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TELO E-Truck: Redefining Design Norms For Urban EVs

Meet Forrest North, TELO's CTO, and Jason Marks, the CEO, the inventive minds revolutionizing the electric pickup landscape. Their company, TELO, is all about defying the norm, especially when it comes to size.

They're introducing the MT1, a compact electric pickup that challenges the enormity of traditional trucks. The MT1 has a game-changing design, skipping the engine bay for a compact cab-over structure. Incredibly, it fits a four-door cabin and a five-foot truck bed into a Mini hardtop's length, making even the Ford Maverick look oversized.

What's fascinating is that this compact wonder seats five comfortably. But that's not all—TELO offers an add-on that expands the seating capacity to eight. It's a whole new level of thinking when it comes to electric pickups. 

In this podcast episode, we're about to uncover the exciting story behind this innovation with Forrest and Jason.

🎧 Listen to & watch the episode



➜ [01:14] Introducting TELO
➜ [04:17] Truck Size Evolution
➜ [07:11] Electrification Trend and TELO's Stand
➜ [10:11] TELO's Sustainability Impact
➜ [16:02] Marketing TELO Effectively
➜ [17:12] TELO's Design Philosophy
➜ [23:04] Making TELO Accessible
➜ [26:00] EV Market Trends and TELO's Role
➜ [34:03] Emerging EV Trends and TELO's Adaptatio


Dunja Jovanovic: What inspired its creation and the market opportunities that led to the formation of your brand?

Jason Marks:  The inception of our venture was rooted in a challenge: commuting in densely populated urban spaces. Living in downtown San Francisco with my large dog, I faced issues taking him in my sedan or SUV due to the sand he accumulated. A truck with a covered bed allowed me to head to the beach without worry. This was a game-changer for me, allowing me to pursue outdoor activities without the stress of driving in the city. We began exploring solutions, initially delving into micro-mobility projects with scooters and motorcycles. After a survey in San Francisco, nearly 89% highlighted the need for a small truck in a city setting, and that's when we pivoted in that direction.


DJ: I'm somewhat surprised by this preference, considering the general liking for larger trucks among Americans.

Forrest North: Indeed, the trend has been toward larger trucks. My personal interest in moving away from fossil fuels pushed me towards electric vehicles (EVs) early on. With trucks growing in size, it felt contrary to the environmental goals. A small, highly versatile truck seemed a fitting solution for both urban and outdoor settings. Its adaptability and capacity to maneuver in both settings made it more practical.


DJ: Where does your truck stand in the EV truck market?

JM: The evolution of truck development, particularly stemming from the fuel crisis of the '70s, prompted a shift towards larger vehicles. However, with the advent of Electric Vehicles (EVs), there's been a replication of this trend towards larger truck designs, neglecting the market niche for smaller, high-performance trucks. Our primary focus has been to bridge this gap by creating a vehicle that not only offers both range and performance but does so within a compact frame.

Automakers endeavored to comply with fuel economy standards by increasing the size of vehicles, consequently dominating the market with predominantly larger trucks. This pattern continued even with electric trucks, which largely concentrated on larger models. Our goal is to cater to the unaddressed demand for smaller, high-performance trucks, specifically meeting the needs of businesses requiring compact yet highly capable vehicles for tasks in urban settings.


DJ: How do you balance functionality and affordability without sacrificing quality in your truck's design?

FN: The key advantage lies in our truck's design, focusing on a smaller battery pack while maintaining a range of 350 miles. By using a 106-kilowatt-hour pack instead of larger ones (e.g., 200-kilowatt-hour), we reduce raw materials in the battery significantly, resulting in a lighter vehicle. Additionally, we emphasize function over luxury, ensuring affordability without compromising quality.


DJ: Who is your ideal customer? Are they urban dwellers or those inclined towards outdoor activities?

JM: Our market splits into around 60% commercial and 40% consumer base. While we aim to cater to those working in construction, plumbing, and other downtown areas, our consumer market is largely individuals living in metropolitan regions, and involved in outdoor activities like mountain biking and surfing.


DJ: Could you discuss the design principles behind your truck?

FN: Our design philosophy, led by Yves Béhar, revolves around a modern and clean aesthetic. We steer away from the prevalent trend of sharp, angular designs, focusing on simplicity and functionality. Yves's design vision goes beyond the present, aiming to appeal to the future market, ensuring a timeless appeal.


DJ: Who do you see as your main competitors, and how do you plan to differentiate your brand in the market?

JM:  Our truck’s unique selling points, including its crew cab structure, and Tesla-like range in a compact footprint, position it uniquely in the market. While some may compare it to other vehicles, our strategy emphasizes the exceptional combination of utility, high performance, and small size, setting us apart from existing alternatives.


DJ: How do you plan to make the product accessible in the USA?

FN: Our main focus is establishing a reasonable price point for the performance our vehicle offers. We conducted thorough market research to determine a competitive price. We're targeting urban areas to generate excitement among those who most benefit from our product.


DJ: And where do you see challenges?

