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Tesla Inc. continues to eat dust as it struggles to get in front of the Ford Motor Company in the race to deliver the first all-electric pickup to customers in the United States. General Motors Company, the biggest carmaker in the U.S., is also in this race but hasn’t yet made its presence felt.

While Tesla continues to focus most of its energies on ensuring the dominance of its Model 3 luxury sedan, Ford is cutting deals meant to zoom ahead of Tesla in the electric pickup race. Last week, Rivian LLC received a $500 million investment from Ford that will eventually result in the delivery of an all-new Ford battery electric vehicle (BEV).

Ford and Rivian will work together to develop a next-generation BEV using Rivian’s skateboard platform for Ford’s growing EV lineup. Ford also confirmed it will use the platform to develop a Ford-branded all-electric vehicle. The company is still independently developing an electric F-150 and a Mustang-inspired electric crossover.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said Tesla might reveal its first all-electric SUV this summer. No word on a Tesla pickup, however.

Into the Ford, Tesla pickup race comes GM. While GM has kept its cards close to its chest, analysts speculate a BEV version of the big Chevrolet Silverado seems a likely candidate for its first electric pickup. Others claim a midsize model similar to the smaller Chevy Colorado might give the company a chance to have a unique product in the market because everyone is focusing on full-size trucks.

GM CEO Mary Barra hasn’t revealed any details about GM’s electric pickup, but said GM “will not cede our leadership” in the pickup segment. This has led to widespread speculation GM is dead serious about developing its electric pickup and is speeding-up this process.

Analysts said the biggest question facing Ford, GM and Tesla is whether there really is a profitable market out there for an electric pickup. Unlike the Chinese and Europeans, Americans haven’t gone gaga over EVs.

Sales of all EVs in the U.S. jumped from 195,226 in 2017 to 360,353 in 2018, according to industry data, but this total was less than 2 percent of the overall new vehicle market. Pure BEVs alone generated barely half of that total. The vast bulk of EV sales in the U.S. consist of a single EV -- the Tesla Model 3 sedan.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and his R1T
Tesla Cybertruck is finally launching a few days from now but it remains to be seen how it will fair with Rivian R1T Truck. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Rivian

Manufacturers hope to boost EV growth by adding more EVs such as the Audi e-tron SUV, the Porsche Taycan sportscar and the Jaguar I-Pace crossover, which was named World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show last month.

Texas buyers account for 15.7 percent of the nation’s half-ton pickup market, according to IHS Markit. That means one out of every six half-ton pickups (like the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500) are sold in Texas.

This also means any electric pickup will have to convince Texans first.

In February, Morgan Stanley talked-up Rivian as the next serious competitor to Tesla and its covey of all-electric sedans.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas expects Rivian will be "the next serious competition from a 'clean sheet' start-up with access to talent & capital focused on the fastest growing segments of pickup trucks & SUVs.”