales.
Still, many brands see bread in electric driving, the electric pick-up truck in particular. Ford has announced an electric version of the F-150, a model that has been topping the United States sales list for 43 years and was after the Toyota Corolla after the best-selling model in the world last year.
General Motors has also announced an electric pick-up truck, as well as a variety of start-ups. For this, the brands, known or unknown, have to persuade a very conservative buyer public.
The Ford F-150, the best-selling model, must also believe it. (Photo: Ford)
Form over function?
Tesla focuses on a radically different design. In addition, it wants to build its Cyber Truck where the pick-up truck is the most popular: Texas. The factory requires an investment of $ 1 billion, converted $ 890 million, and is to be built in Travis Country. According to Tesla, the production center can provide five thousand jobs.
The start-up Rivian wants to enter the pick-up truck market with the R1T. The first copies must be delivered in 2021. Where Tesla screens with design, Rivian takes a different approach.
The company focuses on practical ease of use, so a lot of loading space and a high towing weight. In addition, the R1T must be able to drive through water up to 90 centimeters deep. Rivian promises a range of up to 643 kilometers.
The start-up Rivian wants to get a piece of the R1T. (Photo: Rivian)
Nikola proved the 'hot' market for electric pick-up trucks. The brand, named after Tesla after Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla, saw its market value increase to $ 34 billion earlier this month. With that, Nikola, without even having delivered a vehicle, is already more valuable than Ford.
Investors responded to the opening of order books for the Badger pick-up truck, a model in the same class as the Cyber truck and the Ford F-150.
Interest was also sparked by the fact that the Badger is a hydrogen truck equipped with in-house developed fuel cell technology. Nikola, which produces and supplies hydrogen itself, expects that it will be easier to build hydrogen filling stations than charging points for electric cars with a battery pack.
As a hydrogen truck, the Nikola Badger is very successful. (Photo: Nikola)