2 min read
23 Jun

The new automaker is already accepting deposits for the odd-looking pickup truck as small as a Mini Cooper but with the towing capacity of the Toyota Tacoma

A new electric vehicle (EV) startup is entering the market, despite the turbulent sales landscape. The company's founders, Jason Marks and Forrest North, come from familiar backgrounds, having previously worked at National Instruments and Tesla, as well as Mission Motors. 

However, their venture, Telo Trucks, may have a unique advantage—a quality product. Rather than focusing on luxury sedans or vying for supremacy in the electric pickup truck market against big-timers like Ford and Rivian, Telo Trucks chose instead to take inspiration from Japanese manufacturers of the past. 

The company unveiled its compact, electric MT1 pickup a few days ago, reminiscent of the popular Japanese kei trucks. 

Telo MT1 Electric Pickup Truck Design

Telo Trucks MT1 electric pickup design.

Measuring just 152 inches in length, the Telo MT1 is comparable in size to a four-door Mini Cooper. Furthermore, the MT1 boasts a 60-inch bed and can accommodate up to five passengers, albeit snugly, thanks to its four-door design. 

The MT1's bed length is on par with the 2024 Toyota Tacoma and only an inch shorter than the Chevrolet Colorado. 

This is made possible by a unique mid-partition that folds down into the passenger compartment, allowing it to accommodate four-by-eight-foot plywood sheets, lengthy ladders, and even a nine-foot surfboard with the tailgate closed. 

The clever design condenses the passenger cabin to the size of a compact car, while a shortened front overhang enhances legroom for the driver. 

"By focusing on the design and placement of the battery pack within the truck’s chassis, we are able to not only create a roomier crew cab, but also develop a vehicle that is practical for its users," said Forrest North, CTO and co-founder. 

Telo MT1 Electric Truck Range

Telo Trucks MT1 electric pickup range.

"Our patent-pending battery packs are space-optimized to provide an impressive 350-mile range in between charges in our small footprint, while being highly manufacturable," continued Mr North. 

Despite being designed with urban use in mind, the truck offers considerable range. However, the company's range figures could be influenced by the potential for heavy loads in the cargo area. 

It is important to note that the 350-mile range is not an EPA-certified estimate, and Telo has not yet provided details on the battery supplier or battery size. 

Consequently, it is difficult to validate the assertion that the Telo Truck can charge from 20% to 80% in just 20 minutes. 

The Telo Truck Powertrain And Performance

Telo Trucks MT1 horsepower, performance, powertrain.

Boasting 500 Horsepower The compact truck is reported to deliver an impressive 500 horsepower, thanks to its yet-to-be-revealed battery and dual electric motors, which together form the vehicle's four-wheel-drive system. 

With a curb weight of 4,400 pounds, the MT1 claims a swift zero-to-60-mph acceleration of just four seconds. 

However, the substantial horsepower may be more practical for tasks like hauling loads. The early release materials' reference to 4WD, rather than all-wheel drive, suggests a potential switchable drivetrain for enhanced range or handling in low-traction situations. 

Designed by Yves Béhar, a renowned designer associated with brands such as Herman Miller, Samsung, SodaStream, and Prada, the EV sports a boxy, matte-finished appearance with a slight commercial vibe. 

Targeting urbanites with a penchant for adventurous weekends, the truck's aesthetic is more akin to a contemporary Renault EV than a rugged Rivian truck, a distinction Béhar seemingly aimed for. 

Nevertheless, the MT1's compact dimensions are undeniable, as it stands shorter than a Toyota RAV4.

How Much Is The Telo Electric Pickup Truck And When Will It Be Available?

Telo Trucks MT1 price and availability.

If this innovative EV catches your eye, consider securing your spot with a refundable $152 deposit, even though the MT1's production is slated for 2025 and its price is set at $50,000. 

Telo Trucks plans to hand-build the first 500 units in 2025, with mass deliveries from its San Carlos, California, facility commencing in 2026. 

Factoring in potential federal and local EV tax credits, Telo presents a strong value proposition, provided the company can establish a foothold in the increasingly competitive EV startup landscape.

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