Elon Musk was asked on Twitter recently when the Tesla pickup truck will be revealed. “We’re close, but the magic is in the final details. Maybe 2 to 3 months,” Musk replied. Building in a little slippage for “Elon time,” that suggests the reveal should happen before the end of October. Although, confirmed Musk watchers might put the date closer to the end of this year.
We’re close, but the magic is in the final details. Maybe 2 to 3 months.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 27, 2019
Musk has previously offered a few very broad hints about the Tesla pickup, saying it will have an edgy, Blade Runner look to it that may not appeal to everyone. That remark has led to endless speculation on social media.
Musk has also hinted that it will be “better than an F-150” with a range of up to 500 miles and the ability to tow up to 300,000 lb. That last part may be a bit of an exaggeration, but then again, Ford released a video last week of its electric pickup truck prototype pulling a train weighing more than 1 million pounds, so anything is possible.
The all-electric pickup truck is what could really tip the scales in favor of electric vehicles, especially in the US, where the pickup has replaced apple pie as the quintessential symbol of America.
Musk has suggested the Tesla pickup will start at under $50,000, which is important. Those gargantuan pickups America is in love with sell for anywhere between $40,000 and $100,000, so the Tesla offering will be competing head to head with vehicles that cost about the same money. In many cases, the Tesla may actually sell for less money than its gasoline- and diesel-powered competitors.
That Ford video mentioned above got an enthusiastic “Wow!” from my friend who drives a Ford F-150, which he uses to tow his travel trailer up and down the Eastern seaboard. Giving him a ride in my LEAF gave him a hint of the joys of instant torque available from electric motors, but seeing something that looks a lot like the vehicle parked in his driveway towing more than a million pounds really sparked his interest.
A few days ago, he and his wife peppered me with questions about what it’s like to own and drive an electric vehicle, how long it takes to charge, where chargers are located, and what it costs to keep an electric car charged. A year ago, that conversation wouldn’t have happened.
The Tesla pickup — whatever it is called — is aimed straight at the heart of the US new vehicle market. It could easily be the automobile that finally disrupts the thinking of American drivers and sends mainstream automakers scurrying to keep afloat. Electric pickup trucks could very well mark the turning point when EVs go mainstream and dominate the automotive marketplace.