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Large Electric Pickup Trucks Are a Scam

patfromigh

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One of the controversies brewing right now is the size of the pickup trucks currently marketed to retail consumer buyers. Those trucks are huge, as are some "mid-size" trucks and large SUVs. I'm not saying such large vehicles are bad, but I do think they are a poor fit for urban driving. Some urban living aficionados seem to suggest automakers are ignoring the peril posed to pedestrians due to the size of these hot selling trucks. Alternatively, others point to the byzantine stack of federal regulations to which auto manufactures must comply, especially the CAFE rules. Woven into the CAFE standards is a formula based on a vehicle's footprint size. This formula uses wheelbase and track measurements, larger vehicles get a break on fuel economy. The fact that pickups started growing when this new CAFE formula was introduced supports this. We don't see smaller trucks in the US anymore. The CAFE formula discourages small trucks in this market, even with a hybrid power-train.

The strange thing is, a battery electric vehicle of any size can readily meet CAFE standards. So why did GM start off their Ultium program with the mammoth 5-ton Hummer EV? Ford's initial EV was the electric Transit van which is logical. The F-150 Lightning doesn't make sense. If the size of full size pickup trucks is dictated by an unintentional quirk in the CAFE rules, a battery electric pickup truck doesn't need to be huge. Ford could have built something Ranger or Maverick sized. After the Hummer monster, GM also has full size battery electric pickups in the pipeline. It seems that the Ram Truck brand is not exempt from this either, with both the Rev and Ramcharger models due next year.

Electric vans (LCV) make sense and I predict will be popular with commercial and fleet buyers. Could a small battery electric pickup find consumer acceptance? The Ford Maverick hybrid has insane demand, while F-150 Lightnings are stacking up on dealers' lots. All the recent bad news has ended the EV honeymoon. The massive amount of batteries needed keeps the Lighting from being affordable. It is less convenient to charge than the vehicles with a smaller battery.

Toyota recently displayed a small battery electric pickup at the Tokyo Mobility Show. Few people caught on that the vehicle was designed in California for that state's market. If the automakers are being forced to build and sell battery electric vehicles, they should build models which people are more willing to buy. Large battery electric pickups don't seem to be something buyers want.
 

scatpack_69

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Ramcharger is actually a viable option. When do they pair electric motors with a diesel genset in heavy duties? Similar to Ramcharger only better.

It’s proven in locomotives. And certainly not a scam.
 

patfromigh

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I wasn't criticizing all plugin pickup trucks. The Ramcharger is able to use less batteries than a pure EV of a similar size due to the ICE generator. The rural areas where full size pickup trucks shine obviously have less high speed charging stations available. Looking at the features of the Ramcharger, it provides a great opportunity to be the practical solution for potential owners.

That said, there are no zero emission zones in rural America. The urban areas with the greatest population density tend to be either along the Acela Corridor or in Southern California. In flyover country there is the Milwaukee, Chicago, and Gary region as well as the Minneapolis-St.Paul metro area. The municipalities found in these areas have the potential for implementing low or zero emissions corridors. These communities are mostly in states following the CARB EV mandates. While the Ramcharger should be able to easily tackle a visit to a low emissions zone, it isn't the best vehicle for urban use. Something smaller is better.
 

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