If you have read our previous article on Ecotuned, you will see we had some doubts about the numbers they have presented. They were not very clear in making a solid business case for the ones that were not still clients to the idea. We asked for some clarifications and Ecotuned provided them. Just follow us and you’ll see if they were enough or not.
Our first doubt was about the price of new pickup trucks. While Ecotuned claimed a 2019 F-150 XLT cost around CDN$48,000, we found it could be bought for CDN$26,837. Much less than the CDN$35,000 the company charges for its EV converting kit. After government incentives.
Ecotuned claimed it was using the values of Ford F-150 XLT inventories in its region. And gave us a link that showed prices a little closer to the ones it presented, but with a single dealer selected. In that dealer, prices started at CDN$41,269. Still far from CDN$48,000.
Expand the search by deselecting the single dealer and prices start at CDN$30,796. And it is worth remembering fleet owners normally get lower prices than a regular buyer would because they buy a bunch of cars each time they go shopping. Ecotuned aims to have solely these clients at this point.
“However, take note that the ROI is very similar even with the lower price of the new truck in comparison,” said Andy Ta, president of Ecotuned. Indeed.
What the Ecotuned conversion does best is reducing the running costs of the pickup truck. The company estimates annual spending with gas at CDN$4,250 – for running 20,000 km, or 12,400 mi – and with servicing at CDN$870, for a total of CDN$5,120.
The annual cost of an Ecotuned pickup truck is CDN$792, with CDN$392 for charging and CDN$400 for servicing. That is equivalent to 84.5 percent of savings just on a day to day basis.
Ecotuned also says its electric motor and inverter can live for up to 1 million km (621,370 mi). The battery pack, on the other hand, is good for 12 years. And can be replaced for CDN$5,000. If you use your truck for 20,000 km (12,427 mi) each year, you’d have an electric motor able to endure for 50 years. But the fact is that fleet vehicles normally run much more than 20,000 km a year.
The smallest battery back for the Ecotuned kit holds 48 kWh, for a total range of 140 km (87 mi). If it was run every single day of the year at its full capacity, the electric pickup truck would run more than 50,000 km (31,069 mi) a year.
In such a scenario, you would spend CDN$12,800 each year to run a regular pickup truck. And only CDN$1,980 to run the Ecotuned pickup truck. With the money saved in six years – CDN$64,920 – you could buy an entirely new pickup truck. Depending on the chosen pickup truck, you could buy two.
All this info is contained in the company’s spreadsheet, still but presented in a confusing way. While the costs of the gas-powered pickup are presented by years, the costs for the electric pickup are presented by semesters. With no apparent reason for that.
The company compares buying a new pickup truck every six years to replacing the EV conversion kit to other used pickup trucks every four years. Why not six years as well? Due to the fact that the conversion will be done in an already used pickup truck, which will probably demand maintenance earlier?
It would be a good reason for that, but that is another difference that prevents a fair comparison. Instead of shortening the comparison with the EV kit, the company could estimate the higher costs of maintenance of an older truck in six years.
Regardless, the Ecotuned EV kit makes anyone wanting to extract most of their investments really consider buying one. When the powertrain of your pickup truck is no longer covered by the manufacturer, you can sell it and buy the EV conversion kit.
When the converted truck is no longer in a good shape, you can sell it to the junkyard and convert a used pickup truck with out-of-warranty engine and gearbox to electric with the same kit. And you can do that for 12 years with the same battery pack.
The secret is having time to amortize the investment. Being reusable, lasting 1 million km and costing CDN$5,000 to get the battery pack replaced surely stretches it. It is reuse, reduce, and recycle at its best. If the kit gets cheaper, it may appeal to regular customers.