Analysis: Tesla Pickup Truck Battery Size, Range, & 0-60-MPH Time

Tesla Pickup Truck


Our model suggests that the upcoming Tesla Pickup Truck will have a 200 kWh battery, 380-mile range, and a 3.9 second 0-60-mph time.

We don’t know much about the specifics of the Tesla Pickup Truck but what we do know was summarized in an Electrek article: Tesla pickup truck-Everything we know so far.

Here’s a summary:

  • It’s going to be a big truck.
    • Musk said that it will feature a step that will lower to step into the truck and he said that Andre the Giant will be able to fit in the driver’s seat.
  • The Tesla Truck is going to be a 6-seater.
  • It’s going to have an option for 400 to 500 miles of range “maybe higher”
    • Musk previously said that platforms like the Model S and Model X would probably be capped at 125 kWh of energy capacity, but he said that the truck platform will offer an opportunity for a much bigger battery pack.
  • Dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain with dynamic suspension will be standard on the truck.
  • The truck will have a 240-volt connection for heavy-duty tools and even an air compressor to run air tools.
    • The second part was a suggestion that Musk liked since the truck will already have a pneumatic system for the air suspension.
  • ‘300,000 lbs of towing capacity’.
    • That’s another tweet where you have to ask yourself ‘is he kidding?’, but he is most often not. Though I’d bet the actual rated capacity is going to be much lower and like the Model X, owners will be able to push the truck further.
  • It will be able to float.
    • Musk referenced how the Model S is able to, but that’s up to a certain degree and it’s obviously not recommended.
  • The Tesla Truck will have lockers.
  • Musk said that ‘it will look like a truck’.
    • I take this as he is not planning an overly different design because it’s electric. He mentioned that he likes the design of the old Bronco.

In order to run our performance model, we had to turn the above description into a set of specific assumptions. A brief discussion of some of the more pertinent assumptions follows below.

Battery size: 200 kWh with weight reduced 5% for further improvements between now and when the pickup is released by Tesla.

Motor size: We used two Model 3 performance rear motors @ 300 HP each for a total of 600 HP

Size and Aero Drag: This should be simple right? It’s a “big” truck according to Musk, but big is a relative term. We used the F150 Raptor for our frontal area calculations. One could argue we picked too small. We’ve seen renderings of the Tesla pick up with an F150 in its bed. So, yes, I suppose we picked one too small but everything’s a compromise. Bigger just means more aero drag and drag force goes up with the velocity squared. More drag=bigger battery, so Raptor size seemed a good compromise.

Cd: We used the same as the Tesla semi=.36 since the shape in the renderings is similar to the Tesla semitruck. Also, Chrysler 1500 Regular Cab 4×2 has a drag coefficient of 0.360.

Ford F150 Raptor frontal area used in drag calcs.-34 ft2 frontal area.

Weight: This was a tough one. We started with Raptor weight, took out the engine and transmission then added 200 kWh of battery. For battery weight, we used the density of the Model 3 battery pack and reduced it another 5% for improvements between now and when the pickup is released. Model 3 pack is 13.1 #/kwh. That put our 200-kWh battery at 2490# and the total curb weight at 7640# for the Tesla pickup. As a crude comparison, two Model S P100D’s weigh just shy of 10,000 pounds. One could argue we did not pull enough weight out of the Raptor, but on the other hand the Raptor is 1000# lighter than an F250 w/Power stroke diesel. Therefore, we rounded up from 7640# to 8000# for the Tesla pickup. So we are 2000# lighter than two Tesla P100D’s and a tad heavier than a Raptor (minus engine and transmission plus 200-kWh battery).

Tires: We used raptor tires= BFG 315/70 R17 All Terrain T/A K02 tires with 604 revs per mile. For a rolling resistance, we used .0126 coefficient. We made an effort to go on the high side with rolling resistance since the Raptor has a fairly aggressive tread. For comparison, a typical low rolling resistance class 8 semitruck tire can be as low as .006 coefficient. We use .011 for the 19” model 3 tires. We bumped that number up by another 15% to get the RR coefficient for the Tesla pickup truck. Perhaps a touch high, but we had to start somewhere.