JM: In the EV market, there's a trend towards price competition. Companies are trying to differentiate their EV models but struggle due to similarities. Charging standardization, leveraging software for testing, and more accessible manufacturing are vital trends.

Tesla's network sets a high standard in charging infrastructure, a crucial aspect of widespread EV adoption. Many new EV companies faced challenges and failed to deliver due to aiming for increased sales volume without testing the market viability or a realistic approach to profitability. 

FN: We face challenges in communicating our groundbreaking innovations, particularly in safety and battery technology, and debunking preconceived notions. In 10 years, vehicles with long hoods will seem outdated. Our challenge is to shift perceptions about vehicle design, safety, and environmental impact.

JM: Launching an innovative vehicle remains a significant challenge in the automotive industry, requiring capital, public support, and effective communication to emphasize safety features, and practicality.


hi you're watching or listening depending on the 
streaming platform of your preference the green

New Perspective a podcast where we talk about 
Innovations happening within clean tech nature

Tech agritech and biotech space this episode is  proudly sponsored by New Perspective a Boston

based marketing agency working with clean 
tech clients so if you want to learn more

about our sponsor please check out the info in 
the description of this episode so what are we

focusing on today we are redefining electri trucks 
with Forest North and Jason Marx the CTO and

CEO of t t is a company that's breaking the mold 
introducing a compact electric pickup challenging

traditional truck sizes it's a game changer 
it's fitting a four-door cabin and 5ft truck

bed into a mini hardtops length shaking up the 
standard so join us as we talk about the secrets

Behind These groundbreaking Innovations and get 
ready to get a whole new perspective on electric


pickups hi Jason Hi Forest it's really lovely 
having you here on the green New Perspective

podcast so let's talk about T's Brand Story 
what motivated the Inception of T and what

Market opportunities did you identify that led 
to its creation it all kind of started from us

having a a big problem around commuting in dense 
urban area is I live in downtown San Francisco I

have a 150 pound dog that I take to the beach 
every weekend and there's no way he's going in

the back of my sedan or or even my SUV because he 
gets disgustingly Sandy so having a truck is kind

of a requirement for me um having a truck I can 
throw them him in the back with a with a cover

on the top and I can go snowboarding or mountain 
biking it was just a such a useful thing for me

as a consumer that lives in a downtown area but 
I couldn't ever really navigate the city it was

stressful to drive downtown it was stressful 
to find parking and it was just impossible to

actually use my vehicle for actually enjoying the 
city I live in so there there was this exists this

big fundamental problem with commuting in downtown 
areas and you know we set out to try to find the

way to solve it um this wasn't our first kind of 
guess at it we started by actually thinking about

the small like micro mobility and two wheel 
transport between scooters and motorcycles

and worked on those projects uh for while it's 
actually where we got to know each other pretty

well we were for us was working on a scooter 
project I was working on a motorcycle project

we ended up working on the motorcycle project 
together uh for many years and then we realized

that you know that wasn't a good Marketplace a 
good way to actually change the game and change

the way that we actually commute and there existed 
this huge problem around trucks in cities that was

fundamentally causing the the pain that I was 
feeling so when we actually went out and did

a market survey of around 200 people in LA and 
San Francisco around different types of modes of

transportation we gave them opportunities to look 
at like small cars lowspeed Vehicles Vans sedans

hatchbacks motorcycles everything we offered an 
opportunity to look at a small truck and almost

everybody 89% of the people we surveyed said 
the most useful thing that they could have in a

downtown area would be a small truck and so we've 
decided that that was the best way to Pivot our

our Direction I have to say yeah I have to say I'm 
surprised because there's like a perception that

Americans like big trucks yes there definitely 
is and and we'll get into that um I would my

um interest has always been in uh getting off of 
fossil fuels since I was a kid so I built a radio

controlled Electric solar car when I was in high 
school then I did that when I was at Stanford did

the Stanford solar car project that turned into 
Tesla that turned into my first motorcycle startup

so I've been working in EVS uh my whole life and 
trucks since 2010 have just been getting bigger

and bigger um and it really felt like we were 
going the wrong direction uh to Electrify these

enormous trucks um and that that so it was really 
struck a chord with me when we made this uh switch

um I I also have been a truck owner of large 
trucks and small trucks um and so really like

the idea of a a of a high capacity High utility 
small truck that you can maneuver not just in the

city but also I grew up in the country and there's 
a lot of small roads getting in between trees like

big trucks are actually not that useful in a lot 
of outdoor situations so can you tell me um where

do you see the T stands in the EV truck Market 
the EV truck Mark the truck Market in general is

a really interesting and really bizarre story um 
so I'll actually take you all the way back to the

the 1970s where the en the we had a gas crisis 
in the US and so the Environmental Protection

Agency created a series of laws that they gave to 
automakers that said hey you need to you need to

save fuel you need to have more fuel economic cars 
but they only applied it to Passenger cars and

they Exempted trucks so since the 1970s a lot of 
automakers started moving their vehicles to trucks

