In a world where trucks have become increasingly large and heavy, Telo Trucks, an electric vehicle (EV) startup, is taking a different approach. Telo is betting on the U.S. market's readiness for small electric pickup trucks that cater to urban dwellers and individuals in need of a compact cargo utility vehicle. With the vision of providing a petite pickup truck with the "footprint of a two-door Mini Cooper" and the "same interior and bed space as a Toyota Tacoma," Telo aims to offer an environmentally friendly and practical alternative to traditional trucks.

Telo Bets U.S. Is Ready for Tiny Electric Pickup Trucks.
Image: TELO

Tapping into the Urban Market

Telo CEO Jason Marks believes there is an untapped market of city dwellers who require a cargo utility vehicle for various activities like gardening, surfing, snowboarding, hiking, and more. However, the current options in the market are too large for urban environments. Telo aims to target this specific segment of consumers who desire a smaller truck that is better suited to urban settings.

Early Success and Pre-Orders

Telo Trucks has generated significant interest since its recent launch. The company initiated preorders for its first vehicle, a 152-inch truck, which is projected to cost $50,000 at launch before government incentives. Within the first 12 hours, Telo received over 500 preorders, indicating a promising market demand for the petite pickup truck.

Design and Features

Telo showcased a full-size model of its upcoming vehicle at its San Francisco office. The envisioned truck will offer seating for five adults, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds, and provide a range of 350 miles on a single charge. Renders of the truck depict a sleek design with minimalistic features and an emphasis on functionality. Telo's design approach aims to capture the attention of urban customers who appreciate both aesthetics and practicality in their vehicles.

Company Background and Funding

The founding team behind Telo Trucks brings a wealth of experience in the automotive and electric vehicle sectors. CEO Jason Marks previously worked on autonomous driving and driver-assistance features at National Instruments, while co-founder Forrest North was part of Tesla's Roadster team. Telo has raised $1.4 million in funding so far, with investors including GoAhead Ventures, Underdog Labs, WorkPlay Ventures, renowned industrial designer Yves Behar, and other angel investors. Behar has also joined Telo as its head of design.

Distinct Advantages of Telo

Telo believes it has several distinct advantages compared to early players in the electric vehicle market. With advancements in contract manufacturing and the supply chain, Telo can leverage off-the-shelf components, reducing costs and streamlining production. Unlike earlier EV manufacturers, Telo does not need to develop motors or other components from scratch, allowing the company to focus on safety, batteries, and packaging. The startup's patent-pending battery packs are claimed to be smaller and lighter than those of any other electric vehicle on the market.

Decarbonizing Transportation and Future Challenges

Telo's entry into the market represents a step toward decarbonizing transportation and addressing the environmental impact of vehicles. While large EV trucks still have a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional gas-powered trucks, smaller electric pickup trucks like those offered by Telo provide additional benefits. However, the startup faces challenges in delivering vehicles at scale and turning a profit, as is the case with many EV startups. Despite these challenges, Telo is committed to bringing its pint-sized pickups to market and providing an alternative for urban consumers.


Telo Trucks is betting on the U.S. market's appetite for small electric pickup trucks that cater to urban dwellers and individuals in need of a compact cargo utility vehicle. With a focus on practicality, design, and addressing environmental concerns, Telo aims to carve out a niche in the evolving electric vehicle industry. The startup's early success in generating pre-orders demonstrates the market potential for smaller electric trucks, although challenges lie ahead in scaling production and ensuring profitability. Telo's innovative approach and strategic advantages position it as an intriguing player in the electric vehicle landscape.



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