Gear Ratios: Once we had tire size we could size the gear ratios based on an assumption of max vehicle speed and max motor RPM. Gear ratios selected have a big influence on the 0-60-mph times. We ended up with a 15-to-1 gear ratio with a vehicle top speed of 110 mph, so we are slightly lower than the semi gear ratio but quite a bit higher than the sedans. Also, we used the same gear ratio in both front and back … probably not correct, but good enough for this stage of the game.

There are quite a few more assumptions that go into the model. A full list is presented below.

List of input parameters

Input parameter values

What do you think of the results. 200 kWh “feels right” to us. A 0-60-mph time faster than any other pickup on the street and 380 miles range is good.

Hmm … sounds expensive!!

How much money do you have?

Let us know if you have better assumptions or spot an error in the ones we have listed. We will keep your suggestions in mind for any future model refinements.

Thanks for reading.

George and Keith

Categories: Tesla

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178 Comments on "Analysis: Tesla Pickup Truck Battery Size, Range, & 0-60-MPH Time"

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Sounds like a very upmarket toy indeed as proposed in this article. Well at least that should make it less of a drain on battery production capacity despite the very large battery.

I think people are in the completely wrong ball-field in their guess of what the Tesla truck is. Although Tesla keeps trying to compare it to a pickup, I think this is going to be more akin to a garbage truck or wrecker* or box truck – bigger than the typical pickup buyer wants, but smaller than a Semi – definitely more of a commercial vehicle.

*Remember – Musk said their pickup would be able to carry the competition’s pickups. Trucks that carry pickups aren’t called pickups. They’re called flatbeds or wreckers.

“Musk said their pickup would be able to carry the competition’s pickups”

Maybe need a trailer?

The jury is still out on how serious that “carry a pickup” remark was…

I really hope it looks more like the F150 Raptor….LOVE that thing and love my current F150. When mine is well past prime I hope to have Tesla’s pickup sitting along side my M3D 🙂

„Sounds like a very upmarket toy indeed…“


Saving the planet, LOL?

Much like Tesla CEO Musk commuting to work in a private jet.

Preaching water while drinking wine in gulps…

Yeah, it would surely be better for the planet if he gave up on Tesla, so he wouldn’t have to commute between SF an LA any more…

Both remarks above have no merit whatsoever

If it ends up like what this article suggests it will be a stupid and wasteful truck like almost all current pickup “trucks”. Trucks is in quotes because their design and configuration is like a US luxury car from the 1950s (four doors, seats 6) with an oversized but open trunk that is too high for anyone under 190-200 cm to even reach into, but too short to hold a sheet of plywood.
Another macho-mobile for people with more dollars than sense is NOT something the world needs.

It’s supposed to be primarily a work truck AIUI rather than a macho-mobile?…

Whether macho or work, there is tremendous demand for them. He is smart targeting that market for both eco-impact and Tesla profitability purposes.

I just hope it does not look like the pictured dork mobile shown. It needs to be able to haul gear and building supplies.

How is the above pictured dork mobile not able to haul gear and building supplies? It is hauling a full sized pick up truck. How much more room do you need to haul gear and building supplies. Looks have nothing to do with the ability to haul gear and supplies.

Well the picture shown wouldn’t even fit in a parking space or city street given it has an F150 in it’s bed and the truck’s tires are outside of that. The picture shown would make this thing wider than a semi.

I agree with you, it is way too big. That still has nothing to do with its ability to haul gear and supplies. On the contrary, the bigger the size the more it can haul. That’s all I am trying to point out in the original comment.

That photo shopped Truckduckin is just so lame. I mean they couldn’t even put the truck in straight.
Sorry, I hate that monstrosity.

As a dump truck for moving tonnes of soil, loaded with an excavator it looks great… As a pickup, not so much. Aside from the issues parking and driving down streets the practicality of loading or unloading anything out of that back by hand is basically nil.

Autonomous self parking. No problem.

It’ll be worse than that. “Blade Runner inspired cyberpunk aesthetics”. Dear god, he needs to lay off the weed.

I agree 100%.
That said, I hated the look of the M3 dash w/o instrument cluster. Ended up ordering one after all and now, love it. Funny how perceptions can change.

I wish the pickup – and a normal one that would compare to the F-150, not this rendered monstrosity that can haul one in its bed – was the next project instead of the Y. When you look at total vehicle sales, it’s obvious that’s what is needed to start making a real dent in gas vehicle sales.