SUVs Crossovers and calling them trucks so they 
could get kind of Skirt the epa's Rules around um

fuel economy and the EPA wisened up in the 20 in 
2010 and said hey we're not going to let you guys

just call everything trucks and get away with this 
anymore we're going to give you rules for trucks

we're going to give you fuel economy standards 
so that means how many miles you can drive per

gallon of fuel you consume going to give you these 
standards but what they did is they based it on

the the size of the vehicle they based on the the 
length and width the footprint of the vehicle and

they they did as they said the bigger you build 
your car the bigger you build your truck sorry

the worse fuel economy you're allowed to have so 
what that means is that they tried to say hey if

we're building a semi truck then you can then then 
that's then you can have really bad fuel economy

because you're doing a big job maybe it requires 
a lot of fuel but if you're building a small truck

you have to be more fuel efficient but in reality 
what the automakers were able to do is say hey I'm

not able to actually build my vehicle this fuel 
efficient so I'm just going to build it slightly

bigger because that makes it easier to hit these 
requirements so every year the the automakers

started looking at the projections of what those 
fuel economy standards were and they made their

cars bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and 
bigger so now every single truck that's made by

the US automotive industry and many in Japan and 
other places all reside at the biggest point they

can be at where that line for fuel economy 
flattens out they all sit there so left so to

your question it left this massive Market of small 
trucks untouched because all the automakers were

forced to move larger now what really interesting 
in terms of the electric pickup truck Market is

that electric pickup truck makers started building 
their trucks as an electric version of those big

trucks the automakers are making so they were 
not beholden to the fuel economy standards that

the other automakers were beholden to but they 
chose to go compete against them in the same

size and footprint of truck so they now exist on 
that far edge of the size they're the big trucks

even electric they're big and left this huge gap 
in the market that they could have filled because

they're electric but they didn't and that's where 
we live we live in that small Ultra compact but

High Performance Truck space and one of the uh 
interesting things after we launched in June is

and I think that speaks to this Market is that we 
launched to Consumers to show there was demand we

we were really surprised by the response we got 
it was great but another surprise was that in the

week after we launched Fleet companies called us 
because there they said they couldn't buy trucks

now that were small enough to do the things they 
need to do so it's like there's this kind of weird

you know culture of like these big work trucks 
are for work but they're really not they're kind

of just big puffy trucks that don't do much more 
than a much smaller truck did in the past um and

so companies that actually do work are looking for 
vehicles that fit yeah and without using the names

of the companies just the examples they gave us 
were pretty astounding like people that have to

go downtown and pick up a garbage bin out of an 
underground parking lot in a condo and bring it to

the city it requires a truck that can lift a 2,000 
pound garbage bin but if it's too big you actually

can't make the turns in the underground parking 
lot so you're out of luck it's too big to do so

you need both a small compact vehicle and also one 
that's got high capability to lift you've also got

vehicles that are clearing trees in downtown 
areas they are cleaning up the roadways they

need to be able to go on the highway to navigate 
the city so a small golf cart like vehicle won't

do it but they need to be small enough to fit in 
the Alleyways that they're driving through and

there's just so many examples of like the if you 
have a smaller truck with the same capabilities as

a fullsize truck you can do your job better like 
uh one one person that really resonates with me

as I was speaking to a contractor that works 
in downtown San Francisco and he was telling

me that he has to go park a mile away from his job 
site every day and he has to walk his 50 pound bag

of tools to the job site a mile when he goes out 
to lunch he has to leave his tools there because

he can't bring them back to his car and lock them 
up when he comes back from lunch people will take

his tools they'll be gone so he's so he's spending 
an extra hour of his time just walking to and from

his car and he's losing his tools every single 
time he does it so he's just in this really

stressful situation that if he could just park 
next to his job site he would be fine but um one

thing I really want to point out is that because 
I know this is a very much a sustainability

conversation like even these problems are problems 
that exist for the consumer and for the fleet

vehicles but that has so many Downstream climate 
negative effects right so one of the big things is

if you Electrify just that big truck the big truck 
that exists you're effectively just adding two to

three ,000 pounds of batteries to a big truck and 
that has so many negative consequences because it

adds to Rolling resistance it adds to because 
the batteries are tall it actually requires you

to take up more space in the car so now it adds 
to wind resistance and and it's so much energy

now required to move that vehicle so in order to 
get a 350 mile range vehicle you have to have a

200 kilowatt hour battery pack in a vehicle that 
weighs 8,000 pounds so you're tearing up roadways

you're extremely dangerous for uh pedestrians if 
they get hit they're done for um you have issues

with uh Tire particulates because these vehicles 
are so so big going into roadways and then the

crazy thing is that if you look if on average you 
know the the grid isn't completely clean right now

so if you look at on average the carbon emissions 
burned per mile driven of a big electric truck is

about the same as the carbon emissions of a small 
gas vehicle so there's not much of a difference

there and um what is amazing about your truck is 
also the price uh because well we're used to like

you said big EVS like let's say rivan r1t which 
is 70k plus so how did you manage to keep the the

the low price yeah I mean part of the beauty of 
creating a high performance but compact vehicle

is that it requires less a little fewer material 
and a little less powerful of current draws and

motors to actually get the same performance you 
would get with another bigger vehicle so we have

a smaller battery pack and that smaller battery 
pack still gives us 350 miles of range it's still

