We’re really surprised Tesla hasn’t announced its own electric van yet, as the segment is already beginning to be populated with models from both startups and established automakers. However, it looks like the penny may have dropped for Elon Musk that maybe this is a sector of the market where Tesla should be present sooner, because he asked his Twitter followers whether making a van would be a good idea.
Musk specifically asked if people would be interested in a “highly configurable robovan” and the tweet instantly blew up, getting thousands of retweets, likes and comments from people asking for such a vehicle to be made. He did mention at one point in 2021 that Tesla will eventually get to making an electric van, but only after the various shortages plaguing the industry will have passed (although he made this statement before the war in Ukraine started, and that has created additional problems and supply chain issues).
Does this new tweet suggest that Tesla is interested in making its very own van sooner? Well, based on the reaction this tweet prompted, the model would be very popular, even without people even seeing it - this is the kind of vehicle that would easily get tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of pre-orders even before being revealed...
The van may be the mysterious new vehicle project that the Tesla founder alluded to during his speech at the Cyber Rodeo held at the Texas Gigafactory. We will get to see what this new project is in 2023 when Tesla is reportedly going to offer “a massive wave of new Tesla products,” one of which will be what Elon Musk referred to as a “robotaxi,” basically a driverless vehicle designed for ride hailing.
Regarding the “highly configurable” part of the tweet, we assume Musk is referring to the van possibly being available in multiple lengths and interior layouts so that it has as wide a range of uses as possible. The Rivian delivery van is available in multiple sizes, for instance, so it’s reasonable to assume that the one made by Tesla will mirror this approach.