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Electric trucks are reliable, but they consume energy

Electric trucks are reliable, but they consume energy

The federal government has set targets for new car sales, which must be exclusively electric by 2035, including pickup trucks.


However, Canadians don't yet have many options when it comes to electric pickup trucks, with only the F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T available as options. GM and Ram are expected to join the lineup in 2024.

Electric trucks are designed to efficiently move heavy loads, such as towing a trailer, such as gas trailers.

The gas-guzzling vehicle sticker that sticks to gas-powered trucks also applies to electric models. The latter requires a large electrical charge.

“Your autonomy will be reduced because the truck is working harder,” says Louise Levesque, policy director at Electric Mobility Canada.

“If you're towing something (with your pickup truck), you're going to use more fuel per mile (and) your tank won't take you as far as it normally would. The same goes for the electric version,” she says.

Mark Marmer, founder of Signature Electric, believes electric trucks should have greater battery capacity. According to him, these trucks are designed to transport heavy loads, which does not apply to an electric passenger car.

However, Mr Marmer admits it can be a challenge if a driver has to stop often.

“You have to be aware of recharging (and) ask yourself whether you have allowed enough time, whether you know which recharging device to use if necessary, and whether you can arrive safely,” he said.

Save $1,400 in gas per month

Sherbrooke resident Michael Laroche realizes that his electric truck drains its charge more quickly when a trailer is attached to his vehicle.

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Mr. LaRoche replaced his Ford F-150 pickup truck with its electric twin, the F-150 Lightning, about a year and a half ago.

“When I drive without the trailer, I can make a round trip from Montreal without having to reload my car,” he says.

From Sherbrooke, the round trip takes about 300 km.

“But when I use the trailer, I have to charge the truck for 20 to 25 minutes using a fast charging station,” says the man who makes his living installing charging stations for electric vehicles.

He says he travels between 300 and 400 kilometers a day, three or four times a week. Since replacing his combustion-engined truck with an electric vehicle, he says the cost of doing business has dropped dramatically.

“I recharge the truck overnight, for about 14 to 15 hours, and I'm ready to go,” Mr. LaRoche said in an interview.

He says his monthly electricity bill, which includes household consumption and car charging, has now averaged $350 over the past 15 months.

The bill is certainly high, but it represents a better solution than the $450 Mr. LaRouche spends each week on gasoline, allowing him to save $1,400 a month on fuel.

Bigger battery, but autonomy unchanged

The truck's battery size is larger than smaller electric vehicles, but the range remains the same, Marmer says.

“This is related to the size of the car. So there is no increase in autonomy, but the battery has to be larger,” he explains.

The latest electric pickup trucks can be expensive for those looking to replace their gas-powered counterparts, due in part to the premium finish and newness of the brand.

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Marmer says electric trucks, although more expensive for commercial use, are incredibly reliable.

According to him, electric cars generally operate with a simple mechanism, compared to a gasoline or diesel vehicle.

“This simplicity is the simplicity of the car itself, and the little care it requires to operate it is really what will allow it to continue.”