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Tesla Pickup...the big question is when?

2342 Views 24 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Mister Dave
We have recently heard about several of Tesla’s upcoming vehicles, especially the Model Y and Tesla Semi since they are expected to be unveiled next, but we haven’t heard about the planned electric pickup truck in a while.

Now CEO Elon Musk hints that it could be based on the same tech developed for Tesla Semi.
When Musk unveiled Tesla’s product plan last year, he revealed that Tesla had an electric pickup truck in early stages of development. Musk had already been talking about Tesla making an electric pickup for a few years now, but in April 2017, he said that the company is only going to reveal it “18 to 24 months” from now.

That’s the last time we heard of Tesla’s upcoming pickup as the company focused on Model Y, which is expected to be a crossover based on the platform developed for Model 3, and Tesla Semi, the all-electric semi truck, which Tesla plans to unveil on October 26th.

Now Musk responded to someone on Twitter suggesting that Tesla should build a light duty pickup after Tesla Semi:
You can ignore all the commenters on the Semi...

In a previous op-ed after Musk said that Tesla doesn’t plan to unveil its pickup truck until the end of the decade, I argued that ‘Tesla should unveil its electric pickup truck 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.

At this point, Tesla’s new vehicle unveiling plans remain unclear. Based on Musk’s previous comments that Model Y is the priority at Tesla after Model 3, you would think that we were going to see that car first, but now all the attention is on Tesla Semi.

Furthermore, Tesla is already offering discounts on the next-gen Roadster through its referral program even though we have no idea when we are going to see that car.

And yes...if there were an announced waiting list...I'd put down a deposit on one of these...:)
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Many companies tried to enter the pickup market with various level of success.

What Tesla will fight hardest against is also Tesla's main advantage in selling sedan/SUVs:

Image and branding.

"Built Tesla Tough" doesn't seem to ring a bell.
"Hardest Working Truck" also probably will not roll off the tongue easy.
For most users an electric pickup should be a good replacement for the traditional ICE powered pickup. It's a really good solution for commercial users whose fleet doesn't range far from base, particularly if they can use cheap commercial off peak electric to recharge overnight.

Unfortunately there are a few users like me who use the truck in areas where there is no electricity, for us an extended range plug-in pickup is a better solution.
Yes, with today's technology and pricing, an EREV pickup makes far more sense than a BEV version for typical truck buyers.
A pickup when used for hauling or towing, consumes power at a rate that is over twice as high as a sedan.
So a 300 mile BEV pickup will need 2400lb of battery (compare to >1200lb for an ICE driveline) plus the weight of the inverter, sturdier frame, more room, motors, heavier axles, wheels, tires, and brakes. I'd estimate a 1500 series pickup with BEV propulsion suitable for 8,000lb (med) towing, or 2,000lb cargo capacity, is going to be 2,000+ lb heavier.

Perhaps Tesla could make a Ute/Elky BEV, but a real truck is going to be too expensive and less capable than an ICE variant.
I've often thought that a turbo iron block I4 and dual Voltec 120kW electric motors would be interesting when combined with 40kWh of battery.

322 peak EV hp, augmented by 200 available ICE hp, with 50 miles of EV range would only add about 400lb at most to a 4x4 V8 configuration. You lose the transfer case, the transmission, driveshaft, and heavier V8/V6, gain efficiency so less fuel weight to do the same work. Then you gain 700lb of battery, and the electric motors and inverter.
Curious: When another car maker puts out a concept it's car porn. In this case are you guys taking this more seriously?
If they were selling a (arrgghh) 'compelling' work truck that was EREV or BEV, I'd have one already. Via Motors missed the mark.

Tesla's Semi-truck is:

A) Not an original idea for a useful Class 8 truck. There are in use in California and have been for nearly a decade.
B) Useless for interstate hauling. Believe or not, weight is critical. Every pound of battery is a pound of cargo you cannot haul.
C) Even if the costs were identical, the diesel would win. Because both weight and time are money. Class 8 tech didn't halt in 2000. It is getting better every year.
UTE (modern Elky):


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