Ask Nathan: Volvo EV Pickup Truck, Indestructible Pickup Myths and Blowing Chunks in Dad’s Car?

Volvo EV pickup
(Image: Volvo)

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Did I just see a Volvo EV pickup truck concept? 
  • Is this whole “indestructible” pickup truck thing a myth?
  • I barfed in my dad’s car – HELP!

The first question comes from a young fan who thought he saw a Volvo EV pickup truck concept.

Q:  (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) I sent you this picture because my teacher said that even Volvo is getting into the electric truck game.

I don’t mind EVs because I agree with you. If we mix the driving duties with fun gas vehicles it will make a lot more sense for everyone. It is totally odd looking for a pick up truck yes? Love your new motorcycle YouTube! Tell Case (Kase) and Alex that they are my favorites will you?

— DustyRym2007

A: Thanks Dusty!

I received your image (which is similar to the one above) and your teacher is correct, it IS a Volvo electric truck concept. What he may have missed is that this is not a pickup truck at all, it’s a fully capable semi truck that’s fully autonomous. That’s why there is no real cockpit to be seen.

It’s the Vera electric, autonomous semi truck – it’s a concept that has a platform that could be seen on future EV industrial trucks. This includes autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles that work in industrial and agricultural environments.

Vera, an autonomous, electric vehicle, is unlike anything seen from Volvo Trucks before. It presented Volvo Trucks’ design team with many challenges, but the final result is a design that embodies Volvo Trucks’ vision for the future, lifts its technological accomplishments and gives the vehicle personality and identity.

Volvo Trucks

Considering it was built and has the power to pull massive weight, this platform doesn’t exactly make sense for a pickup truck. Many envision a truck like this moving trailers around large complexes, shipping yards and giant warehouses. One day, we may even see trucks like this on the highway, but I still think this type of autonomy is a decade out – at least.

I’ll pass your message on to Alex and Kase!

— N

The next question comes from a frustrated Toyota Tacoma owner about reliability.

Q: Saying a pickup is “indestructible” is a myth. Even a Toyota Tacoma can be unreliable!

My 2016 Toyota Tacoma has been back at the dealership six times since I bought it in late 2019. It has a ton of transmission issues and some electrical timing glitch too. I don’t hate the truck, but I do hate the fan boys who swear that the Tacoma is so reliable. It’s not! and I have the service bills to prove it! I think I will trade it in for a Nissan Frontier when the new one comes out.

— Lee M, Galveston, Texas

A: Hi Lee, thanks for the email!

Yes, out of all of the modern Tacomas, the 2016 – 2018 models score lower on various reliability indexes. Even the older ones had issues including reports of serious frame rust and rear axle issues. My old (2004) Tacoma wasn’t perfect either, it had an issue with the brakes and clutch. Still, it was way more reliable than any other truck I’ve owned.

I know how you feel, there are lots of folks out there who swear that the vehicle they idolize is bulletproof, but there’s no such thing. I will say, there are some vehicles out there that are nearly bulletproof or nearly indestructible, but there are thousands of moving parts in most vehicles. One is bound to let you down at some point.


— N


The last question comes from a viewer who has some serious issues – he threw-up in his father’s luxury car.

Q: Nathan! I totally barfed all over my dad’s Lexus!

My dad is out of state on business and I totally screwed up this time! After a lot of drinking watching the Steelers “GO STEELERS” kill the Ravens, I crawled into the back of my dad’s LS. Passed out and apparently tossed my cookies all over the place as I slept off tequila and Budweiser. I know I was stupid. Needed to sleep off the alcohol and be safe you know?

My dad comes home on Thanksgiving and I am freaking out! How do I get rid of the vomit smell!?

Help me Ob-I-Wan-Nathan! You’re my only hope!

— Your friend Winter

A: Well, at least you didn’t drive while intoxicated.

The smell of vomit is very hard to fully remove from a car. I went through something similar many years back and had no resources to fall back on. It was in a wedding van we barrowed for my sister’s wedding. My buddies and I went camping in it by the beach and – well, you can guess what happened.

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to treat this incident as a toxic event. As such, you should at least wear gloves and eye-protection.

(Photo by AJ Mast for General Motors)

Here’s a few things you can do right away:

Do the basics:

I’m assuming you already mopped out a majority of the goo; but if you haven’t – do right away. Remove and soak the floormats, if equipped. Most rubber mats can be cleaned in the dish-washer. Even the slightest bit of vomit left unattended can cause a terrible, long-term odor. Try to be as thorough as possible.

Baking soda on soft materials:

If the vomit was heavy in one spot, consider using baking soda to absorb the mess. This works well on seats, soft materials and carpets. Vacuum it up after it sits for several hours.

Water and vinegar:

Mix one part vinegar with one part water. This solution should disinfect most surfaces and dilute any vomit you may have missed. Let the car air out after doing this to allow the vinegar smell to dissipate.

Store it indoors and open the windows:

If you have access to a garage, or a covered area, I recommend you open up the windows as it sits.

Remove the seat and clean underneath it:

Most rear seats can be removed. In some cases, you may need a wrench or a hex-head to pull the bolts. Once the seat is out, give it, and the area beneath it, a serious scrubbing. Consider doing this only if you cannot isolate and remove the stench.

Rent or employ someone with a steam cleaner:

I recommend doing this regardless of how much mess you think you’ve cleaned up. A good steam cleaning can get deep into soft materials to remove nasty waste.

Finally, eliminate the remaining odor:

There are a few products that are made specifically to eliminate bad odors. I’m not talking about something that just masks the smell (although, that might help in some cases), I refer to killing the odor with chemicals.

If you think you didn’t fix the issue after all that – do it again. Also, it’s possible that droplets were sprayed in unexpected places like the headliner, door panels and around the front seats as well.

One more thing. I would come clean to your old man; even if it means trouble. I think he would be extremely upset if he found out you lied to him and tried to cover up the crime.

Maybe that’s just me.

Good luck!

— N

Speaking of something that’s about to get messy…