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Automaker Change The Way They One-up Each Other In The Cutthroat Pickup Market

Car companies will need to reexamine their pickup truck playbook as more of these models go electric. 

The industry’s cutthroat truck wars are bleeding over into the electric-vehicle market, with press releases touting an extra few miles of range here or some added towing capacity there. 

These old tactics of one-upping each other have been a tried-and-true way to market trucks for years. But in the nascent segment of electric trucks, companies aren’t trying to win a driver from another brand — it’s all about creating entirely new customers for what is essentially a new segment of vehicles. 

“It’s very common in the truck world to be touting specific numbers that you claim are better than all the competition in that segment,” Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.com, told Insider. “I think there’s actually a kind of alignment between the traditional truck market and what they’ve been doing for decades and the electric car market, in that both of them tend to be fixated on numbers and who’s faster? Who’s got better range?” 

In fact, with electric trucks, one could argue the stakes behind those numbers are even more crucial than with a gas-guzzling one. 

The additional 50 or 100 miles of range in the Chevrolet Silverado over the Ford Lightning, for example, might make all the difference to an on-the-fence consumer worried about charging — especially when using these vehicles as intended (towing and hauling) impacts factors like range.