As Fleet Clients’ Interest Develops, Tesla co-founder joins the board of Tiny Pickup Startup Telo Trucks

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People naturally went crazy when electric car company Telo Trucks unveiled its tiny pickup. A certain group of people see small vehicles as more than just practical; they are a way of life, and for the past 20 years, big manufacturers have mostly disregarded this group in favor of full-size, high-margin pickups. Almost 3,000 reservations have been made by the company with just a few renders and early prototypes.

However, over the past few months, an unexpected event occurred. Fleet patrons also went berserk.

“There’s this unspoken thing where fleet companies that do work in cities can no longer buy small trucks,” Jason Marks, Telo Truck’s co-founder and CEO, told the sources. “They used to love them: They were perfect for these fleet applications for downtown cities, but they don’t exist anymore.”

Some fleet managers have taken to purchasing neighborhood electric cars, which are essentially modified golf carts with the option to add a tiny bed to the back. However, in order for the fleet to be able to do what it has to, it also needs to purchase and maintain a full-size pickup truck because those low-speed vehicles aren’t allowed on the highway.
“It’s a unique opportunity, because we have this massive hole in the market,” Marks said. “We will still want to address the early users, and we want to intermingle that with delivering to bigger fleet customers at the same time.”

More funding is available with that possibility. It has been exclusively disclosed to TechCrunch that Neo and Spero Ventures have contributed a $5.4 round to Telo. Marc Tarpenning, a co-founder of Tesla and venture partner at Spero, will be joining the board.
“He’s always been someone that we can call up and say, hey, we’ve got this idea, what do you think? And so when it came time to raise a round, you know, we thought it was very fitting to invite him to join our company,” Marks said.

According to Marks, Telo will be able to build stronger connections with prospective fleet clients with the aid of the additional money as well as create two “fully functional press vehicles” that will resemble the finished product in terms of appearance, fit, and finish. “People can drive in it, get inside of it, and experience it firsthand.”
The team at Telo has been working on addressing a number of technical issues, such as how a car with a stubby front end can protect its occupants in an accident. Telo just completed installing a roll cage on top of its chassis prototype, according to Marks. While he refrained from providing specifics, he did imply that they would be considering options outside of crumple zones.

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