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TELO Trucks Aims To Show Smaller Is Better In An EV

The electric pickup truck revolution continues in earnest. As more electric powertrain developments improve the range and efficiency of electric trucks, more options continue to arise. But one Silicon Valley startup asked, “Why do electric pickups need to be so big in the front if they have no engine?” That is an interesting question, indeed. 

TELO Trucks is designing a new small-size pickup that can fit five passengers and has a cab and flatbed the size of a Toyota Tacoma. It’s only the length of a two-door Mini Cooper SE — 152 inches long. 

The company was founded by Jason Marks and Forrest North, and Yves Béhar designed the car. Marks worked with autonomous driving and driver assistance at National Instruments. North was an early Tesla employee who helped develop a battery for the Roadster. He also founded Mission Motors and PlugShare, the charging station locating app. 

Béhar has worked as a creative lead, establishing the design studio Fuseproject. He also has worked with brands like Herman Miller, Samsung, and L’Oreal.

Photo Courtesy TELO Trucks

The truck aims to reduce wasted space where the engine block used to sit. Electric power allows for greater freedom regarding parking and storing the car.

So while it minimizes the look of the normal pickup, it doesn’t sacrifice utilitarianism. 

Let’s talk about some specifications. According to the company, it will accelerate from 0–60 mph in 4 seconds, with a battery range of around 350 miles and 500 horsepower in the drivetrain. The startup estimates the battery will power up from 20% to 80% in just 20 minutes with fast charging. It comes equipped with advanced safety technology to prevent collisions and other incidents. It’s expected to be a light, easy-maneuvering truck, reaching a top speed of 125 mph

According to Green Car Reports, TELO’s chassis is the skateboard-style powertrain more electric vehicle manufacturers are using for quick production and rollout. It will have a rear suspension to allow for the bed. The company is planning on 27-inch off-road tires with a few different variations.

TELO’s truck offers more than just a large flatbed. A storage tunnel under the bed will be available to store all your dirty items, leaving the top clean. Even with five-person passenger seating, you can still have long objects in the back. It can carry anything from plywood to gravel to mulch.

Photo Courtesy TELO Trucks 

TELO says it plans to build the rest of the vehicle with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, costing less than $1,000 to source the material. The rest of the body will include aluminum extrusions and carbon components. 

“We want to see this be kind of like the F-150 for the city. And so we’ve started the conversations with those companies that are actually buying the vehicles for those particular areas,” Marks told Green Car Reports.  

These trucks are applicable in several industries: construction, parcel delivery, food delivery, and city fleet vehicles. The scaled-down design means they would fit through tight corridors and alleyways. The company swears the handling is top-notch, so accidents will be easier to avoid.

Photo Courtesy TELO Trucks 

TELO’s trucks are expected to be ready in 2025, followed by mass delivery in 2026 through scaled manufacturing. It will have a base price of $49,000 without federal tax credits included. You can pre-order for $152, a dollar per inch of the car. All TELO vehicles will be hand-assembled in the U.S. 

According to Electrek, the company hopes to have a running prototype ready by the end of summer and a press vehicle by year’s end. Over the next three years, safety and aerodynamic testing will be conducted to test the car’s performance. 

Check out the episode of the Consensus in Conversation podcast featuring Forrest North and Jason Marks of TELO Trucks.


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