Posted on October 21, 2019 by Charles Morris
Pickup trucks are the biggest segment of the US auto market, so the appearance of an electric option will be a big, big deal - perhaps the EV adoption tipping point we’re all waiting for. Ford, GM and startup Rivian all have electric pickups in various stages of development, but Tesla is the trend-setter, and these companies and many others will be watching Tesla’s unveiling ceremony closely.
Above: The mysterious pickup truck teaser from Tesla (Source: Tesla)
When Tesla unveiled Model 3 in 2016, the downpour of advance reservations brought a flash flood of publicity to the EV industry. As Electrek recently noted, Tesla didn’t trumpet the reservation numbers after its most recent unveilings (Model Y, the Roadster and the Tesla Semi). Will it do so after the pickup launch? An impressive number could inspire other automakers by demonstrating how much pent-up demand there is for a plug-in pickup.
So far, the most intriguing thing we know about the planned pickup is that it “won’t look like a normal truck,” as Elon Musk told the Ride the Lightning podcast in August. Many artistically inclined Tesla fans have tried their hands at visualizing what it will look like, but they don’t seem to be getting warmer, judging by a recent Musk tweet: “Cybertruck doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen bouncing around the Internet. It’s closer to an armored personnel carrier from the future.”
Above: Musk says that Tesla's pickup will be "more functional" than a Ford F-150 and boast performance better than a Porsche 911 (YouTube: DPCcars)
Musk has said the Tesla truck will be available with 300,000 pounds of towing capacity and up to 400 to 500 miles of range, and that he’s holding firm on a starting price under 50 grand: “It’s got to be like $49,000 starting price max. Ideally less. It just can’t be unaffordable. There will be versions of the truck that will be more expensive, but you’ve got to be able to get a really great truck for $49,000 or less.”
Another major milestone for electromobility may be at hand: Elon Musk seems to be getting better at holding to deadlines. In a recent tweet to a fan, he said the unveiling ceremony will take place in November, as planned.