Agree there is a huge market, especially in the US, would also want one more like an F150 than a shrunk Semi (or F650). That said, I am guessing there is more engineering complexity and battery economy required to make it work as a competitive product. I think it would struggle with less than 200 miles of actual towing range until more EVs on the road reduce range anxiety. That requires battery improvements to be competitive.

Tesla might do better with something more along the lines of a Transit/Transit Connect as a precursor product, but it seems like they are leaving that for the competition.

CUVs outsell pickups.

World-wide yes.
All form factors yes.
But if you want to pick one and go after volume, an almost full size truck with full size truck specs could be one of the highest volume vehicles in the world (note that south-east Asia is also nuts about pickups)

The top pickup truck models are high-volume only because there is little competition. But when an EV enters the scene, it’s irrelevant whether there are three combustion competitors or thirty — the market share the EV could hypothetically snatch would be the same in either case.

Except that snatching market share for an EV pickup is likely much harder than for a crossover. Along with the fact that it’s a smaller market to begin with, total volume potential is likely at least an order of magnitude smaller in the foreseeable future.

Tell GM & Toyota there is not competition as they continue to try to take market share from Ford. Not sure why it will be harder to take market share there with respect to EV’s. Its the same thing. If Tesla can produce an even somewhat revolutionary pickup that is an EV, it will be a hit. I have given many rides in my M3D since owning it these 3 months and a number of those folks are pickup owners. They were all impressed. Elon just need to hit another home run with this model.

SE Asia and South America. They’re very different markets to North America with Pickups so a pickup designed for the US market isn’t going to sell in those locations (Hilux and L200 are the main sellers there).

that is a good point… and suggests even more that the pickup he produces shouldn’t be a monster. I have been and still hope for something like the F150 Raptor but now thinking a Raptor version of the Ranger would be awesome and in more demand outside the US??

South East Asia is big on Scooters, Tuktuks and electric buses.

Half ton pickups sell about 1.5 million per year between just ford and Chevy. Throw in Toyota and Nissan, it’s probably close to 2 million. Its a big market, but i think the current cell costs make it a tough sell right now.

Nothing particularly difficult on an engineering side. Motors, controllers, and batteries are well understood. Gvwr is pretty high on a pickup so battery weight isn’t a big issue. its really only cost and then at some point having a charge network to support huge batteries. A 50 or even 150kw charger is effectively l2 on a 300kwh pack.

Battery costs shouldn’t be prohibitive at this point. Sure, it would be significantly more expensive than a combustion model — but not more so than most EVs available today…

2 million is not a large market, though. Even if Tesla could grab say 10% of that (which surely won’t happen any time soon), that would still be much smaller than Model 3 or Model Y market…

They have those covered with the X and Y… There are a tremendous number of pickup trucks on the road in the US today. It is naturally the next segment to go after.

Sure, it should be about the size of a F-150, but have the payload of a F-350.

Agreed… Absolutely love my F150… hope she hangs on till the Tesla pickup is out at a reasonable price. Of course, it cant be that thing pictured in the article. It needs to fit in my garage for goodness sake.

Good specs but ass ugly. Tesla must try harder on exterior styling.

I wonder if Elon and Franz regret their joke. Is a joke still funny if too many people take it seriously?

Ron Swanson's Mustache

In most cases it actually makes the joke way funnier.

The thing is a large dump truck based on the semi chassis would make a lot more sense currently than an EV pickup. The big problems with an EV pickup (range and weight) are less so for something like that, which is not going to travel far and is designed to carry 10-20tons (what’s another ton in batteries in that scheme of things?).

If you think of the “pickup in the bed of a giant pickup” artist’s concept drawing/render as an intelligence test, then the fact that many fail the test makes it even funnier for those of us who actually get the joke! 🙂

It’s not an intelligence test. Considering all the things Elon said lately, which people assumed were a joke but he actually made them real, it’s really anyone’s best guess how serious he was about this one…

Agreed. I never assume anything with Elon now. I really expected… and even knew that M3 dash would have some kind of instrument cluster front of the driver when it hit the streets… minimum, a HUD system. But, nope…never happened.

what is your idea of a good truck styling that has decent aerodynamics?

I would go with a lower Cd. The new pickup have a very blocky front end and I suspect the Tesla will have more of a dropping front nose like the semi.

