Electric pickups are generating buzz. Here’s where future models like Tesla’s Cybertruck, Rivian’s R1T are trending

Christel Deskins

Interest in electric pickups is growing, and the early leaders — very early, since none of the vehicles in question exists yet — are Rivian’s R1T and the Tesla Cybertruck, according to a July survey of Tweets. There are some oddities in the data, led by the absence of Ford’s […]

Interest in electric pickups is growing, and the early leaders — very early, since none of the vehicles in question exists yet — are Rivian’s R1T and the Tesla Cybertruck, according to a July survey of Tweets.

There are some oddities in the data, led by the absence of Ford’s upcoming electric F-150 and the fact that the Nikola Badger dominated the Southwest.

The F-150, of course, has been the bestselling vehicle in the U.S. for decades. An electric version should be available in 2022. The Chevy Silverado, America’s  No. 2 seller with an EV model promised by 2025, also failed to make the list.

You’d probably get long odds against all the trucks other companies have promised making it to volume production, but online traffic indicates interest in EVs may be penetrating the pickup market, the largest sales segment in the country.

The map is courtesy of auto parts buying website partcatalog.com.

Interest n electric pickups. based on Twitter traffic.

“We’ll see a flurry of EV pickup trucks rolled out over the next few years,” Cox Automotive senior analyst Michelle Krebs said. “We have no indication of who will buy them. Will traditional pickup buyers suddenly convert to EVs? Or will these EV pickups attract buyers who normally wouldn’t consider a truck? We don’t know yet.”

In this somewhat reality-challenged conversation, perhaps it’s not surprising the most hypothetical EV pickup of all, Nikola’s Badger, dominated a whole region of the country: the Southwest. The Badger seems like a long shot because Nikola says it will use not one, but two technologies unproven in pickups: battery power and a hydrogen fuel cell.

Despite considerable challenges delivering on that promise, the Badger — great name, by the way — was the most-Tweeted EV pickup in 13 states.

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In a bit of an upset, given how Tesla founder Elon Musk’s presence looms over all discussions of electric vehicles, the Rivian R1T pickup was No. 1 overall. It was the most Tweeted vehicle in 17 states.

Rivian dominated the Northeast and Great Lakes regions, with outposts in the Plains, Southeast and Northwest.

Rivian, an automotive startup with an engineering base outside Detroit in Plymouth Township, unveiled its five-passenger R1T electric pickup concept in conjunction with the 2018 LA Auto Show.

Tesla’s Cybertruck — recently in the news after the company said it will build it in Austin, Texas — came in second, leading in 15 states. Tesla territory snaked across the country from Washington state southeast to Florida, and of course included the company’s home state of California, the country’s largest market for vehicles, and a particular hot spot for EVs.

Bollinger Motors’ retro-look B2 led in four scattered states: Maryland, Virginia, Missouri and Louisiana.

Lordstown Motors, the startup that took over a former General Motors assembly plant in northeast Ohio, carried its home state, but nowhere else.

Contact Mark Phelan: 313-222-6731 or  [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Tesla, Rivian electric pickups draw interest before they’re available

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