Automotive

Elon Musk asks for development ideas for Tesla Pickup Truck

Elon Musk asks for development...
Elon Musk first revealed the Pickup Truck at the launch of the Semi and Roadster in November, 2017
Elon Musk first revealed the Pickup Truck at the launch of the Semi and Roadster in November, 2017
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The Tesla Pickup Truck is pitched as a smaller version of the Semi, but still large enough to haul a standard pickup in its bed
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The Tesla Pickup Truck is pitched as a smaller version of the Semi, but still large enough to haul a standard pickup in its bed
Elon Musk first revealed the Pickup Truck at the launch of the Semi and Roadster in November, 2017
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Elon Musk first revealed the Pickup Truck at the launch of the Semi and Roadster in November, 2017

At the Semi and Roadster reveal last November, Elon Musk quickly showed a mockup drawing of an all-electric pickup truck large enough to carry a pickup truck in its bed. The wild concept was subsequently confirmed for production after the roll-out of the upcoming Model Y. Now, Musk has taken to Twitter to ask followers for possible feature suggestions – while also confirming some of the specs.

First revealed as a smaller version of the mighty Semi, Musk said that drivers with a regular license would be able to get behind the wheel of the pickup. As standard, the Pickup will have dual-motor all-wheel drive with "crazy torque" and dynamically adjustable suspension.

Musk suggested that loading and unloading should be a breeze, thanks to a "trear gate" that "should rotate on a four bar linkage & drop down to the ground or close. Kinda like some big trucks have."

The Tesla Pickup Truck is pitched as a smaller version of the Semi, but still large enough to haul a standard pickup in its bed
The Tesla Pickup Truck is pitched as a smaller version of the Semi, but still large enough to haul a standard pickup in its bed

And he confirmed that the vehicle will parallel park automatically, making use of 360-degree cameras and sonar. It will also feature power outlets to allow for the use of high power tools out in the field.

Beyond this, the design book still appears to be very much open. More details will doubtless emerge in the build up to the Model Y unveil, which is expected to be some time early next year.