Now the one prediction you forgot to account for is luggage space. I am guessing the frunk will be large enough for at least a couple of dead bodies (a common metric for full sized U.S. sedans when they were the car of choice for the mob/organized crime).

You can make a pretty blunt-looking front end that’s quite aerodynamic. Cd is more about the ratio of length to width*height and the shape of the back end of the cab.

Don’t forget to include space the obligatory full grown moose (dead) on the hood. /s

And a gun/rifle rack 😊

Like that 🙂

Modern take on the International CTX and just as useless.

Tesla bases the HP of the vehicle on the power output of the battery. The HP of a truck with 200kWh will be conservatively around 1000.

No they don’t. They base it on the power of the electric motor/s.

lol, they choose the electric motors based on the power output of the battery.

Actually, I think it’s supposed to be the lower of the two figures, either the output of the battery pack or the maximum sustained HP for the motor(s). That’s why Tesla got in trouble for initially listing a HP for the dual-motor Model S that was the combined HP of both motors, when the battery pack couldn’t actually put out that much HP. Tesla had to revise its advertised figure.

Tesla needs to make a F-150 size truck with 200 mile range available in 2WD or AWD and Standard or Crew Cab. Also an option for a larger battery. It will outsell the M3.

To make the project worthwhile financially it needs to meet the needs of most truck buyers, so soccer moms and worksite bosses. Too big and it will not fit in a garage, hugely limiting its sales, Make it 150 sized (most popular sized truck) so it can fit all the campers etc built for pickups, can fit in a garage and be ‘small’ enough for drivers to be comfortable.
If its monster sized, it will sell, but only like the first roadster, not like the Model 3 that it could be.

The TM3 appeals to the entire world.
A pickup truck appeals to Americans.
Nobody parks their pickups in their garage, most preferring the street and few on the driveway. Very annoying habit for other drivers.

My pickup is parked in the garage… That said I’m lucky enough to have a large garage. Many newer homes have garages too small to park one it seems, so that may be why many don’t park them there.

I’ve never understood the sales volume of pick up trucks. All the stuff in the back can be stolen, is out is the rain, snow, sun, dust and so on. I’d prefer a van, and just add a trailer or a roof rack if things does not fit inside.

It’s called a tonneau cover or a cap. Which most have round here at least.

Nobody steals anything out of a pickup in Texas. You’re likely to get shot or dog-bit.

I had only a small Toyota compact Pickup, and even I had a lock box in the bed to prevent theft and keep the rain off. That’s not exactly an uncommon aftermarket add-on.

Yeah, I see these quite often on the few pickups around here… And every time I have wonder, why did they buy a pickup in the first place?

You live in the wrong part of the country if you have to have a lock box in your pickup…

Trucks are pretty useful if you ever need to haul anything, or tow anything, or go off road.

A van is a truck, too… And arguably a more useful one for most purposes.

A cap turns a pickup into a van, while maintaining the ground clearance.

How many vans come with 4-5 seats too? Try fitting your family in one on your weekend trips.

For many a Pickup could be argued as a compromised machine, but alternatively it’s a jack of all trades which means rather than two vehicles to do different jobs people can buy one that does the job of both vehicles well enough.

Vans have up to eight or nine seats — and these are generally removable, too. So I’d still call them more flexible…

So you’re talking about a minivan not a work van?

vans are limited use vehicles too. Pick your poison.

Yeah, and vans are a great time in the winter…NOT.
I have had a pickup for years as a 2nd vehicle. Don’t see that ever not being the case because of the amazing utility it provides when needed. If Musk makes one that is efficient and fun to drive… guess what. The M3D might be the one that gets driven less often or maybe even is sold.

Most of the F150s I see are crew cab, anything valuable can be stored in the cab. They might be hauling toys like personal water craft, dirt bikes or whatnot, but those are strapped down and locked up.

Totally disagrees. Most park in garage… especially the nicer, well maintained pickups.

The problem with the 200 mile range is towing. The model X sucks major juice when towing. So if you want to take you boat out to the lake for the weekend it better be within 50 miles to do it roundtrip.

For a vehicle that is significantly less efficient to begin with, the relative hit in range from towing will be smaller in terms of percentage.

Exactly…the question will be how much towing available for how far. It will make a difference.

