Study: 2 in 5 pickup shoppers considering all-electric, and price is more important than HP

From startups to industry leaders, numerous automakers are planning electric pickup trucks. When these trucks arrive in showrooms, there will be plenty of customer demand, according to a new Cox Automotive study.

Granted, this is all a bit theoretical at this point, as there aren’t any electric pickups available. But several have been announced, and truck shoppers appear to be taking notice.

Pickup trucks are the largest market segment in the United States, and about two in five shoppers are considering an electric truck, according to the study. Younger shoppers are more likely to consider an electric truck, with 44% of respondents ages 18-34 indicating they were interested in both internal-combustion and all-electric trucks.

Price was the most important consideration for potential electric-truck shoppers, followed by “driving performance,” interior design, and the size of the vehicle, according to the study. Brand name and work use were the lowest priorities, according to the survey.

While driving performance was highly ranked, actual metrics of performance—and things truck makers tend to brag about—such as horsepower and towing capacity, were also far down the list of priorities.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

The list of electric pickup trucks expected to launch over the next year or so is an odd mix. The GMC Hummer EV is a low-volume model that emphasizes horsepower and off-road capability, the Rivian R1T is a luxury model designed for camping trips, and the Lordstown Endurance is a work truck aimed at commercial fleets.

Launching later, in 2022, the Ford F-150 Electric is an all-electric version of perennial bestselling F-150 pickup, while the Tesla Cybertruck scoffs at convention with origami-like stainless-steel bodywork.

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T

Study respondents seemed to prefer the Ford. When shown images of the F-150 Electric, Hummer EV, R1T, and Cybertruck without badging, three in five respondents picked the Ford. In addition, three quarters of respondents in the market for an electric pickup said they were mostly likely to consider the F-150 Electric.

That’s likely a result of Ford’s established presence in the truck market, according to Cox Automotive.

The Cybertruck’s unorthodox design may not impress pickup shoppers, according to the study. Similarly, while Rivian is a new company, the more traditional shape of the R1T, and the company’s outdoorsy marketing, may be more familiar to shoppers, allowing Rivian to largely surpass Tesla in popularity, the study suggested—although it should be noted and emphasized that Cox is a Rivian investor.

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