106 kilowatt hours but it's not 200 kilowatt hours 
which means that we have almost half the amount of

raw materials in the battery alone and that means 
that the vehicle's lighter when the vehicle's

lighter you need less things to less structural 
material in the vehicle to carry just as much

our vehicle shell itself is a smaller footprint 
less aluminum material on the exterior of the

vehicle all these things add up without actually 
compromising the experience of the driver and

we're also you know not going for a lot of luxury 
items uh you know we're going for fit for per fit

for purpose which is where our name comes from um 
we really want a a vehicle that can do a lot um

but can still be accessible to a lot of people but 
can we talk about your ideal Customer because um

you mentioned that you wanted to be a utility car 
but you also would like people to use it for like

like you like you mentioned to go to the beach to 
go to the forest to go hiking biking whatever so

what would be actually what would actually be your 
perfect customer your well target audience yeah

about 60% of the market is commercial and 40% is 
consumer so it's about that split but we're we're

not going uh you know we're in past experience 
it's hard to go directly to fleets without having

a consumer product and you see this in in vehicles 
as well so uh consumers um help build the buzz

they help build the brand and they help uh Fleet 
companies believe you're you're going to exist

right because you're out there Fleet companies 
have a longer sales cycle um and they uh you know

it can be a little bit hard sometimes to launch 
a startup directly towards fleets yeah and so for

our ideal C consumers for ideal Fleet customers 
we're talking about people that currently drive

pickup trucks and vans in downtown areas people 
that are working in construction areas and

plumbing and electricians everything that does 
work in downtown cities in La San Francisco

Seattle you you name it like like big downtown 
metropolitan areas that have this challenge of

being able to park their vehicle in a downtown 
area uh for consumers um we find we actually

have a pretty good good understanding of where our 
pre-orders come from and who our demographics are

um based on the conversations that we have in our 
Discord Channel which is a highly active Discord

Channel we have a good understanding of who our 
consumers are and for the most part they do live

in downtown areas there are plenty of exceptions 
don't get me wrong any of you Discord listeners

are users are listening to this one I know I I 
recognize that not everybody is from downtown

we have a lot of downtown uh livers that love 
mountain biking they love surfing we have a ton of

Surfers ever since Kelly Slater placed a pre-order 
we've been just getting tons and tons of surfers

coming our way uh we have a lot of mountain 
bikers we have a lot of people that have small

children so we have a lot of people ask about 
being able to fit car seats in our vehicle um

but really it's all like we have a lot of active 
lifestyle Metropolitan people and do you so do you

feel there's a shift there in the mindset uh from 
buying big heavy you know we don't think from the

consumer side we're going to get a lot of people 
that currently drive an F350 to move over to our

vehicle I don't think we're gonna get we're 
gonna get that which is okay you know I think

that you know the truth is in the not to distant 
future about 70% of Americans are going to live

in downtown metropolitan areas so it's the biggest 
Market you know um and it's a good way to really

in influence that market because we really want 
to make the biggest dent in our carbon emissions

it's going to be through the biggest market so 
we think that people that are buying crossovers

um like like uh vehicles that are capable of doing 
some level of off-roading that are that are either

considered crossovers or SUVs that's really our 
Target demograph trffic I have to say when uh we

were planning to do a podcast with Alo uh we had 
a conversation in our in our agency and um I'm in

Europe and most of my colleagues are in Boston 
and they were so skeptical like who is going to

drive a small truck and I was like it's perfect 
for Europe it's perfect for Europe yeah we're

driving small cars we have small Street this 
this is perfect perfect solution and you don't

have many options with smaller trucks actually 
so like you said there uh usually made to be big

big horsepowers you know everything large um so 
yeah I really like this idea I personally do we

have a lot of European interests actually um we 
haven't announced our our European launch but

there really doesn't exist like a pickup truck for 
Europe is what we found out um there's been some

like people that have that have hinted maybe they 
would do that in the past but no one's actually

release that that pickup track so we're talking to 
actually governments and municipalities in Europe

right now and trying to understand um does it make 
sense for us to to maybe have a you know a branch

office over there and and work towards delivering 
a vehicle for Europe um one other thing I wanted

to talk about with you is about design yeah 
because you have a quite famous head of design

e so can you tell me about the design philosophy 
and principles that guide you to develop T Tru as

it is and the brand the brand looks great yeah we 
I mean really Eve would be the best to uh to talk

about that um he's got an amazing team uh and he's 
really taken on you know all of the the design

side so the exterior the website The Branding um 
all of that so one thing that did drive us towards

Eve is I've worked with Eve before um we launched 
um a motorcycle product project back in 2009 at

