Electric truck interest wanes—but not for the Toyota Tacoma EV

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After years of anticipation, 2024 is shaping up to be the year that automakers will start to deliver electric pickups—even the Tesla Cybertruck, perhaps—in greater volume. 

But even as overheated EV transaction prices calm and inventories offer the possibility of more test drives, Americans are looking less optimistic about putting an electric pickup in the driveway

So finds an annual Autolist survey regarding U.S. consumer sentiment about electric trucks, and gauging their popularity with consumers as a potential future vehicle. 

The annual Electric Truck Survey, out Wednesday, surveyed 3,600 shoppers from August 2023 to November 2023, about attitudes toward electric trucks and the market in general. And overall, the survey highlighted what Autolist CEO Corey Lydstone called “a slowdown in enthusiasm from shoppers of all stripes.”

Tesla Cybertruck final testing

Tesla Cybertruck final testing

The firm notes that 39% of shoppers saw electric trucks “less appealing” than ICE trucks this year, up from 32% in 2022; and the portion finding the electric trucks “more appealing” has dropped during that time from 29% to 22%.

Shifting to actual purchase intent, 27% said that they were likely to choose an all-electric truck for their next vehicle, versus 35% in 2022; and those seeing themselves as unlikely to go electric rose from 32% to 39%.

Autolist points to inventory data showing EVs accumulating on dealer lots, and notes that this may signal some softening in the pace of growth—even as sales continue to rise. It suggests this may be because those consumers who have accepted the higher prices and range/charging limitations have already bought in.

Shoppers still want a Toyota electric truck

The survey, once again, asked shoppers which electric truck they will choose, in a hypothetical matchup that included several trucks that haven’t been delivered yet, like the Tesla Cybertruck, Ram 1500 REV, and even electric trucks from Canoo and Bollinger. 

Autolist 2023 survey - electric trucks

Autolist 2023 survey – electric trucks

This year that matchup included 10 electric trucks, and as in 2022, shoppers were wild about the idea of a Toyota electric truck—particularly a Toyota Tacoma EV—that doesn’t yet exist. The Tacoma EV easily topped the list, with nearly a quarter of truck-owning respondents (a higher percentage than last year) indicating they were most likely to buy that over other electric trucks. The Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevy Silverado EV were in second and third place, with the Tesla Cybertruck in fourth. Looking solely at current EV owners, however, the Cybertruck jumped to first.

Toyota did, in 2021, confirm a fully electric pickup in “the near future” for the U.S. While it’s tested an affordable electric HiLux truck for other regions of the world, the more likely possibility for the American market is in the form of the Ford Maverick-sized Toyota EPU concept shown at October’s Tokyo motor show.

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