The fact they aren’t planning for that speaks volumes to the fact the technology isn’t ready yet to be able to offer at a competitive price point.

I think it’s more about the market not being ready.

Not sure it would outsell M3 but maybe. Bottom line, I like the idea!

We are talking acceleration close to the S P100D (with the extra weight is probably still more impressive). Tesla P100D costs around $135K, Tesla semi with 300 miles range is set to be priced at $150K.
What is the reasonable price for this truck to be considered a good working vehicle? Giving the price of P100D I suppose Tesla truck will be more expensive than a Tesla semi truck!.

“Tesla semi with 300 miles range is set to be priced at $150K.”

That’s the launch event price. Actual price TBD.

Musk is going very high end with the pickup. Real world price 80-150k, depending on options.

There was no price announced at the launch event…

For a 200kW battery you’d better add a 100K to those numbers especially if it is a monster sized pickup.

Musk said they were aiming for the high end of the pickup market, but I don’t recall any actual price estimate being quoted.

A U.S. News & World Report article on “The 14 Most Luxurious Pickups” quotes “prices ranging from under $40,000 to nearly $100,000”.

I’d guess at a base price north of $75k. The Model X starts at $83,000, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the pickup is in a similar price range.

Sadly, I agree. The first Pickup is going to be outrageously expensive. Instead of targeting the average pickup price like they did with the Model 3 for sedans. Average US pickup MSRP is $45k. They would own that market if they could produce something comparable in specs to an ICE truck. Since they seem to be targeting early adopter weirdmobile high end niche market, says they can’t compete on price and specs with a normal ICE pickup.

People don’t care for 0-60 time in a pickup.

Sadly they do, and are very proud of the fact that many large pickups can roast sporty cars.

Actually no. All it will do is slip on the payment when you have a heavy load

Which large truck can outdo a sports car. Waiting.

He didn’t say a sports car, he said sporty cars. Some base model stock pickups (i.e. lighter version without panoramic sunroofs etc) can do 0-60 in around 5.5 seconds. <6 seconds is pretty common even in higher end trucks.

At the same time acceleration is a byproduct of engine power and axle ratio. People that to go for a larger axle ratio and as such get higher acceleration, put poorer fuel economy, when not towing.

Not weighting 10k pounds. The specs it create a monster

You must live in a wildly different place than me. Truck owners here love to floor it off the line at a traffic light and leave a disgusting plume of smoke for everyone behind them to drive through. It’s loud and obnoxious. Can’t wait for a silent pickup to prove their redneck obsolescence.

Fresh warm Coal Rollin’ Truck Diesel Soot, is “what is for breakfast”, here in the MAGA states.

Then cause crashes

Ohio. Ford County

“Truck owners here love to floor it off the line at a traffic light and leave a disgusting plume of smoke for everyone behind them to drive through. It’s loud and obnoxious.”

It’s called “rolling coal”. Apparently some knuckle-draggers approach this as a sport. Some deliberately modify their diesel pickups to spew out massive clouds of black smoke. More “points” if they can take a picture of spewing black smoke all over a Prius or other “green” car. 🙄

It should be a vigorously enforced misdemeanor.

To be fair, if you’re interested in 0-60 you don’t buy a diesel truck in the first place.

Rolling coal is illegal (or at least modifying your emissions system to allow you to do it is) in the US. They should really clamp down on it far more than they appear to.

Ron Swanson's Mustache


Ever heard of the Raptor? It has a souped-up version of Ford’s 3.5L V6 twin-turbo in it, putting out 450HP and 510 lb-ft of torque! It’s a pricey toy for bragging rights, but it’s there, and it sells.

Yes I heard about the Raptor but ford makes few of them because of demand. To compete with the F150 you have to be slightly better then the XL trim of the 150 but the rest of these specs are outrageous

The Raptor is fast from a standstill but also an immensely capable off-road truck. And yes, some Raptors are actually used for their intended purpose. I imagine Tesla will start out on the high end pick-ups and expand from there if it’s successful (and it will be, the market in the US being so enormous for trucks).

For quite some time, the fastest production vehicle on the market was a pickup.

My take on that truck from the semi reveal is that was the semi with a truck bed! Not any indication of the size of the future Tesla pickup. It was a joke during the presentation about what the semi looked like as a truck.

Yup. A joke which, from comments here, apparently whizzed right over the heads of some.