Ted um and so I worked with him and I knew what 
he could do and I um love his modern and simple

modern approach and that's really we wanted that 
in the truck so you know we so that was he was

just the perfect fit for that um there's a bunch 
of benefits like one there isn't a isn't really

kind of a a clean modern looking truck I believe 
um that has that kind of modern aesthetic um so

you know we see a lot of like weird wrinkles and 
um kind of like badging on the kind of trucks that

are out there now that I I personally don't think 
fit in the kind of urban environment as well also

there's some interesting things around like a um 
really clean lines and simple form U make tooling

and prototyping and things uh easier so it's 
actually a good path to go for this truck so

it really fit in a bunch of different ways yeah 
just just to reiterate what what force is saying

there in a different way like so there's been 
a trend in automotive design right now to move

to a very sharp angular thing it's it's like 
the current Trend in design of that real sharp

angular they call it tension where it's like it's 
like you're pulling a sheet over something and it

creates tension and creat creates a crease and 
that's the kind of current status of a lot of

vehicle design right now almost every vehicle you 
see on the road has an abundance of these creases

in there um and while that may give you kind 
of an aggressive look in some ways I can see

how you can make that argument it also actually 
makes it more costly to build the vehicle because

every crease you have creates a really hard way to 
actually Implement that in tooling so it requires

like a concave curve and has to peek and come out 
that is actually a fairly expensive way to do it

so not only are we looking at a modern aesthetic a 
More sculptural Design breaking away from a lot of

the automotive kind of trends of this aggressive 
creas but we're also looking at ways in which we

can actually save costs in the actual tooling 
of our vehicle where it makes it so we don't

have problems like large panel gaps because of 
the ease of Tooling in the vehicle and one other

thing that I think evea is really excellent at is 
um he he's looking at design he's spent you know

his whole life in design so when he's looking at 
design it's in the future and that's exactly what

you need uh in a vehicle program because the the 
the cycle is fairly long to like go from concept

to being out on the street so your design can't 
be like what someone would love today it's got

to be what they're going to love three years 
from now um and he's great at that and I've

you know experienced that in the past like his 
design with the motorcycle it was polarizing

there were motorcyclists that hated it there were 
motorcyclist that loved it I think when you look

back at it it's it looks beautiful um I still get 
lots of uh compliments on it and so uh and I've

seen that with his other products as well so like 
a great designer will really look is is living in

the future yeah that's true that's true I mean 
he's quite quite famous for that so yeah yeah um

so where do you feel your main competitors in 
the EV tru truck Market are and um and if you

feel like you have them because from from this 
conversation now I feel like you're unique quite

unique yeah um how do you um think that you're 
going to differentiate your brand yeah well I

fundamentally if you look at how we kind of tell 
people about our vehicle the first thing we tell

them is it's a crew cab pickup truck with the 
range of a Tesla in the footprint of a twodo Mini

Cooper and they go what a twood door Mini Cooper 
that's crazy you know um but we think about it

there doesn't really exist a vehicle that kind 
of fits all those capabilities it's only really

been possible by electrifying the power train by 
using the stateoftheart and safety and materials

technology like it's only been possible now to 
do this vehicle even so that's why it doesn't

really exist in the marketplace there are people 
that are kind of moving in the taking baby steps

in the direction that we've taken and we feel 
that there are you know people that are that

are you know dipping their toe in the water but 
we're taking a full-on cannonball into the into

the water right so we we realize that you have to 
swing big to make the biggest impact and for that

reason we don't think there's a a ton people that 
are really competing with us directly we think

there's people that are look at our vehicle and 
they would compare it against other vehicles in

the marketplace they would say well if I yeah 
so if I want a a truck with the same utility

am I willing to trade off an extra six feet of 
length like that doesn't sound like it's useful

to me um or if I want a vehicle in this footprint 
am I willing to take a third the range of doing

that which is really the only other vehicles 
that exist in this footprint have a third of

the range so so for that reason like we're really 
trying to be a market leader in this space but we

do think our consumers and our Fleet customers 
will be looking at other vehicles to solve the

same need and that's why we want to come out as 
very clearly using our our size as an advantage

it's not like we're like a lowcost you know slow 
lethargic vehicle we're we're 500 horsepower 060

in four seconds you know five seats of comfortably 
a 4x8 sheet of plywood can fit in with the midgate

down like we've got all the things that you really 
want the bells and whistles you want want in a

high utility truck and the fact that it's small is 
a selling point it's like yes now it's small too I

can use it and we've had like you know I wouldn't 
necessarily advertise this out too much but we've

had a lot of our consumer our like pre-order um 
consumers just show up to our office sometimes and

we're like um uh okay let me show you around real 
quick I don't I won't encourage people that listen

to this to go do that for us but they do show up 
we do have usually a very good short conversation

with them they tell us here's why I love the 
truck here's why I'm so interested in here's how