Source: Elon Musk

12 comments
flyerfly
Something goofy about the scale of the "smaller pickup" that is in the bed of the larger truck. The doors of the large truck look giant compared to it as well as the size of the tires/wheels. I guess a tilt bed would be nice if one is going to haul heavy equipment with it...a lift gate can only fit small items.
paul314
New shiny thing to distract from the current not-so-new, not-so-shiny things?
Daishi
The Tesla truck can make some interesting design choices in part because they don't have a drive shaft to contend with. It allows them some extra space in the cab and also the ability to put more storage under the bed sort of like the Honda Ridgeline. Without a trunk small objects just slide around the bed. A truck with a frunk would be useful. We know the interior will essentially be a center console table but the thing I'd like to see them try to solve is an innovative system for securing loads. Something like a secured bike rack that allows me to avoid needing to attach a bike rack to the trailer hitch would be useful. A storage compartment that can be installed that avoids roof mount cargo holders for camping trips would be neat and both things should fit in the bed at the same time. If they just make a decent secure attach method (like E track rails) people will create cool products that use them. Without a drive shaft they might be able to build a pass through door in the middle so you could access a sleeper or pop up camper from the cab. With a middle access way to the back you could use it as a camper van. They could possibly even build a van version on the same platform.
VincentWolf
Make it a mid-gate like the Avalanche with fold down seats in the crew cab back seat. Best design ever for a truck allowing hauling up to 20' long lumber with tail gate down. No other truck can do this without installing a roof rack.
Make sure it has 40,000 lb towing capability so it blows away every heavy duty diesel pickup truck ever made to astound the naysayers.
4WD is so easy with electric--either dual or 4 motor designs and even wheel motor designs will come along.
The end of the gas monopoly is at hand.
Workhorse, Tesla, and who knows even Toyota may jump aboard because it has no choice.
Edward Vix
A waste of resources, absurdly large scale. Pickup trucks have already become far too large, the vast majority of them are now purchased by people needing not to actually haul things, but to compensate for feelings of inferiority. This just exploits that weakness.
Rustin Lee Haase
I live in the town with the planet's largest pickup dealership. We know pickups here. What Elon is proposing is effectively not a pickup in the eyes of many would-be customers. What I see here would be laughed off the display lots as totally inappropriate.
Pickups are tools first, personal transportation second, and showy conspicuous consumption products third.
An absolute must is to offer a model where you can place in a 4'x8' sheet of ply-board flat on the floor of the bed and close the tailgate. If you don't offer that, you're not making pickups.
Also the bed height needs to be kept low. Ideally one should be able to walk up to the back of a pickup, flip down the tailgate and just sit on it without having to climb or leap up to it. Try loading twenty 50lb bags of cement into a 4ft boosted-up pickup some day and see what I mean. An added benefit to keeping it low is lower center of mass to avoid that unwanted Ford Explorer roll-over problem.
Also Tesla would have to break from their habits of putting carbon fiber everywhere. Pickups get a beating and only thick gauge steel can deal with that well. People frequently find themselves hammering fenders and other parts back into shape after an impact. Try that with carbon-fiber.
Gas/Diesel engines, pickups simply gotta have 'em in this world as it is today. Pickups are often used to haul huge fifth wheel trailers, sometimes across the country. The charging infrastructure just doesn't exist and probably never will in the more remote locations. Pickups need to be able to go ANYWHERE and an electric only restriction makes that impossible.
I really don't see Tesla being able to sell a viable pickup to the masses. Its way to left coast and just not in tune with the normal guy. Teslarati might buy them to show off how much money they can waste, but I see the masses sticking with more traditional designs for pickups. It's a radically different market and another company called Workhorse seems to be getting it if you must go electric. (nice unit, actually) Also, there is no way all the current pick-up makers will stay out of the electric market for long.
Tesla will have to rework a lot of what they are doing with pickups if they are going to win in that market. Pickup buyers are much more conservative than sports car buyers. They have actual work to get done and need good durable reliable tools, not fancy smancy toys.
EZ
Too bad Mr. Musk used the name "Tesla" for his electric vehicles. Where does the juice come from? Large coal or gas fired power plants that pollute like there was no tomorrow. If his vehicles were being created by the real Tesla, they would be extracting their electrons from the Ether--like the strange vehicles in the sky that nobody can identify and like the military that's keeping it from the public.
Expanded Viewpoint
Hey there, Musk!! Howzabout making them more environmentally friendly than your over priced ego trippin' cars?!?! Surely the juice that charges up those super expensive to replace batteries comes off of the grid, which is mostly coal fired, right?? How much carbon based fuels are relied upon to collect up and refine the Lithium and other stuff that goes into those batteries?? Yeah, if one really needs to stroke their own ego, put on airs about being environmentally aware, etc, then wasting bookkeeping entries on a Tesla is a good way to go, but other than that, eh, not so much.
Randy
Gregg Eshelman
He should be thinking small. What the American market needs again is pickups the size of the old Mazda/Ford Courier, Mitsubishi/Dodge D-50 and Plymouth Arrow, and Chevy LUV / Isuzu P'UP.
Those models from the late 70's and early 80's have held onto their value because of the "Chicken Tax" law, which along with import duties on European chicken placed a 25% tariff on light trucks. The truck tax is the only part of the law that hasn't been repealed.
For a while the companies got around the tax by shipping the trucks in as 'parts' with the beds off so the dealers had to install them. Subaru called their Brat a 'passenger vehicle' by putting the seats in the bed, but had to weld them in place. Subaru's current mini truck has four doors and seats so it squeaks in as 'not a light truck'.
Ford imports all their Transit Connect vans with side windows and rear seats to avoid the tax, then most of them get the seats removed and windows replaced with solid panels after they're inside the USA.
There's definitely a market for a new mini pickup here.
Tesla should also make a full size pickup able to haul 4x8 foot plywood.
Jean Lamb
A pickup needs to be able to carry a ton of pellet bags if you want to use one where I live.