Elon Musk took to Twitter today to solicit input on the Tesla truck. He shared that it will come standard with a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup that can deliver “crazy torque.” To further plod his way into pickup truck territory, he shared that Tesla will pair the powertrain with a suspension that dynamically adjusts for load, all in the standard package.
Adjusting for the actual load in the bed will clearly make the Tesla truck more functional as its core reason for existing — as a work truck — but it also has some exciting implications for those who like to get their trucks dirty. For all the 4-wheelers out there, delivering a functional, long-range truck that dynamically adjusts power amongst all four wheels along with a dynamic suspension that can intelligently work to maximize the traction will take off-road auto sports to the next level.
That’s not my speed but a few responses indicated that there’s demand for this, even if only from a technical standpoint.
Back on the pavement, Elon shared that the Tesla truck will have the ability to parallel park automatically and come standard with 360 degree cameras and sonar. These features come standard on all of Tesla’s vehicles today, so it’s clear that Elon is looking for input from those who live and die by the truck. Trucks are tools for most drivers and Elon’s request makes it clear that Tesla is intent on challenging the base use cases for trucks, not just those looking for a weekend toy.
At the rear of the truck, Elon shared that they are considering adding a 4 bar linkage that would allow the gate to drop down towards the ground.
His first two tweets about the Tesla truck have already prompted more than 12,000 responses in just over an hour, including some ideas that are more obvious than others. It’s the ultimate crowdsourcing of ideas.
Tesla has proven over the years that it is willing to listen to feedback from users, especially when they are on Twitter and Elon takes notice. The ability to contribute to a product that will surely see the light of day is enough for most people to contribute their very best ideas to the cause, and that’s exactly what’s popping up on Twitter … along with the usual sprinkling of riffraff.
Numerous ideas stemmed from the idea of tapping into the battery to power tools, an RV bed, off-grid living devices, and the like:
There was a healthy dose of very practical truck features that may or may not exist on current truck offerings, like the ability to haul around standard sheets of plywood, drywall, and the like:
High-tech features like anti-tipping technology and proximity braking sound well within the capabilities of Tesla.
… though, the auto-cannons, caltrops, and oil slick might be a bit too James Bond for Elon to tackle. Conversely, considering that he built in the underwater Lotus as a Tesla Easter egg and also went out and bought the one created for the movie, maybe these are right up his alley. 🙂
Calls for a solar panel tonneau cover for the truck bed sound more like an aftermarket niche product, but there is no denying that solar + electric vehicles could get in bed together in the future as the efficiency of solar panels continues to climb. And Tesla does have a solar factory after all.
Tesla was formed from day one to challenge the status quo and to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable power. The original Roadster tapped into a market that could afford the high prices mandated by its low volume, a high-tech product which the Model S capitalized on with more scale. The Model S and trailing Model X continue to eat away at legacy internal combustion luxury vehicle sales.
Tesla Model 3 is challenging the small luxury vehicle segment and has already expressed its dominance in the category less than a year after launch. Tesla Semi is a full-frontal attack on the heavy trucking industry, where the higher density of emissions and high particulate concentrations are some of the worst offenders of the health of the planet’s residents.
Today’s post makes it clear that Tesla can’t stop — won’t stop — attacking market segments. Elon seems to be focusing at least 1% of his attention on spinning up a vehicle that can take on the darling of the heartland of America — the pickup truck. If history is any indicator, Tesla will succeed.
The only question is: how long will it take? Perhaps the greatest criticism of Elon is his over-aggressive timelines. He regularly states timelines for products that are far too optimistic than can be achieved … but at the same time, Tesla has proven that it is the driving force pushing the global automotive industry into electrification. It may be late by its own targets, but it is arriving ahead of everyone else. The future is now.
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