I'm going to use it and so we hear from them about 
like the fact that it's small is the selling point

yeah you tell them join our Discord group exact 
it's great to meet them can our listener join the

disc um so um since we're a marketing agency I 
have to um ask you some of the marketing questions

so um can you tell me um what strategy did you use 
to promote the product and what channels um have

been most effective yeah in reaching those 
customers that we mentioned Eve has so much

influence and sway in the space and around the 
minds and hearts of people so his just presence

and his involvement and his his General excitement 
about what we're doing has been a huge marketing

push for us because he has social reach he has 
you know regular PR reach you know he has that

reach in general I will say that we launched our 
vehicle uh in June relatively like um you know

leanly would say I wouldn't say cheaply I would 
just leanly uh we had a great PR agency in darus

who you who you've met and but we really between 
Eve's team and darus like we did not necessarily

swing for the walls when it came to a marketing 
push but we're just so much organic interest like

if you look at our Google analytics a lot of what 
people came about were organic interest or clicks

from news articles that came out and then grow 
then growth from there so it's actually really

interesting to look at like if you get super 
excited about a product you want to tell all

your friends so it's so funny if you look at 
like our pre-order list you'll see like one

person purchase from some obscure you know town 
in Rhode Island and then like 10 other people

purchase from that same town in Rhode Island 
so you can see the trend of like somebody just

being like I'm so excited about that boom boom 
boom boom boom boom all my friends now know it

too and that starts with us being excited about 
it right so we're making a product that we want

like we we are waiting for this product we're 
making it um our cons our customers have that

same kind of passion yeah all in all our customer 
acquisition cost is relatively low like extremely

low less than a tenth that of another automotive 
company and that's simply because there's just so

much excitement and it's so organic what people do 
here because it doesn't exist in the market it's

not just another truck that I have to go compare 
I don't have to create an Excel sheet with all

of the different trucks lined up and compare the 
specifications it's very clear what we're doing

and it's very different and how do you plan to 
make it accessible to customers in the USA yeah

well first it comes from you know getting a price 
point that's that's reasonable for the performance

you get in our vehicle I think that's really 
important so we did a lot of market research on

that price point and what that price point would 
be for a vehicle like we're trying to deliver and

I think that we nailed that price point it's not 
a slow Light low speed vehicle it is a performance

vehicle but still at an accessible price point and 
so you get all the value you would get in a big

electric truck or in a big truck at the same cost 
Point as kind of the market leaders in the regular

truck space so that was really important to us as 
well as you know really targeting the demographic

of people that we think would benefit the most 
from our vehicle you know showing our vehicle in

dense urban areas getting people excited like 
oh that looks just like my neighborhood I can

Envision my vehicle being parked in that same 
location in my neighborhood that's the kind of

area that we really want people to get get excited 
about and um when we talk about EV Trends eveve

truck markets in well we mentioned here Europe and 
and uh America so so let's talk about well Europe

and America what trends have you observed and how 
does tell line with these Trends yeah I mean um

there's a couple of trends that we're seeing in in 
in the world of EV so I'll start at the the very

high level piece price piece one we see a lot 
of people that are really hyperfocused on price

so we see a lot of people that are talking about 
a price War to happen between a lot of different

companies we see a lot of excitement around theow 
cost version of EVS coming out of other areas of

the world so there is a lot of people that are 
talking about that and I think the reason they're

talking about that is because they've commoditized 
a lot of the EV space now it's like what's really

the difference between this EV sedan and this EV 
sedan or this EV crossover and this EV crossover

you know like you get like um that same problem 
where you have to create the Excel sheet and

compare all the specs individually because there 
aren't people that are super excited around as

something that was different and uniquely solving 
their problem did you want to yeah I'm uh yeah I

me think there's several other trends that we 
could talk about I think you know one trend

is on charging so um uh it's been a great Trend 
to see other automakers shift over to the Tesla

standard which is the nacs I mean it um my last 
company uh before the scooter company actually

so two companies ago was plugshare it's an app 
for finding electric vehicle charging stations

and through that we got all the data from all 
the you know basically the charging world and I

can tell you that Tesla is the only Network that's 
essentially um fulfilling I would say the needs of

people to have a reliable Network there's nothing 
else out there that you can rely on from a whole

network standpoint like like um and so that's 
just critical for for Eves to take hold with more

than the early adopters and and I do want to talk 
about so that's a great Trend and so we are going

to be native uh for that uh standard um uh which 
other companies will be as well but I think that's

a great trend for the for the uh for the whole 
Market the the trend that I I want to talk about

though is is something that's actually probably 
um kind of worked in our as a disadvantage for a

while and now is kind of like an advantage like we 
saw a bunch of EV companies Spring up in the last

20 years right we saw a ton of different companies 
some of which have me met astronomical success

like Tesla some of which have not right and some 
of which have have failed and they've been in

the news a lot lately um and we we see that like a 
lot of people got super excited around the success

that came from Tesla and tried to replicate it but 
they made a lot of mistakes along the way and the

biggest mistake they made was trying to get to 
high volume High profit like high volume sales

to get to profitability so 100,000 plus units 
per year and making decisions as if they could

do that as if that money were free so spending a 
billion dollars trying to become a major automaker

without actually even delivering Vehicles going 
through crash safety testing the market to see if

it's even there so all that happened and and and 
companies just they failed to deliver on a lot

of different areas and it's it's led to like this 
downward Trend in people's minds of like oh Eevee

startup that's really hard to do it's never going 
to come to Market but the reality is like the the

things that have happened over the last 20 years 
have kind of crafted what's been possible in the

last two years so one thing that happened over the 
last 20 years is companies had to build their own

drivetrain components they had to build Motors 
and inverter and BMS and they had to build all

