Jan 5, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Why electric pickup trucks are so hot

Pickup trucks' share of U.S. light-duty vehicle registrations
Reproduced from IHS Markit; Chart: Axios Visuals

Ford's stock jumped 12% Tuesday after it revealed plans to boost production of the electric F-150 pickup, and today rival General Motors will unveil the electric version of the Chevy Silverado pickup.

Why it matters: Pickups' early prominence in the wider EV plans of U.S. auto giants (GM also has an electric Hummer and plans an electric Sierra) signals how the industry sees an opening in the truck market.

  • Pickups are wildly popular in the U.S., now claiming nearly a fifth of total light-duty sales, and are a key money-maker for the industry.
  • Startups and other established automakers are also getting into the electric pickup market.
  • Rivian began production of its R1T last year and Tesla's delayed Cybertruck arrives at some point, while Toyota and other legacy automakers also plan models.

What we're watching: The specifics arriving later today when GM unveils the Silverado in a virtual rollout at the CES tech show.

  • The company has said the vehicle will have around 400 miles of range and begin production next year, but other details remain under wraps.

What they're saying: "Investors are expecting strong consumer reception to the Silverado launch based on client conversations," Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. analyst Matt Portillo said in a note.

  • "We think an exciting launch of the Silverado, especially if it catches significant media attention, could help the stock; similar to some of the tailwinds we saw for Ford last year as the order book grew for the Lightning and the Mach-E demand figures expanded to 200k units per year," he writes.
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