Think of it as an intelligence test.

All of the size calculations and dimensions are off. This was touted to be a Bladerunner sort of vehicle, so in my mind, it will look like ‘Kup from The Transformers Movie. In other words, it’s going to be an El Camino or ‘ute-style vehicle, and configurable ground clearance and tire diameter options.

I also believe its top speed will be 140+ because it will be dual-motor and have two gearboxes.

All of Elon’s ideas so far are pulling from a book I own. If I’m right, that means this pickup truck design as well.

If true, then definitely not a pickup truck for the masses. What ICE truck out there would be comparable? As some have said, doesn’t look like it would fit into a standard sized garage.

Thanks for this article, I really enjoyed it 😉

380 miles range sounds low for an unladen truck. That might translate to low 200’s when towing a non-aero trailer (on highway with little to no regen).

Height adjustable suspension that squats right down on the highway should help improve range.

Also, I’d like to see two batteries, with a switch. So one battery can be kept at 100% charge during a long trip. Stop at a fast charger and take the first pack to 80% before heading off into the bush with the second fully charged. If you can’t make it in on 80%, you need to turn around 😉
The alternative (one pack) is that the charge before leaving civilization takes a 200kWh pack to 80% (160kWh), a full 20kWhs less than with 2 packs.

Or just make a EREV with a 50kWh pack and a multi-fuel micro turbine REx. That extra 150kWh of batteries will be $$$$

Two half size battery packs instead of one full size has no advantage whatsoever. Worse, it only has disadvantages.

Like what?
Separate packs can also add redundancy. Something you might want when the closest tow truck is 10hrs away

Disadvantages like halving the available power, requiring two separate cooling systems, and two separate BMS’s.

If you link everything together to eliminate these disadvantages, then you’re not actually talking bout two separate battery packs. You’re just talking about two modules inside the battery pack, which would not at all prevent a failure of main power if one of the modules failed.

I’m not necessarily sure it would have to be two separate packs, rather separate modules. This is already becoming the case for things like the Tesla Semi and the Porsche Taycan. In those designs the modules mean you can charge at a lower voltage (the Taycan will probably switch between modules when it has to charger at 150kw rather than 320kw chargers), or charge the overall pack using multiple chargers (like the Semi at the moment).

Not that I necessarily think it’s needed, unless you’re looking at a potential removable battery pack which is to impractical for real world usage.

AIUI Porsche intends to provide a step-up converter rather than toying with half-packs…

Modules aren’t half packs(for example the Model 3 has four modules). And last I heard the Taycan (like the current protoype Semi) is likely to have a system that charges alternate battery modules, rather than all at once, when it’s on a 400v system. Less wasteful than stepping the voltage up.

Modules in a normal pack are just an internal division; and mostly a mechanical one. Charging individual parts requires significant extra provisions. It’s a very different thing.

I doubt your assumption that topping up half the battery to 80% is quicker than topping up the entire battery to 90%…

Right. Makes no sense. Serially charging one half the battery pack and then the other would take significantly longer than just charging the entire thing at once, because charging speed is limited at the individual cell level, not the module or pack level.

I think his point is about tapering. Still doesn’t work out though as far as I can tell…

Yeah, its more damaging to a battery to charge up twice as fast. Better to charge the whole thing at 1/2 speed. But with a 200 kwh capacity battery, it would be rare to find someplace where the driver wanted to PAY the cost of a 350 kw charger, over a 150 kw one.

2/3rds the miles/kWh of the Model X sounds close enough.

525 Wh/mile unloaded, figure ~1200 Wh/mile when towing heavy. That cuts range to 165 miles. 10-80% recharge in 30 minutes on a 350 kW charger adds an extra 100 miles. That won’t work – heavy tow option will need 350-400 kWh and Megacharging.

It will work fine when there are super/mega chargers every 100 miles in any given direction.

Towing boats often happens in bunches as everybody going on a holiday weekend, you’d need ten lanes at each mega charger just for the pickups, and you’d have to stop to charge often,towing 17K lbs up 5K feet of elevation will reduce range quickly.
It all could be done but would be very expensive and energy intensive, it is very inexpensive when you have no intention of building it, the semi for short routes makes far more sense.

I fear that Elon is back to his ‘Model X hubris’ self that caused Tesla so much headaches because he wanted it to be the perfect vehicle. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good enough.