these different like expensive components of the 
vehicle and now it's gotten to a point where the

tier one suppliers to automakers have figured it 
out they've commoditized a lot of those components

and we can now buy them off the shelf for for 
inexpensively per unit cost which is crazy to me

because that's a a part of of a company that had 
to spend a hundred million doar to develop this

product and now I can go buy it for a thousand 
dollar um off the shelf so that's a big trend

on top of that there's been probably two other 
things that are really unique one is that we're

seeing a big uh growth of contract Manufacturing 
in vehicles across the world but particularly in

the US we're now wising up and realizing that we 
have to actually compete in that space um not just

like the big names of contract Manufacturing 
in the world but even smaller shops that can

build vehicles at 100 to 5,000 units per year 
and they can do so profitably and share that

amongst a bunch of other companies so there exist 
their exist companies in California Detroit and

actually all over the the the US that can actually 
build 5,000 vehicles per year for an automaker by

by amortizing their their cost of their tools 
and everything over time and all the things

associated with that which is like really unique 
because that's typically been the valy of death of

startups is to go between 100 press vehicles and 
get to profitability like if you can do that early

at 5,000 Vehicles that's amazing then you can 
scale and get to profitability at 50,000 Vehicles

if you've done that and the last big thing is 
really how software plays the role in a in vehicle

development and vehicle testing so I worked in as 
an automotive supplier for vehicles I did a lot

of uh Safety Systems auton autonomous driving 
driver assistance features over the last uh uh

10 12 years in fact I worked on some of the very 
first radar and lar chipsets that went into Adas

and autonomy um there's been a big shift in like 
having to build hundreds of prototypes having to

build breadboards of vehicles doing all the design 
manually to how we use software to develop and

test Vehicles now so there's a big Trend in the 
automotive industry called 100% virtual validation

which is really a process of saying that I can 
develop my vehicle entirely in software and I

can test it entirely in software so that by the 
time I build a prototype vehicle all I'm doing is

checking that my software tests were correct which 
means that I don't have to build tens or hundreds

of vehicles I can build five I mean koneg is kind 
of famous for this they built they crashed one

vehicle to get European and US regulatory crash 
safety just one that's amazing like everything

else is done yeah it speeds up the process so 
much um I wanted to ask you do you feel like

there's challenges when you're communicating these 
Innovations towards the market you're practically

um launching some Innovative Technologies some 
unique opportunities for drivers in the USA so do

you feel like uh there are challenges there when 
you're trying to present them to the mass Market

yeah I think that um there's a lot of preconceived 
notions around how the automotive Market works you

know the reason that we're able to do all this is 
because we have major Innovations in safety and

Battery Technology that's the two core elements 
of our of our technological innovations and a

lot of people get excited about those and go 
well isn't that your core business like your

these two innovations and we say well these two 
innovations don't exist alone like you need if

you add these two innovations together you can 
create a completely different Market of vehicles

and then you've got the ability to actually 
make the biggest dent in climate change like

we're talking about you know just because we made 
the most volumetrically space efficient battery

pack if if a if a vehicle is 10,000 pounds and 30 
feet long it's not going to matter to them but the

minute you try to say let me create a performance 
vehicle that's less than 13 feet long now they're

like okay well how do you possibly do that well 
that's where the Battery Technology really stands

out it's things like that so that's the first big 
uh notion we get is like okay we it's kind of why

we built this buck and launched it actually was 
because people just didn't believe it yeah yeah

that's true yeah yeah yeah when I was doing like a 
little research I saw like the Articles mentioning

it it sounds too good to be true yeah and they 
still don't we have a one of our Engineers has a

Miata and it's longer than our vehicle and it's 
often out in the parking lot and we'll talk to

investors and and people about it and they're like 
no no no no and we'll actually have to measure it

go out and the parking lot measure it and they're 
like oh my gosh yeah oh they we have a seating

buck that you might have seen in like the motor 
trying article the Motor Trend editor was 610

and we had another we had a couple other people 
that were in their six foots they sat behind him

and they sat in our seating buck and they're just 
like I can't believe we fit like that doesn't make

any sense how is that possible yeah one of ways we 
communicated I mean it's a good question that you

asked is we built actual Scale Models you know 
of toy toy cars so that you could actually see

these are 124th models and and we have a little 
Mini Cooper we have our vehicle you know they're

the exact same length and we've got a a Ford and 
a Tesla and so just just you know people like to

have something to touch it's so because it's 
such a hard thing to communicate so um my last

question for you is um where do you see U the EVR 
Market where it's headed and what opportunities

and challenges um do you see for T yeah for I'm 
gonna use Forest words here so I'm gonna I'll

see how I how well I do it um we see in 10 years 
that any vehicle you see with a long Hood a long

nose will look dated like obsolete what what use 
is that to them if you have storage elsewhere in

the vehicle like what use is a long frunk that's 
not actually serving any need it's getting in the

way of you actually navigating the roadways like 
we think that that's the vision like every single

F-150 you see right now in this in this downtown 
San Francisco and downtown LA and downtown New

