An Electric Pickup for Rural America?

December 29, 2017 09:19 AM

COMMENTARY-- Oil prices touched a two and a half year high this week. The last time fuel costs were up significantly the impacts were widespread, especially for farmers, and it led to innovation.

Company's like Tesla were formed and took off. The electric car built by Elon Musk continues to gain a following for its lack of fuel and battery innovations. That same company rolled out a full-sized tractor-trailer earlier this year hoping to get a foot in the transportation door. Just this week, CEO Musk hinting at an electric pickup truck. This is the only drawing the company has ever released of what looks like a 1950's roller skate slash pickup hybrid.

Even though full production is probably years away, I'm not sure, given current technology, an electric truck will find many buyers in farm country. And, for some of the same reasons smaller fuel-efficient cars aren't hauling cattle and bales of hay today. The farm truck is a workhorse, from feed to tractor tires, livestock and equipment-- you can't pull a gooseneck with a Prius. #Trademark. Hauling sheetrock across town is one thing, pulling equipment or cattle an hour down a dirt road is another.

Maybe I'm wrong and the company will invest in the infrastructure, the suppliers, mechanics and power chargers in rural America, but given the fact we're still struggling to get internet and keep doctors, it may just be a futuristic wish for now. But, I've been wrong before and betting against Musk has proven a sour game. 

Until then I'll park the electric pickup next my hoverboard and jetpack in the garage.

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Spell Check

Stockton, KS
12/30/2017 03:24 PM

  ONE place of FJ that one can comment...but try agweb!

Craigville, IN
1/8/2018 07:18 AM

  Keith, skepticism is just another part of innovation. Without skepticism, we would be following every snake oil huckster that came along. Skepticism caused the fledgling tractor to become better. Skepticism fueled the advancement of the horseless carriage. They had to prove themselves against the skeptics. Either innovation proves itself or skepticism exposes it's failings. Without skepticism, it would be like a university campus, where only one side of an issue is allowed to be heard, because they are right and there is no use in letting any other point of view to be heard, let alone considered. Skepticism is what keeps the entire herd from running off the cliff. It is the balance to irrational exuberance.

Dave Button
Great Bend, KS
1/2/2018 08:04 AM

  Take a look at A REAL farm pickup that is already up and running. Production starts in 2 years, not somebody's paper dream.


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