What potential landmines should Tesla be worried about?

Tesla is masterful at building up suspense and excitement for their vehicles, starting years before they actually become available and the Tesla pickup truck is no exception. 

There's been tons of speculation, renderings, and predictions so far, and we haven't seen anything from Tesla yet except a cryptic image that was quickly flashed on the screen at the Model Y reveal earlier this year. 

In late July, Elon Musk tweeted that we'd most likely see the truck in 2-3 months time. Then, last month he tweeted "November most likely". Well, we're in November and still have no word on when the actual unveiling will take place. I for one am looking forward to seeing the upcoming truck offering from Freemont, and will definitely consider parking one in my driveway next to my Model 3 one day if all goes well.  

That said, pick-up trucks are not exactly in Tesla's wheelhouse. What could be the potential landmines out there that might cause the Tesla truck to not do as well as the electric cars they have released so far. Not that I'm expecting these things to happen, but it's worth looking at some of the things that could go wrong, as we wait for more information.

Here's a few of the things I think could potentially derail its success:

  • Tesla doesn't yet have widespread appeal in rural America where pickup trucks are a way of life. 
  • Pickup trucks don't sell well in Europe or China, and both markets that are currently important to Tesla.
  • Did Elon over-promise? The Tesla pick up is said to have a 400 to 500-mile range, and a towing capacity of 300,000 pounds. (The standard Ford F150 has 5,000 to 8,000 lbs of towing capacity to put that into perspective). All that and the starting price is supposed to be under $50k, with Elon recently saying “You should be able to buy a really great truck for $49k or less.”
  • Will pickup truck lovers go for the cyberpunk look that Elon has promised? 
  • Will it be a good "work truck", or is Tesla not going after that market? I think in order to really be successful, Tesla's truck should be a real truck that's capable of being used for work as well as being a daily on-road driver.
  • Will competitors like Rivian beat them to market and steal many of the early adopter sales? 

In the video above, I sit down with Alex Guberman of E For Electric for our weekly segment called "plugged In" to discuss what could possibly go wrong and cause Tesla's entry in the pick-up market to disappoint. Did we miss anything? What are some of the things you think could hurt the success of Tesla's truck?