York will be a t that's what we want to see happen 
because if you look at like what we didn't say yet

which I really should have said in the beginning 
was like duty trucks constitute such a major part

of carbon emissions in the US if you look at all 
the global all the carbon emissions across all

economic sectors that means Retail transportation 
and Industry agriculture whatever you look at you

aggregate everything 10 and a half percent 
of that is just light duty trucks in the US

it's a wild amount of of carbon emissions that 
light duty trucks produce I mean we're talking

hundreds of megatons of of carbon Emissions on 
light duty trucks and if we can have a vehicle

that has like is is the most efficient version 
of a of the work of a light duty truck like we

can make the biggest dent in climate change we can 
see an eight to n% reduction in carbon emissions

across the US and that's really like if you could 
snap your fingers and make like one decision just

move all light duty trucks to Telos like how many 
other things in the world exist that you can do

something like that and now you've got a nearly 
double digit reduction in carbon emissions like

that's the that's the change we want to see but 
where do you see the challenge well there's you

know it's always a challenge to bring a vehicle to 
Market that's certainly a challenge um yeah we're

autoo like we're an automotive company like let's 
not kid ourselves it's it's not like we think we

can do this like we we can bring a vehicle to 
Market in the most Capital efficient way that's

ever been done before because of the innovations 
that have happened over the last 20 years and what

we've learned from being in Detroit and Silicon 
Valley like we think that that's possible but

let's not get ourselves it's still a vehicle 
company it still requires capital and it still

is going to need people to get excited about 
it and you to prove that you've got a market

and prove that people want this and that you can 
deliver so we've got all that ahead of us right

now and that is still like like any company 
it's hard but we're a vehicle company yeah I

think another another challenge is just kind of 
on the marketing which you were kind of getting

to in that you know by cutting off the nose when 
you're driving around it actually feels so much

more stress free like you you feel more free you 
can see in front of you when you come up to like

you're pulling into a street you don't have to do 
that thing where you're like leaning your head Way

Forward and you still have four feet of your car 
in front of you that if you you scooch it out and

you can't see the cars coming they're going to run 
into you right like it's it's hard to communicate

the freedom you get when that is gone and so you 
know it's going to take you know people it doesn't

scale well to just have everyone have to drive 
something to like feel that so like communicating

um the beauty and and freedom of having a vehicle 
that isn't in your way all the time um I think is

something that is a is a challenge we have on um 
on the marketing side yeah I also think that you

know we're doing things in safety that are super 
like Innovative and we're using some of the best

in the automotive technology that's been developed 
in the automotive industry for the last 10 years

um there is still some conceived notion that 
we have very small hood of our vehicle you see

it it's like about about 18 inches of mechanical 
crumple in our vehicle so it's still relatively

small and the things we do to actually make that 
an extremely safe vehicle not only for occupants

but also for pedestrians like pedestrian deaths 
are an all-time high on us roadways over 9,000

pedestrians died uh this will have died this year 
from from being hit by Vehicles three times more

of them are hit by trucks than any other vehicle 
it's it's wild like what we've done we want to

make sure that our it's very well communicated 
that like if somebody has a family and they're

worried about their children's safety and they're 
when they're when they're driving this vehicle

they have kids in the back they want to make sure 
they're safe that we are out the gates showing how

safe our vehicle is and convincing people that 
even though we don't have this long hood that

long Hood's actually not saving your children it's 
the other things that happen in that in that crash

the science of the crash that really saved your 
children interesting yeah I didn't know that um

have to say that these challenges are common 
within the clean tech ech space um a lot of

people that we've talked to within this podcast 
are telling me that communicating Innovation is

not uh it's not a small issue you know but hey 
I guess this podcast is there to to help as well

so um thank you for this conversation if you 
have something more to add now is the time and

I would like to to tell us which channels can our 
listeners or viewers visit to support you to get

informed about t to get in touch with you if they 
want you know to buy yeah it's all on t

T trucks and we've got a Discord Channel that's 
a great way to engage as as well yeah we hear

from you we have almost a thousand active users on 
Discord right now um and any feedback you give us

on Discord it actually we have a way of actually 
tagging it and tracking it and it can go into

our engineering channels so if you want to see 
something on our interior which hasn't been fully

flushed out yet so if you have feedback on that 
you say hey I really need I really need this type

of screen I really need this type of pass through 
for the leg like all that stuff actually goes into

our engineering channels and becomes part of our 
product road map so like we can actually pull from

that when we want people's feedback around what 
to do next in our vehicle platform which is really

cool because we have like a circular way of like 
we then share can share pictures like is this what

you're talking about okay cool let's do that um 
so I think that's a really cool way to to interact

with us and you actually get a chance to influence 
the direction we go with our company um we do have

an Instagram as well we haven't posted a ton yet 
there because we're still kind of trickling out

little hints and we want to keep a lot of those 
that feedback on Discord because it's where we

really could interact with our potential user 
base um and yeah all of that is available on Tel


0:42:08.880,0:42:18.400 we've come to an end of yet another 
episode of The Green New Perspective podcast and

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this episode featuring Jason and uh forest

from T you can check the description of this 
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