Skip to main content

For folks wanting a four-door truck without most of the qualities that define our modern American behemoths, your wait might be worth it. Telo, the tiny EV truck startup, has earned round two of funding to help deliver its concept. What’s more, it’s welcomed Tesla co-founder Marc Tarpenning to its board. Late in 2023, Telo presented a driveable chassis. Now, it looks to tweak the EV’s final design and sprint ahead to production.

A concept rendering of a metallic orange Telo subcompact EV truck parallel parked on a city street overhead right profile view
Telo’s subcompact EV truck | Telo

Telo has secured an additional $5.4M in funding via Neo, Spero Investors, and others. The startup is meant to provide the automotive space with a subcompact electric truck serving more than one market. For one, they’re targeting urban commercial fleets that need something capable of highway commutes. Second, they’re dedicated to private drivers wanting a small, efficient AWD hauler.

The truck is indeed super tiny – its 152-inch length is about the same as a Mini Cooper. The five-foot bed features a gear tunnel that can be converted into a footwell for a third passenger row. This brings the passenger capacity to eight.

The Telo truck will feature a 350-mile range driven by a 380 kW dual motor. It will tout a mighty 500 hp. This is twice the horsepower of the average car and still more than the average full-sized truck. For EV truck reference, the Cybertruck’s dual motor outputs a combined 600 ponies. Telo estimates a 0-60 count of four seconds.

Based on widely popular kei-style trucks seen used en-masse overseas, some have pointed out that safety is a concern. Golf-cart style haulers aren’t rated for freeway use, so basing a subcompact design on them would theoretically spell disaster in a collision with anything slightly resembling a new Ford or Chevy truck. Still, the founders of the startup say they’re working on this; they mention a new roll bar.

A rendering of a dark green colored Telo subcompact pickup driving in a heavily snow covered forested climate
Telo’s subcompact AWD EV truck rendering | Telo

Telo will move ahead under the conviction that small electric cars are the solution to many modern transportation issues. In the press release, Telo shared that they have already secured 2,500 reservations and will look to hand-build 500 trucks for delivery. After, they’ll plan to scale production for mass quantities.

You can reserve a Telo EV truck for a refundable $152 (the seemingly random reservation price is the length of the truck). The inaugural base model is listed at $49,999.