Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that an electric pickup truck is going to be Tesla’s next vehicle after the Model Y.
Now Musk revealed a few details about the truck as he seeks suggestions for the development.
At the unveiling of the Tesla Semi, which turned into the unveiling of the next Roadster, Musk also released the first image of a Tesla electric pickup truck – pictured above – though 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.
Plans for the truck have been vague, but Musk has been mentioning the automaker’s intention to venture into pickup trucks for over 5 years.
Today, Musk sought suggestions from his Twitter followers about features to add to the vehicle:
What would you love to see in a Tesla pickup truck? I have a few things in mind, but what do you think are small, but important nuances & what would be seriously next level?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 26, 2018
Musk confirmed the “Tesla Truck will have dual motor all-wheel drive with crazy torque and a suspension that dynamically adjusts for the load.”
The CEO has been talking about this dynamic suspension for a while.
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.”
Musk said that the dual motor powertrain is going to be standard, like it is with Model S and Model X, along with the dynamic suspension.
Among the suggestions that Musk received today, he considered having the rear wheels move:
Unsurprisingly, the vehicle will also be equipped with Tesla’s Autopilot:
It will parallel park automatically & have 360 degree cameras & sonar
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 26, 2018
It also sounds like the truck is going to be quite large – or at least large enough to have a system to help people get inside:
There’s no clear timeline for the release of the Tesla Pickup truck, but it sounds like it will be Tesla’s priority after the Model Y, which is set to be unveiled next year and go into production in 2020.
Update: we gathered all the information about the truck that Musk released last night: Tesla Pickup Truck: everything we know so far
In a previous op-ed after Musk said that Tesla doesn’t plan to unveil its electric pickup truck until the end of the decade, I argued that ‘Tesla should unveil it and open reservations right away for the sake of the US auto industry‘.
The idea is that pickups are the profit centers for all the American automakers and by showing that there’s demand for electric versions of those trucks, like Tesla’s reservation process did with the Model 3, it would jump-start efforts to electrify their own truck programs.
Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the advent of electric transport (and now renewable energy).
I think Tesla launching its electric pickup truck is going to have a great impact toward that goal in the US.
To be fair, there are other electric pickup trucks in the work from other companies, but I think that due to Tesla’s historical results with the Model S, Model X, and Model 3, it will likely have a better impact coming from them.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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