The news: Pickup trucks outsold passenger cars for the first time in 2020, per Kelley Blue Book, marking not only a shift in consumer preference, but also a promising opening for electric vehicles (EVs).
- Americans bought 2,934,706 pickup trucks in 2020, while 2,831,053 non-luxury passenger cars were sold in the same period.
The opportunity: This shift in consumption, coupled with the sudden surge of EV sales, gives all-electric pickup trucks a unique growth opportunity to boost EV adoption into the mainstream. Some carmakers are already taking notice, and are racing to bring more EV pickups to market — but some are better-poised than others.
- GM is expected to launch the Hummer EV truck by the end of 2021, while Ford is poised to debut the F-150 Lightning in 2022.
- Tesla’s Cybertruck, whose start of production has been delayed to 2022, has an unofficial pre-order estimate of 1.25 million units, per InsideEVs.
- Rivian recently pushed back the launch of their R1T EV truck from July to September 2021.
- EV startup Lordstown Motors also has plans for its electric Endurance pickup, but is facing funding delays which could prolong getting its product to market.
- Delays notwithstanding, Tesla still has the best opportunity to help bring EV pickup trucks to the mainstream. Its key advantages are brand awareness, leadership in battery technology and supply, as well as its global network of 25,000 superchargers.
- Other EV manufacturers still stand to gain from this by offering a wider range of choice and pricing, as well as more traditional pickup body styles.