It would have to be quite a bit more expensive on the front end for the battery required.
Yes, and that is why I said I think we're a long way from that, the price of the battery is the real problem.
Would you be willing to consider a series hybrid?
I'm picturing something with about 30-60 miles of battery range, but also has a 2 or 3 cylinder diesel engine, or maybe even a small turbine* turning a generator providing a very constant output for maximum fuel efficiency. Hell, I once saw an article on a 2 stroke turbocharged diesel that was very efficient and still met EPA standards.
Would I? Sure, if it would do the same work as the current truck.
The challenge is that just yesterday I towed a 5,000lb trailer for 350 miles. My truck can tow up to about 8,000lbs total, and can do it all day.
Can the small engine in the series hybrid do that? Would the regenerative brakes act as engine braking on downgrades? Can the engine pull 8,000lbs up a 6% grade when the battery has run dry?
Honestly, I'm open to the concept, so long as I don't lose those abilities.
The reasoning: Most such vehicles as you describe have massively over-sized engines to get their loads started. You don't actually need much more than an econobox engine to keep it moving on the highway once you reach speed.
You're correct, until you're climbing an extended grade. :) I don't personally do that often, but there are places in Texas that have a 6% grade for short periods of time. If I could command the battery to retain charge for that, it would probably be fine, but the trick is driving in Colorado, I may need grade power for 20 min at times, and I imagine the battery wouldn't last long pulling a combined 14,000lbs up a 6% grade for anything other than a min or two.
Keep in mind that my engine runs on 4 cylinders when it doesn't need the extra power, it gets north of 20 mpg when cruising at 70 mph on the highway, without a load. Put the load behind it and it rarely can do that, fuel consumption goes way up due more to drag than to weight. Yesterday, driving on flat road, I was only getting about 14 mpg due to the drag of the trailer. Normally I can do 20 mpg or better without the trailer.
In fairness, the above is perhaps a corner use case, I get that. However people who buy such trucks expect them to be able to do it. That being said, towing RVs, boats, utility trailers, horse trailers, etc is not that unusual. Driving across Texas, a whole lot of pickups and full size SUVs have trailers behind them.
Perhaps it would make more sense to turn stuff like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander into full EVs first, since they are not used to tow nearly as often (but they can, up to 5,000lbs)