In episode 198 of the Disruptors for Good podcast, I speak with Jason Marks and Forrest North, Co-founders of TELO Trucks, on their journey to creating TELO Trucks, an electric vehicle company focused on building utilitarian small trucks.
The founders talk about their backgrounds in the EV industry and the catalyst for starting TELO. The conversation covers battery technology, battery lifespan, and the challenges of battery production.
They also discuss the design of TELO Trucks and their goals for the future, including expanding their product line and making a positive impact on the environment.
- TELO Trucks aims to build utilitarian small trucks that meet the needs of city dwellers and have a positive impact on the environment.
- Battery technology has been steadily improving, but there is still room for innovation and advancements in energy density and manufacturing processes.
- The lifespan of an EV battery depends on factors such as depth of discharge and temperature management.
- TELO Trucks plans to have a fully functional press vehicle and begin production in the near future.
- The design of TELO Trucks focuses on a clean, modern aesthetic that is both functional and visually appealing.
- The company’s goals include scaling quickly, rethinking transportation, and expanding their product line to include other types of vehicles.
timing of chapters might be a bit off after editing.
00:00 Introduction and Background
03:00 The Journey to Tello Trucks
09:00 Battery Technology and EVs
18:00 Battery Management and Lifespan
20:00 Production and Release Timeline
21:00 Operating System and Infotainment
28:00 Design and Aesthetics
29:00 Goals and Future Plans
The world of electric vehicles (EVs) is constantly evolving, and innovation in this sector has opened up new possibilities for sustainable mobility.
However, when it comes to electric trucks, there has been a compromise between functionality, size, and environmental impact.
TELO Trucks aims to bridge this gap by offering a revolutionary solution that combines the best of both worlds.
Below we look into the details of TELO Trucks, exploring its innovative design, the brains behind the venture, and the significant strides it has made in the electric vehicle market.
Behind TELO Trucks
TELO Trucks was founded by two visionary minds with an exceptional background in the automotive industry: Jason Marks and Forrest North.
Jason Marks, the CEO and Co-Founder of TELO, played a crucial role in developing the test systems for driver assistance safety features on major United States’ automakers’ vehicle platforms.
Forrest North, the CTO and Co-Founder, was part of the team that developed the first Tesla Roadster and founded an electric motorcycles company called Mission Motors.
Together, they set out to create a truly groundbreaking electric pickup truck.
The Collaboration with Yves Béhar and Fuseproject
In their quest to revolutionize electric truck design, TELO Trucks joined forces with renowned designer, advisor, and investor Yves Béhar and Fuseproject.
This collaboration brought together a unique blend of expertise, creativity, and innovation. Yves Béhar, serving as TELO’s Head of Design and Advisor, played a pivotal role in shaping the truck’s aesthetics and functionality.
The TELO Trucks’ Design: Combining Functionality and Compactness
TELO Trucks’ design philosophy centers around achieving a perfect balance between functionality and compactness.
The key to this innovative approach lies in the strategic placement of the battery packs within the truck’s chassis, eliminating the need for a long, sloping front-end typically found in traditional trucks.
TELO boasts a remarkable 60-inch truck bed and a spacious four-door, five-passenger interior, offering the capacity and storage dimensions of a standard pickup.
However, the real magic lies in its compact length, enabling it to navigate small city streets and fit into tight parking spots with ease.
This unique design feature improves visibility and safety for drivers while eliminating the frustrating hunt for suitable parking spaces.
Innovative Storage and Versatility
TELO’s forward-thinking approach extends beyond the truck’s dimensions. It offers an expandable truck bed through a specially designed mid-partition that folds down, increasing the interior space towards the truck bed.
This feature allows for the transportation of large items like 4-feet by 8-feet sheets of plywood, long ladders, surfboards, and more with the tailgate up.
Furthermore, TELO Trucks include a side tunnel storage compartment that doubles as a seat when folded down. This compartment provides additional storage for mid-sized items like suitcases and adventure gear.
Additionally, the truck bed can be modified to accommodate a truck cap, allowing for a third-row seat or camping setup.
TELO Pricing and Pre-orders
Customers can pre-order their TELO Trucks today by placing a reservation for the vehicle. A fully-refundable deposit of $152 is required, symbolizing the overall length of the future vehicle, measuring 152 inches.
This length is equivalent to a 2-door MINI Cooper and is 4 feet shorter than any other pickup truck currently available in the U.S. market.
The TELO Truck aims to contribute to environmental conservation, enhance safety, and optimize space as the world’s most efficient electric vehicle pickup.
The base price will be $49,999 (Not Including saving via State and Federal Electric Vehicle Tax Credits).
Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 150 countries. Grant has personally interviewed 800+ impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.