Atlis Motor Vehicles was born Mark’s garage, ignited by curiosity and personal motivation. The goal: take his energy-guzzling diesel pickup and transform it into an electric truck. Back in 2014 it was just Mark, his truck, and long hours spent in the solitude of his garage. His early efforts spurred him to think hard about what pickup truck owners truly wish for in an electric vehicle. He leveraged his engineering background and relied on colleagues who are experts in various fields—power tech, battery and so forth—to find out. Atlis
incorporated in 2016 and the team sought to disrupt the status quo that is quickly taking over the electric vehicle market, and to discover just how far they can take it.
Why take on the challenge of developing a pickup truck from the ground up? Why not tackle smaller vehicles first?
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The largest market gap at the moment is pickup trucks. Both traditional OEMs and startups have smaller vehicles pretty well covered, but the trend in America is growing toward larger vehicles. The Model X is the largest battery-electric consumer vehicle at the moment, and that definitely isn’t a full-size work platform.
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The renderings of the Atlis Trucks have some unique and stand out features. Where does the team take their design cues from?
In general we are trying to strike the balance between a tough looking and capable truck that people are used to from traditional manufacturers, while gently pushing the envelope towards the future and electrification without going to “Jetsons”.
I will say that I love trying to mix a retro aesthetic with a more futuristic theme. I think sometimes people get an idea of what a futuristic concept is, with smooth surfaces and blue lights to show its electric. So I try to stay away from this.
Atlis is committed to offering pickups in many variations with several “options”, similar to how you can order an ICE truck today. Why take this approach instead of what other startups are doing, which is to offer a single model with maybe 1-2 additional features?
Really we are offering a single model. In the truck world there are so many different configurations and capabilities possible. We are actually making a fairly strong attempt at simplification of the options. Originally we were going to have models like 50T, 75T, and 100T but we just consolidated
these down to an all-encompassing XT.
Changing the battery configuration or motor output aren’t any more difficult than the other options vehicles come with these days. We’re also trying to simplify the cab and bed options down to two offerings each; instead of three or four that you see from full-size trucks today.
Seeing that EV technology is advancing so rapidly these days; how did/do you choose what batteries, motors and other components you are putting into your products? Are you making your own or can you share your partners?
Yes, this is a real struggle. The technology moves very fast. We have to identify what components are readily available and meet our requirements, vs the components that are critical to delivering the customer experience we want to provide. We’re using a combination of making our own and working with partners to develop existing components. In some cases taking existing technologies and integrating them directly. We’re not able to share our partners at this time.
Atlis is not only committed to a pickup truck, but to a fast charging network as well, is that correct? Can you go into detail about the goals for the charging network?
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That is correct. Everyone knows that electric vehicles work for the “average American’s” daily usage. Charging at home and having a full tank of gas every morning is great. However, many Americans are NOT average users. They drive long distances on a regular basis for their job, pull trailers, and may not have access to Level 2 or even Level 1 charging at home.
In these cases, call them extreme users or whatever you want, the current EV charging infrastructure is inadequate, and unfortunately the gas pump model still works better. Our charging system will be more like that model. Able to deliver a very high power to charge the battery in a short time, ideally with a pull-through station design rather than a pull-in.
Are any other vehicles in the works behind the scenes, or is the main focus still the pickup? Will Atlis develop other vehicles after the pickup truck is complete?
No other vehicles are in the works, we don’t believe we will ever do a passenger car or anything. Our focus is on the pickup truck and platform. If we expand our line in the future it will be toward full-size vans, and medium or heavy-duty trucks.
As a blog hoping to one-day grow into a physical electric speed shop, providing custom conversions and EV upgrades, we are also asking bigger OEMs; Do you ever plan to sell any of your components direct to consumer or B2B? Motors, batteries, anything? Either directly off your truck line or other custom parts?
Yes! Our XP platform is exactly that. We are talking internally about productizing / monetizing some of the component systems as well. There are a number of components available for conversions and DIY, but they’re all very dated and don’t integrate with each other very well. We think we can offer something to the community such as integrated battery modules and CCS charging.
The crowd funding campaign for Atlis was recently extended, has the response been what you had hoped? Has Atlis done any private funding rounds or plan to in the future?
Yes, the campaign can run for a full year but we can only extend in 60 day increments. Overall the campaign is going well, we expect it to complete successfully at this point. We are interested in private funding as well and are exploring the various options.
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What is in the future for Atlis? Any other surprises coming out soon?
Our focus for the time being is on the XT Pickup truck, the XP Platform, and the AAC charging station. We have long term roadmap plans for future vehicles. Of course there are very cool solutions we’re developing for the Atlis ecosystem that will help to accelerate electrification into mainstream.
How can our readers learn more about Atlis and contact you?
They can always follow our social media presence. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our website. Blogs posted online as we are continuously sharing additional information about us there.
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