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True Cars The Tiny Cybertruck

Telo Electric Minitruck

As EV powertrains unlock new potentials, this startup automaker aims to deliver Tacoma interior and bed space in a much, much smaller package.

Why, exactly, do trucks need to be so damn big? Some drivers truly need rigs with four-figure torque and 8-foot beds but suffice it to say we’ve all seen trucks that are infinitely overbuilt for how their owners actually use them.

Telo (pronounced like “hello”), a startup automaker in the San Francisco Bay Area, is setting out to create a truck that delivers on its form factor. That’s indicated by the company’s name, derived from telos, a Greek word meaning purpose or goal. But Telo won’t achieve its goal by making a truck bigger and more capable than every other; rather, it’s rethinking what a pickup can be in the electrified era, resulting in a concept that’s unbelievably tiny. If it works, drivers convinced that pickups are too big and too excessive might realize a truck is what they were missing all along.


Meet Team Telo

At this point the Telo truck is little more than an idea, but the brains behind it have outsized credentials for fresh, deep thinking in the EV space. Telo co-founder and CEO Jason Marks is an engineer who has led testing for autonomous and driver-assist safety systems found in major American automakers’ latest vehicles. Frustrations with parking his Toyota Tacoma on tight San Francisco streets spurred Marks to ponder better solutions for city-dwelling pickup drivers.

Co-founder and CTO Forrest North has been deeply involved with some of electrification’s biggest names. An employee of Tesla prior to Elon Musk’s arrival, North developed the battery inside the Roadster currently floating through space . He also founded electric motorcycle company Mission Motors, as well as Plug Share, one of the top apps for finding and rating charging stations.

Leading Telo design is Yves Béhar, who has a Wikipedia-worthy background in product development. Although Telo is his first automotive endeavor, Béhar is no stranger to groundbreaking vehicles—he owned an early Tesla Model S and now drives a Rivian R1T . Despite his enjoyment of these EVs, Béhar doesn’t think they’re optimized for electrification, still shackled by combustion-engine vestiges.

Telo’s network of advisers lists some high-profile names across consumer product and alternative fuel industries, but the one likely most familiar to Motor Trend readers is Andy Palmer , former CEO of Aston Martin and key executive behind the Nissan Leaf.

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