You can't throw a steel ball these days without smashing the windows of a splashy new electric truck. The Ford F-150 Lightning, the Rivian R1T, the GMC Hummer EV, the upcoming Chevy Silverado EV and Ram 1500 EV, and yes, the Tesla Cybertruck—all aimed at making electrification really matter for the American mainstream. Pickups are the country's best-selling vehicles, and as the least fuel-efficient, it only makes sense that the surest route to mass adoption of EVs and lowering emissions lies in pairing batteries with crew cabs. And the early returns are promising—the Lightning, for example, is for most practical purposes (except maybe towing) simply a normal F-150 minus a tailpipe. The sooner we get more electric trucks on the road, the better, the thinking goes.

But just because electric trucks don’t leave an invisible wake of carbon dioxide doesn’t mean they’re as guilt-free as they seem. These are large, heavy vehicles with massive batteries, and there's still an environmental price to pay even if the costs have been pushed upstream and out of sight. Most electricity generation in the U.S. still produces CO2, though renewables are more in the mix depending on where you are. More important is that manufacturing electric trucks produces far more emissions than their internal-combustion counterparts. The crush of new models this year made us wonder: Where's the break-even point between gas and electric pickups? How far would you need to drive both a 6.2L V8 Ram TRX and a silent Hummer EV before their lifetime emissions catch up and the Hummer becomes the truly greener option?

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You Have Been DUPED - EV Pickups Are NOT Green At All

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