What on earth is Elon Musk smoking? For a long, while now, he’s been promising a new electric pickup to challenge or take the crown from the pickup king, Ford and, by extension, when it is available, the F150 EV, the electric version of the popular Ford pickup. Maybe he is just into bragging, or perhaps it’s something else. We don’t know. We still wonder what’s going on under the Elon’s hairline.
Tesla Has A Successful Car Company
He indeed has a successful electric car company, and he is indeed, right now, a leader in the electric market – aside from Toyota and its Prius line. But, why is he promising to come to market with an electric pickup, telling the world he will beat Ford when Ford is already there?
Now, we have seen evidence of the Ford F150 EV. Last week, it was all over the evening news as the electric pickup hauled 10 railcars 1,000 feet. Then, the Ford F150 EV Proto repeated the feat, with a big difference. Instead of pulling the same empty car carriers, the team loaded 42 new F150 pickups so that the Ford EV hauled more than 1.25 million pounds. And, though Musk said that if the Ford EV can tow his Tesla pickup will do the same. But, no one has seen hide nor hair of the Tesla EV.
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At a press opportunity during the week, someone asked Musk about his truck, which could be a significant competitor of the Ford F150 EV which may be here as soon as 2020 to 2023 timeframe, though no one knows for sure. And his somewhat vague answer could have been interpreted two ways: yes, the pickup’s here and ready to go, or yes it’s here, but it’s only a prototype. His answer about when and if the Tesla pickup would appear, as reported by The Ford Authority, was the “magic is in the final details.”
Still No Trace Of Tesla Pickup EV Proto
The issue with Musk’s statement is that there has been no trace of the pickup in the wild. Even seasoned car hunters, motor spies, and the like have yet to turn the Tesla pickup. So, despite his claims, no one has seen it yet; or as the website (Ford Authority) says “there’s nothing apparent to balance his claim.” calling his remarks vague, “as we don’t know if it means the truck is a few months from a prototype being shown or a production version. We assume he means a prototype unveil.”
That doesn’t stop him from making his claims and then doubling down by hinting that the Tesla EV will be here before the Ford EV. The second statement discounts a fact that is glaringly obvious that a pickup labeled Ford F150 All-Electric Protoype has already made its hauling appearance in the last couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, some skeptics doubt that Tesla will be able to deliver on his promises. They point to the fact that Tesla Motors has had a history of promising things that are either not provided or if they are, they are late. Ford, on the other hand, has a rather large sales and marketing organization to push its electric vehicle wares, even if truck buyers aren’t flocking to the EV banner.
Ford F150 EV Buyer Is Traditional
One thing that may turn off buyers from Tesla’s offering is its design. Musk has promised EV styling that takes a page out of Blade Runner. That type of plan is at odds with the traditional pickup buyer who tends to prefer classic styling, so who knows what the future holds for them. At the same time, though, Musk has backpedaled and has said the styling would be much more traditional.
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer/columnist/editor/professional for more than 45 years. He began writing a weekly column “You Auto Know” in 1971 and continued writing it for 32 years. Now, semi-retired, Marc spends his time finding pieces for Torque News as the Volkswagen – and subsidiary – reporter, as well as pieces on pickups and SUVs. He has also been known to write a race report or two. Also, he covers more generalized auto news pieces as well. Marc has also written for the Examiner.com, Fixya.com, Gearheads.org and others, including some smallish publications -- Popular Mechanics, Mechanics Illustrated, AutoWeek, Automotive News, and Automotive Age. You can follow Marc on Facebook and Twitter.