Car Gurus creates surveys. That’s what it does. In the last quarter of 2021, the company asked 1,026 pickup truck owners in the US about their plans for the future. 43% of those said they would consider buying an electric truck in the next 10 years. For the sake of comparison, in last year’s survey, 34% said an electric pickup truck might be in their future. Millennials and compact trucks owners were most interested in electric, with 50% and 52% respectively expecting to purchase one in the next decade. The segments least interested in electric trucks were baby boomers at 37%, and consumers living in rural areas at 29%.
Now, we know what you’re going to say. Just because people say they might possibly consider buying an electric pickup truck sometime in the next decade does not mean you should rush out to buy stock in some electric truck startup. “There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip,” my old Irish grandmother liked to say.
But if you asked people that question 5 years ago, almost no one would have admitted to hankering for an electric pickup. The point is that as people hear more about Rivian, the Tesla Cybertruck, the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Chevy Silverado EV, and other electric pickup trucks, awareness of electric vehicles is increasing and attitudes are changing.
Electric Truck Buyers May Be Fickle
One surprise in this year’s survey is how willing pickup truck owners are to change brands in order to get what they want. According to The Dealer Center, most truck buyers are open-minded when it comes to the brand they drive. 78% said they would consider a different brand from the truck they currently own for future purchases.
For full size and lifestyle trucks, Ford was most popular, with consumers choosing the F-150 and the Maverick, respectively. The Toyota Tacoma was the top choice in the midsize truck category, and Tesla’s Cybertruck was the top choice for tech-forward models.
Recommendations To Dealers
Car Gurus has some suggestions for dealers, based upon the results off this latest survey.
- There are still plenty of post-pandemic truck shoppers out there, eager to buy and searching for deals online. Buyers are seeing trucks in a new light, post-pandemic, and many have been waiting for prices to normalize before buying. Online advertising at
the right time and place can often be the final push they need.
- Don’t be afraid to suggest several brands. For many truck owners, factors like size, lifestyle, and price are more important than brand. Giving shoppers options could keep them within the truck category — and at your dealership.
- Educate your staff on how to talk about electric trucks. The idea of electric trucks is still new to most shoppers. Make sure your staff feels confident when discussing their benefits. Your shopper might not buy electric this time around, but chances are their
next truck purchase (likely in 5-10 years) could be.
5 years ago, the idea of an electric pickup truck was ludicrous. But that was before Tesla announced its futuristic Cybertruck, which is destined to be either a huge sales hit or the biggest marketing disaster since the Tucker. It’s easy to see that the Cybertruck sent shockwaves through the Big Three automakers in Detroit, all of whom are now hard at work on making a traditional pickup truck with battery power as soon as possible.
Tesla may have the most interest, but Ford and Chevy are poised to get their electric pickups to market ahead of Tesla. Here at CleanTechnica’s chromium and carbon fiber galactic headquarters, we don’t care which brand succeeds, just as long as some of those monsters become zero emissions ambassadors for a carbon free future soon.