December 26, 2006

Pickup of the Year! Awesome electric pickup points way forward

Now this is what I'm talking about, an electric vehicle that really makes sense: a pickup truck.

Not only is this one capable of highways speeds and several hundred miles on a charge, but it looks so darned good. The body styling is excellent. This design would sell like hot cakes as a gas model. Kudos to Phoenix MotorCars for not neglecting the look factor (which is crucial, IMHO, for the mainstream acceptance of electric vehicles).

Of course, electric power is ideal for utility vehicles due to the high torque of electric motors and the fact that many utility vehicles don't actually travel very far each day. This thing sounds like it would be as fast off the line with a loaded bed as my V8 F150. All it needs to be completely awesome is a lightweight camper shell clad in solar panels. These would help top up the batteries while the truck was parked AND increase mileage due to decreased wind resistance.

My first electric vehicle was a milk delivery 'pickup' (okay, it wasn't mine, but I was responsible for getting it back to the depot in one piece every day, which I managed to do most of the time). It hauled a very heavy load of milk in glass bottles and metal crates at urban speeds for eight hours a day. I know from my contractor buddies that their work pickups put on a lot of miles around town each day, but rarely more than 100. And most of those trucks spend a lot of time in traffic or parked at the job site. I think this is an excellent market for electrics. FYI, people tend to grossly under-estimate the buying habits and outlook of construction workers. In my experience they care just as much about the environment as any other group of people, and they sure as heck care about the exact number of dollars per day that it costs to run their trucks.

p.s. Kudos to tech-meister David Brussin for spotting this one and sending me the link

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