COMMENTARY-- Oil prices touched a two and a half year high this week. The last time fuel costs were up significantly the impacts were widespread, especially for farmers, and it led to innovation.
Company's like Tesla were formed and took off. The electric car built by Elon Musk continues to gain a following for its lack of fuel and battery innovations. That same company rolled out a full-sized tractor-trailer earlier this year hoping to get a foot in the transportation door. Just this week, CEO Musk hinting at an electric pickup truck. This is the only drawing the company has ever released of what looks like a 1950's roller skate slash pickup hybrid.
Even though full production is probably years away, I'm not sure, given current technology, an electric truck will find many buyers in farm country. And, for some of the same reasons smaller fuel-efficient cars aren't hauling cattle and bales of hay today. The farm truck is a workhorse, from feed to tractor tires, livestock and equipment-- you can't pull a gooseneck with a Prius. #Trademark. Hauling sheetrock across town is one thing, pulling equipment or cattle an hour down a dirt road is another.
Maybe I'm wrong and the company will invest in the infrastructure, the suppliers, mechanics and power chargers in rural America, but given the fact we're still struggling to get internet and keep doctors, it may just be a futuristic wish for now. But, I've been wrong before and betting against Musk has proven a sour game.
Until then I'll park the electric pickup next my hoverboard and jetpack in the garage.