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Published on July 2nd, 2019 | by Steve Hanley

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Tesla Pickup Truck Causes Twitter Explosion, Production VP Jumps To Lucid

July 2nd, 2019 by  


The Tesla pickup truck. Nobody has seen it. No one knows how much it will cost, how much it will tow, or when it will go into production. But none of that has stopped the Twittersphere from exploding with tweets about the Tesla pickup ever since Elon Musk offered some hints but few details on the Ride The Lightning podcast a month ago.

Tesla pickup truck

Image via Tesla

He told host Ryan McCaffrey, “We don’t want it to be really expensive. I think it’s got to start at less than $50,000, it’s got to be like $49,000 starting price, maximum, ideally less. … It’s got to be something that’s affordable. There will be versions of the truck that are more expensive, but you’ve got to be able to get a really great truck for $49,000, or less.”

Musk continued, “It’s got to have incredible functionality, from a load carrying stand point, [and] look amazing. It won’t look like a normal truck, so it’s going to look pretty sci-fi. That means it’s not going to be for everyone — like if somebody just wants to have a truck that just looks like trucks have looked for the last 20 years, 30 years, or 40 years, then this probably isn’t for them. But this is going to be a truck which is more capable than other trucks. … The goal is to be a better truck than a [Ford] F-150, in terms of truck-like functionality, and be a better sports car than a standard [Porsche] 911. That’s the aspiration.”

Image courtesy Autowise

That has really gotten people fired up, so much so that in a survey of Twitter traffic conducted by Autowise since Musk’s announcement, interest in the Tesla pickup has exceeded interest in the Ford F-150 — the best selling pickup truck in the history of the galaxy — in 26 US states. The geotagged data used to create the map was obtained from TrendsMap, according to Autowise spokesperson Ryan Taylor.

Odd how the map somewhat resembles the current political divide in the United States, isn’t it? Since the F-150 is just about the only vehicle Ford sells these days, the interest in an electric pickup truck from Tesla should be keeping Ford CEO Jim Hackett and his minions awake at night.

Peter Hochholdinger Jumps Ship

Peter Hochholdinger

Image courtesy Lucid Motors

For the past few years, Peter Hochholdinger has been Tesla’s vice president of production at its factories in Fremont and Lathrop, California, and at the assembly facility located in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Prior to joining Tesla, he spent 24 years at Audi, where he was senior director of production for the Audi A4, A5, and Q5 and was responsible for overseeing the manufacture of more than 400,000 vehicles a year.

As of July 1, Hochholdinger is vice president for manufacturing for Lucid Motors, the electric car startup with a factory in Arizona. In a press release, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said, “We are delighted to welcome Peter to the Lucid team. Peter’s extensive experience and proven leadership in premium vehicle manufacturing will prove invaluable as we continue our progress towards the launch of Lucid Air and future models. In joining Lucid, Peter is empowered to create an industry leading manufacturing process that will deliver the quality products our discerning customers demand and deserve.”

“It is with great pleasure that I join Lucid at such an exciting time in the company’s history,” Hochholdinger says. “I look forward to working with the world-class team to deliver Lucid’s incredible luxury electric vehicles in production.” The scheduled date for the start of Lucid manufacturing is mid 2020. No doubt, Hochholding will take some of the things he learned at Tesla (and Audi) with him to his new job.

Images courtesy Lucid Motors

When it comes to making automobiles, he is one of the most seasoned and knowledgeable people in the business, which gives us hope that Lucid may actually produce the Lucid Air someday. Will it compete with the Tesla Model S? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master. 
 
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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. His motto is, "Life is not measured by how many breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away!" You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.



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