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Fun+Quirky EV Truck

Fun+Quirky EV Truck

The argument about electric vehicles is getting out of hand.  For the most part, people blame politics over the decision to adopt EV usage.  Many fail to realize the internal combustion engine has been in commercial use for over 120 years in one shape or another.  Isn’t it time for vehicle propulsion systems to evolve?

Forget about the propulsion system.  Our thinking about vehicle usage needs to evolve.  I love cars and trucks, but have come to realize that no one vehicle can do it all.  Look at all of the large SUVs and pickups on the road.  These trucks have grown to huge proportions. Are we hauling more people and cargo now versus 50 years ago?  Do we really need all of that size and capability?

The answer to that last question is no. Yes, some people need to pull a camper/trailer or have large families, but the majority of us do not.  Let’s stop for a moment and really think through our needs, while at the same time discover novel ways to solve our environmental and petroleum concerns.

In the related article below, I shared a thought about applying EV technology to local delivery vehicles (FedEx, UPS, US Postal Serve, etc.).  This makes good sense for that industry segment and addresses a population of vehicles that are inefficient and big polluters.

Related article:  Do We Really Need To Drive Electric Vehicles?

For the personal use segment, I discovered a new car company that has a novel solution.  This one checks a lot of boxes for those of us who like quirky vehicles. It also makes a lot of sense from a capabilities, design and performance standpoint.

Say Hello to TELO

A California-based startup recently unveiled its first product, the TELO subcompact electric truck.  They claim it has Toyota Tacoma capability, Tesla-like range and efficiency, in the footprint of a MINI Cooper.  Sound impossible? Check out key specifics below:

  • Overall length is 152 inches, the same as a two door MINI Cooper.
  • The cab fits five adults comfortably (check out the seating buck pictured at the top of the page. The driver is 6’ 10” tall and the rear seat passenger is 6’ 6”)
  • The pickup bed measures 5 feet long, but expands to 8 feet when the front midgate is lowered.  When this happens, you can fit a 4×8 sheet of plywood or a 9 foot surfboard in the bed WITH THE TAILGATE CLOSED.
  • Payload is rated at 1,600 pounds and the truck can trailer 6,600 pounds.
  • Dual motor powertrain will generate 500 horsepower with 350 miles of range.
  • Expected price:  $49,999.

Design Flexibility

The EV platform allows for far more design flexibility than a traditional engine/transmission layout.  This allows TELO to move the cab forward, over the front wheels.  The front area normally housing a “frunk” is now a passenger compartment.

Forrest North, TELO’s Chief Technology Officer, claims the front section found in most electric vehicles isn’t necessary and doesn’t actually improve safety.

“It doesn’t help you drive; it doesn’t help with safety; it doesn’t help with anything really,” he told Green Car Reports in a recent interview. “The electric vehicle platform allows you to do all these configuration changes that no one’s really doing yet or popularizing.”

In addition, the TELO website shows how the pickup converts to an eight passenger vehicle.  TELO’S specially designed storage tunnel under the bed doubles as a footwell for a third row of seats.  Once the optional roof cap is installed, TELO becomes a van.  Clever.



Final Thoughts & Questions

Part of the problem with the EVs coming to market is their lack of differentiation from traditional cars and trucks.  Designers need to take advantage of the EV “skateboard” to rethink the form and function of these vehicles.  This will open new thinking to transportation solutions.

I wish that TELO would be introduced at a lower price point than the $49,999 quoted, however, volume and other production efficiencies may enable better pricing.  I will follow their development with great interest!

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions. Please email me at wct.billtaylor@gmail.com, or message me through the Vehicle Nanny Instagram or Facebook pages.

Want to learn more about me?  Go to this article:   Who’s Your Nanny?

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