After some confusion over Tesla’s plan to build an electric pickup truck at the Tesla Semi event last month, CEO Elon Musk now confirms that a Tesla pickup truck is coming “right after Model Y.”
Musk had previously confirmed that Model Y, a small SUV or crossover built on the Model 3 platform, would be Tesla’s priority once Model 3 production is ramped up.
That’s why it was surprising for Tesla to unveil the next generation Roadster at the Tesla Semi event since the vehicle was expected to come out after Model Y, which has yet to be unveiled.
At the same event, Musk also released the first image of a Tesla electric pickup truck, but some people still think it’s a joke.
He claimed that it was a smaller version of Tesla Semi and “a pickup truck that can carry a pickup truck.”
While it sounded like a joke, Musk had previously mentioned his intention to leverage work on the Tesla Semi to create a Tesla pickup truck.
Today, he confirmed that he already has “the core design/engineering elements” in his mind and wants to bring it to market right after Model Y:
Musk has indeed been talking about building an electric truck for a while now. During a Tesla owners event in 2013, Musk discussed his idea for a Tesla truck:
“I am quite keen on building a truck and I think there’s a lot one can do with truck technology.
One of the things that I think should be present in trucks is something like an air suspension that dynamically adjusts the load and sorta keeps the angle of the truck correct and the ride height even and adjust the dampening in real-time. Because the challenge you have with any vehicle where there’s a big potential difference between the minimum and maximum load is that the suspension is always wrong and usually wrong by a lot.
I was driving an F-250 down the 405 one day and honestly that thing… it was resonating on 405 on the little ridges. I thought my teeth were going to rattle out of my head. If you put load on it it’s fine, but if you’re empty it’s not. It would be good to do that and obviously to make it light and really handle well. That’s where having a battery pack low can improve the center of gravity. I think it’s possible to produce a really well handling truck that feels good at any load point. That would be really great.”
Now, we have a slightly better idea of the timing since it’s coming “right after Model Y.”
Earlier this year, Musk pushed Model Y further down the road since he wanted to bring the vehicle to market on a brand new platform, but he later said that his executive team talked him out of it and now the vehicle should come sooner on the Model 3 architecture.
Update: Musk later added that the Tesla pickup will be “similar in size” or “slightly bigger” than a Ford F150:
It still doesn’t give us a great idea of the timing as long as we don’t know when Model Y will hit the market.
But in my opinion, Tesla will unveil Model Y sometime next year and attempt to bring it to market as quickly as they did with Model 3 – 18 to 24 months.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.