Published on June 27th, 2018 | by Kyle Field0
Tesla Truck Twitterstorm #ElonTweets
June 27th, 2018 by Kyle Field
Tesla CEO Elon Musk continued to unleash details about the eventual Tesla pickup truck as he started to process the flood of ideas coming in from TwitterNation. Below are the big rocks from the massive chain of comments, a chain that continues to grow as the public chimes in on what the core features of a Tesla Truck should be.
400–500 Miles of Range
In response to commenters prodding about the range of the vehicle, Elon shared that it would have 400–500 miles of range, or more. He shared that trucks have more room for batteries … but room has never really been a limiting factor for these vehicles. If anything, the Tesla Model S and X have tons of extra room that could house a few more battery modules.
At Tesla’s current estimated battery pricing of just over $100/kWh and using the 3.3 miles per kWh efficiency of the Model S, that’s a staggering 121 kWh pack to achieve a 400 mile range at just over $12,000, and a whopping 152 kWh pack to achieve 500 miles of range at just over $15,000. Those won’t break the bank, especially for a truck that’s sure to deliver a superior driving experience, low fuel cost, and additional features like integrated power outlets and a compressed air system.
Improvements in cost and battery energy density will help drive a better cost case, but it’s clear that these two range targets are step change improvements versus where Tesla is today. It’s also important to note that the above estimates don’t take into account the extra weight that comes with a much larger truck, but given the sheer number of variables in play, it’s not worth mapping out every scenario at this early stage.
Seating for 6
Surprisingly, Elon shared that the Tesla Truck will seat 6. Whether that’s a 3×3 configuration or a 2x2x2 is yet to be seen, but that should come as a nice surprise for families looking to ditch their SUV for a truck with even more capability, assuming it will fit into the garage.
Ideas about the design of the new truck were all over the place. That’s no surprise given that the concept image Elon shared at the Tesla Semi Reveal last November — which may have been just a joke — depicted a monstrosity that was essentially the Tesla Semi with a chopped top. Elon joked that it would be capable of hauling around most full-sized trucks available on the market today in the bed.
This morning, he commented that “Bronco rocks,” which left many twitterers wondering if the design might deviate from Tesla’s traditionally very modern, aerodynamic lines for something more blocky as a means of appealing to more mainstream truck buyers.
Commenters mentioned their distaste for the design of the Honda Ridgeline and asked Elon to make it look “like a truck.” Elon shared that it would … even though the concept drawing looks more like a futuristic derivation of a truck than what most trucks on the market look like.
A “Giant-Sized” Driver’s Seat
Twitterer Sean Booker requested that the capability comfortably seat larger than average folk and Elon couldn’t get the image of André the Giant as Fezzik in the Princess Bride out of his head. He responded that the driver’s seat will be big enough to fit André the Giant and that the truck wouldn’t be a “dainty little buttercup of a truck,” a reference to the female lead in the Princess Bride, Buttercup.
In response to a request for front and rear “lockers” on the Tesla Truck, Elon replied “For sure.” What are lockers? The commenter was referring to locking differentials that become important when using all-wheel drive off-road. Four Wheeler Network explains that a locker is, “a device that actually locks up the differential so that both tires turn equally when power is applied. These may be selectable lockers, or automatic lockers.”
Essentially, lockers keep both wheels turning at the same speed and come in a few different flavors, depending on user preference and the application they’re being used for. Lockers aren’t great when driving on road, as wheels need to travel at different speeds when going around corners, for example, where the inside wheel travels a much shorter distance than the outside wheel. Selectable and automatic lockers give drivers a workaround for this … but we aren’t going to go that deep here.
As a public service announcement, if you’re following Elon Musk on Twitter, beware of a rampant Bitcoin scam that imposters are injecting into his replies, impersonating the prolific Twitterrer in a scam to scrape cash from unsuspecting followers. Read more about it here.
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