Tesla Gen III on Track For 2017 Launch – Electric Truck Not in Development Yet


One of the overlooked points of discussion at the 2014 NAIAS was Tesla Motors’ comment on Gen III and the electric truck that Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned on more than once occasion.

Tesla at NAIAS

Tesla at NAIAS

First up, the electric truck.  Tesla’s official stance on the electric pickup is “We are busy enough at the moment with our plans for the Model X and third generation car.”

That’s the remark made by Tesla vice president Jerome Guillen from the show floor in Detroit.

As for Gen III, that “remains on track for launch in three years.”  So, 2017 then.

We at InsideEVs do believe the electric truck is coming, but we don’t see it in Tesla’s pipeline until 2020-2022.  So, you’ll have to wait like half a decade before you get a glimpse of Tesla’s electric truck.


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32 Comments on "Tesla Gen III on Track For 2017 Launch – Electric Truck Not in Development Yet"

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Very interesting article htat shows what will Tesla have to do to be successful – http://www.autonews.com/article/20140113/OEM/301139981/audacious-growth-plans-will-stretch-tesla-beyond-its-comfort-zone

That’s a good read – thanks for sharing!

I don’t necessarily agree with the theme, though, that just because they can’t support 250,000 cars/yr today that they cannot grow into it. They will almost definitely have some growing pains though.

Yes, I agree. I just wanted to share a good article which not only says how wonderful Tesla is (which it obviously is), but gives a bit more detail on what the industry leaders think of Tesla and the challenges in front of them…

Not very surprising. Gen 3/Model E will take some time to engineer (cost cutting is a delicate balance) and take advantage of incremental battery improvements over the next few years.

And getting the Gigaplant going.

Why does Musk keep calling these Gen 3s? The current Model S is a Gen 1 type 1. The facelift that will come at some point is a Gen 1 Type 2. The first redesign of the Model S will be the Gen 2 Type1 and so on. The Model E can’t be a Gen 3 when it is the first edition of that model.

I believe the Roadster is considered G1, and the Model S/X are both considered G2 – The “lower costs” Model E, is considered the G3, as it’s an different architecture/cost platform versus the G1 and G2 above..

At least that’s my understanding of how Telsa is “counting” generations

That’s how I understood it as well.

Yep, that’s it.

It also fits into the “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan” (http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me) which has three phases, or “generations”.

The Gen3 may be mostly ready, but just waiting on the battery tech to catch up before it can be launched.

Doubtful. They have been putting their time and money into producing the Model S and designing the Model X. I’m thinking they are just now starting to really design the Gen III.

The battery tech is already there. They just don’t have the resources to work on everything at once…

That’s how I see it, anyway…nobody knows the truth outside the company…

Don’t think battery price is there, otherwise tech is.

The battery tech is here to create a car, but …. tesla is a high tech company. That means if there is something better and/or less expensive in 2 years they would use that instead. Batteries have as a trend been falling by an average of 7%/year, which means battery costs will likey fall by anouther 20% before launch. That may be the difference between a profitable car, or a low volume money loser.

They can’t spread their engineering resources too thin. They likely already have this thing in development but won’t start getting polished until the team working on the model X is done.

Well, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln… Isn’t everyone? I think every car maker says “We too could build a car like the Tesla, if we just had a way to get to X amount of battery for Y amount of price in a mix that satisfies our long-term durability concerns.”

Jerome: As for Gen III, that “remains on track for launch in three years.” However, it sounds like they are still trying to determine how to make the Model E and haven’t figure out the costs of the batteries yet (40% below today’s costs). Musk in Oslo from Feb 1st, pulled from a transcript of the interview: Q5: Looking 5-8 years ahead, how many kWh can you put into a battery and at what cost? A(EM): Potential for bigger battery packs in the future. Maybe next year… Main focus is to figure out how to get to our 3rd generation car… cost. The goal of Tesla has always been to make a compelling mass market car. Money that Tesla makes from the Model S and X goes to that. An affordable electric car that’s great. Model S is a great car but it’s expensive. The Leaf is not that great, but is affordable. Missing thing is to have something that’s both. Q5B: No number projections right now? A(EM): Proprietary. Difficult to say an exact thing. Goal is to drop cost/kWh by at least 30%, but at least 40% for high volume car. Bigger deal is capacity. We have to make… Read more »

Do you have a link to the whole transcript? I was always curious what Elon had to say in Norway…thanks

Nevermind, I think I found it

They have the batteries (Panasonic 4.1Ah 18650s). It appears that they don’t have volume pricing yet…they are still trying to meet demand for the 3.3Ah 18650s in the MS and MX

An electric pickup sounds great, but the commercial battery capacity (including Panasonic’s 4.1Ah 18650s) just isn’t enough. To have an electric pickup truck capable of being something more than an urban cowboy’s commuter car, you need some serious energy reserves…towing, hauling…you don’t want to have to have SCs every 70 miles just to haul 3/4 ton of firewood, or tow your camper, or your horses…

That’s where VIA is brilliant – hook up a moderately-sized heavy-duty engine to a generator and a battery pack, and put power to the wheels with an electric motor. You get all the advantages of max torque off the line, no transmission and no clutch with substantial electric-only everyday driving.

And an on-board generator, which a pure electric truck isn’t going to provide (unless you want to eliminate your range quick)

There is a lot of space between the wheels of a full sized pickup. Should be plenty o’room for a work capable F150 Truck Killer. Remember, that BEV won’t exist till after 2019. Si factor batter evolution in between now and then. 🙂

I think a 60kwh pack with an integral 10-15kwh generator would work for a lot of trucks work or otherwise. Just won’t work for long distance travelers, work or otherwise.

Well, on the article, pick-up needs AWD and cost reduction which X and E will work on.

Back to requirements, ICE pick-ups are inefficient because they’re powerful, tall, heavy boxes with high griund clearance, which require powerful engines. A BEV pickup can change some of that:
– High torque motor doesn’t lower efficiency; high caoacity battery only lowers efficiency because of weight increase, but it’s inherently more efficient.
– It doesn’t need to be a boxy front, partly because there’s no engine to cool.
– Tesla already has variable height suspension (at least they did, and will again with firmware v6.)
– Tesla lowers weight of the Model S with aluminum.

No need to be stuck with the old ICE paradigm.

Tesla could get a really good market up on a full sized pick up truck in that a lot of fully loaded common pick up trucks go for $60,000. I really think a luxury pick up truck might be more worth Tesla’s while then the generation 3 considering how popular them and big SUV’s are.

At least we know Tesla has some free development on a small RV or a large van based off of their model S chassis driving around. In that a Tesla family van would make good money being sold.

I believe that pickup is based on Gen III platform, so it should not take more than less than year before it is ready for launch. Therefore I would say that Tesla will stick on five year goal i.e. prototype should be ready in 2016 or 2017 and production starts 2017 or 2018.

An F-150 (full-size pickup) is not based on a mid-sized platform. I would be shocked if Tesla did that.

The EV pickup would have to be either a new platform, or the same as the S/X.

I think the pick up truck will be the biggest production EV ever built but if it does get built it will settle the bad name of EV’s being eco boxes on wheels.

As for the Tesla van and RV idea there was that guy who was adding a model S battery pack and motor to his Van RV frankencar which was kit bashed at out of two smaller vans.

The Franken Van project is called Stretchla – http://cafeelectric.com/stretchla/
and is going to be probably the only Models S used in any project car!

screw a truck Gen 3 is all that matters