Tesla Pickup truck

Tesla pickup truck talk starting to make more and more sense

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Elon Musk continues to bring up a pickup truck as one of the next three vehicles the company plans to produce for sale. The closer one looks at an electric Tesla pickup truck the more sense it starts to make.

When we first heard Elon Musk mention an electric Tesla pickup truck this we thought it was just Elon poking fun at the old-iron pickup makers. Some of which get as low as 12 GPM around town. Elon Musk spoke again this week about an electric pickup truck. That made us take a deeper look at why a pickup truck from Tesla might make sense and we now think a Tesla pickup could be wildly successful.

Tesla Electric Truck Market Size
The single most sold nameplate in the US auto industry is the Ford F-150- by a huge margin. Other trucks from Chevy and Ram also sell in numbers that make even the best-selling fuel sippers’ sales look small. If Tesla really wants to change the automotive world as we know it, this is the real target. If Tesla took just 5% of the market share in this segment it could surpass the 2013 Model S sales easily.

Trucks are already pricey too. That is a big advantage for Tesla. It would be a lot easier to sell a $60,000 electric luxury truck to an ICE truck business owner that paid $50,000 for his last pickup than to sell a commuter a $35,000 GEN III sedan who paid $20,000 for his last Prius.

Tesla Electric Truck Environmental Impact
Mid-size family cars like the Honda Accord Hybrid already get 50 MPG and they are already affordable. A Gen III Tesla car displacing them is fine, but each Tesla electric pickup would have a four or five times larger impact on the environment. There also would appear to be a market segment of environmental buyers who want or need the utility of a truck bed and 4WD.

For example, every single Solar City installer, the US Department of the Interior, The EPA, and every other US governmental agency that buys a lot of pick-ups and only buys from “domestic” brands. Can you even imagine the bad press that the president would have to endure if a viable US-made electric pickup was available and the government chose to use gas powered vehicles at the EPA and National Park Service?

Tesla Electric Truck Design
Trucks have a unique location where a large battery pack can be placed that will not impact passenger or cargo area at all. Just behind the cab and in front of the truck bed is the perfect spot. A Tesla battery pack folded in half and then mounted vertically (up and down) would fit perfectly in this area. This would be much better than horizontally under the vehicle as in the Model S. It would be out of the way of rocks and debris that are more likely to be an issue for a work truck. A Tesla truck using a similar electric motor to that now in the Model S would also have plenty of torque, which is the key metric to truck buyers. Power and twist would not even be a challenge.


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Bob Lutz has also gotten into the electric truck game with VIA Motors. Those trucks have options for 110V and 240V export inverters.
Bob Lutz is a huckster pimping a never-gonna-sell product in hopes of getting his company bought out by someone larger so he can cash in like some Silicon Valley kid. It doesn't take long to unravel the VIA Motors dream machine into the vaporware it really is. It has no ROI, no serious real world application, and little appeal over a diesel or natural gas truck with a cheap, small generator on board.
Oh man, you invoked the Lutz! I wish I had thought to put that in the story! A few other electrified trucks are out there, but like the EV car scene they are all just wanna-bes compared to what a Tesla might become. Thanks Stephen. Your comments are always a positive addition to the story.
I highly doubt Tesla will make a viable work truck, actually. But since a large number of truck buyers are just buying them as penis augmentation, I don't see why Musk and friends couldn't cash in on that.
Batteries are soon to be dead, they are hitting the stops on energy density, efficiency, reliability and the total energy cost and CO2 cost of making and recycling them. The US makes the best trucks in the world, and the German make the best passenger cars. Germany will have 400+ hydrogen fuel stations by 2020, California will have a lot too - the world is going hydrogen fuel cell, admittedly assisted by some battery storage, but the idea is MUCH more efficient and more life-cycle efficient than tons of batteries on board. Wake up Tesla, or you'll be a flash in the pan...