General Motors announced this week that it has plans to put an electric pickup into production. Not much is known about the pickup, including whether it will be a Chevrolet or a GMC (or perhaps neither), but that didn’t stop media and consumers from creating a small stir over the announcement.
Some aren’t so excited at the idea of an electric pickup, though. With GM, Ford and Tesla all gearing up to release battery electric trucks in coming years, CNBC decided to reach out to real truck owners to see what they thought about the idea of an emissions free pickup.
The publication spoke to one Texas-based rancher, Frank Helvey, who wasn’t really down with the idea of an electric pickup. Helvey, who raises cattle and is also active in livestock auctions in the area, according to CNBC, thinks such a product would be for posers and wouldn’t be robust enough to be a real work truck.
“I wouldn’t buy one at all. It wouldn’t make sense for me. It sounds like a playboy’s truck, instead of a work truck,” he said.
Another rancher expressed concerns over such a vehicle’s range as well, a problem that is exacerbated by a lack of public chargers in Texas and most rural areas in America. He also said it would be difficult to find a nearby repairman for an EV, whereas he can easily get his diesel truck fixed at a local shop.
This is to be expected, though. Such a vehicle may be content rich and priced quite high in order to ensure GM gets a return on its expensive development and production processes. It therefore wouldn’t be aimed at ranchers like Helvey, but wealthy city dwellers or suburban buyers who like the idea of an emissions-free utility.
GM could also go the opposite route and offer a bare-bones EV truck for fleets. Because fleet operators can easily estimate how far their trucks will travel each day, they wouldn’t have to worry about range anxiety in the same way a rancher like Helvey would. The trucks would also return to a home base each night where they could easily be charged and/or serviced.
It will be interesting to see the different routes GM, Ford and Tesla take as they work to essentially invent the electric pickup truck segment in coming years.