With the help of the 2020 Great American Truck Survey, it became clear that truck owners are in love with their pickups. In fact, 25% of the owners have named their truck, with 15% of owners getting a tattoo related to their truck. This isn’t something that could be said about the average sedan or SUV driver.
It’s clear that America identifies itself as a nation filled with truck lovers. On the other hand, we are quickly becoming a nation that is fond of the electric vehicle, with 57% of drivers willing to consider an electric vehicle.
Are these loyal truck owners willing to part with their high-powered gas and diesel engines in favor of electric?
Apprehension among Truck Owners
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the overlap between those interested in EVs and pickup truck owners is slim. Up until now, EV enthusiasm has been mainly in liberal-dominated coastal areas, such as Washington and California. If you look at the states where pickups take over the road, you are focused on more conservative areas, such as North Dakota, Wyoming and Texas. That’s why many hybrid and EV owners tend to be Democratic, while the pickup driver is often Republican.
In fact, a recent study shows that over 50% of heavy-duty pickup owners are Republicans, with less than 10% identifying as Democratic. This great divide is only one piece of the puzzle because the same states with higher averages of pickup owners also have the worst EV charging infrastructure in place. Beyond that, the EV truck isn’t necessarily aimed at the typical pickup owner. Many of the electric trucks, such as the Rivian R1T and GM Hummer EV are meant for a wealthier lifestyle. These are drivers that like to go for a short adventure on the weekend, not necessarily the truck driver that works on the farm or hauls everyday goods.
To win over this segment, it will be important for automakers to show how the EVs are durable and capable, while also reducing the overall cost. Otherwise, many of the new EV trucks could end up being a dud right out of the gate.
Are there any EV trucks that today’s pickup owner would be excited about? GM has started taking orders on the GMC Hummer EV pickup with an MSRP of $79,995. While this price isn’t going to win anyone over who is looking for affordability, the Hummer brand has been known to be durable and tough. Sadly, the new Hummer weighs in at 9,046 pounds when fully loaded. This figure is more than your heaviest 2021 Ford F-450 dually, so results are still out about how this EV will handle.
There will also be a Ford EV truck, known as the F-150 Lightning. While the Lightning checks the lower-cost box with an MSRP of under $40,000, skeptics are still wondering how the 300-mile driving range will hold up under a load.
Additionally, the Tesla Cybertruck has a lower starting price and is currently rated to tow the most of the EVs, with capability up to 14,000 pounds. However, this is another company that hasn’t shared what is going to happen to the driving range when this amount of weight is added in the back.
For now, all we can do is wait and see what the reaction is among truck owners when the EVs show up and are put to the real-world test. From what we’ve seen so far, the automakers might have a tough time winning over the true truck owner.
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