I think this is a case where trying to make something close to a gasmobile pickup would be a serious mistake. BEVs have limited power available, and traditional pickup shapes have very poor aerodynamics. A radical redesign of the pickup body shape would reduce drag and, hopefully, significantly improve range.

Elon admitted that Tesla is taking quite a gamble at making a radically different looking pickup. He is prepared for it to sell poorly, in which case he says they’ll switch to a more traditional design.

I think that’s the right approach. This is one gamble that I think is worth making. The Model T Ford looked quite different from the early horseless carriages, but the changes were improvements. BEVs don’t need to look like gasmobiles, and it’s time we started seeing some more radical designs.

I think you mean limited energy, not limited power…

I don’t get it. Common usage is still that a pickup truck is mostly still a light-duty truck, <10000 GVWR…(just the 6 people it carries would be 1200 lbs, before any tools or cargo in the bed).
That's not a light-duty truck, and isn't what people in the US think of when they say "pickup truck". The result looks like an extremely low-volume product, and I don't see Tesla doing that (The Roadster II is also low-volume, but has global appeal; this monster truck looks like a US-only product.

Where does your concept fit, in this:
and this:

I think you did the process wrong, doing it bottom-up & starting from the details, instead of starting from a vehicle class and list of goals, and working top-down.

Could be due to the price developing a new vehicle from the ground up. Looks like they have reused a lot from the semi.
This could have a market as well, and if they made it to a van and a minibus as well – but all together the volume would probably be small compared to a “normal” pick up.
I hope they make all of these and a pick up.

I think the remark about the wrong process refers to the writes of the article, not what Tesla is doing…

Yup. Thought it was obvious, since this is just a (fun to read) design exercise for InsideEVs; AFAIK, we have no idea what Tesla’s actually thinking of.

Speaking as a travel trailer user, the killer feature of such a truck would be a 30amp/220 plug in the back. This means a trailer would be able to camp using the truck battery, and wipe out the power issues in a fell swoop. Like being able to run an air conditioner, etc.

And then not have enough juice to get you back home from your camping trip.

Usually you charge while you’re sleeping though.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

That’s a fugly truck.

No thanks!

Cd will likely be smaller, since the pickup will (hopefully) not actually be shaped like a Semi… OTOH, frontal area might be larger, since Elon explicitly said it will be a *big* truck.

Weight assumptions are probably wrong. Ripping out the combustion power train saves more weight than just the power train itself, since the frame gets simpler. Also, a significant portion of the Model 3 battery weight comes from the casing and auxiliary components, which don’t have to scale proportionally with capacity. And by the time the pickup gets to market, battery improvements alone should account for more than 5% savings I’d hope…

On the other hand, since this is supposed to be a *large* truck, I guess it very well might actually be heavier. And I’m pretty sure your battery size assumption is wrong too. When Elon says “option for 400 – 500 miles of range, maybe higher”, you can be certain it won’t come with a battery that just makes 380 miles…

Pickups like the F series are ladder frame construction – basically the skateboard design without the batteries built in, so there wouldn’t be much of a change on that front. Depending on what the Model 3 battery weight includes (i.e. parts that make the skateboard more ridgid?) there wouldn’t be much to take out of the frame between an ICE and EV. That said too, the frame would have to be beefed up to handle the extra GVWR of the heavier vehicle that the calculations predicted (an additional 2500lb), although the F150/Raptor frame is already pretty beefy (the newer standard F150 basically share the frame with the Raptor, unlike the older ones) there are different frames for the F150s that have a heavy duty payload capacity (which is still no where near rivaling the F250 for payload). I really don’t think you’re going to gain much weight there at all. Getting rid of the solid axle and leaf springs may save some weight over independent suspension, but then you need to start getting fancy with air/magnetic suspension to get the same sort of capacity, which is far less reliable (see Model X and pretty much every Land Rover over the… Read more »

A frame for a combustion power train needs extra rigidity because of the cross torque, as well as extra mounting hardware. A study I have seen assumed that this alone make almost $1,000 price difference in a passenger car. They didn’t discuss weight — but I’d assume it to be somewhat significant as well…

Notice how the Model 3 is only slightly more heavy than comparable combustion sedans, in spite of the heave battery, and only a few parts being made of lighter materials… I think this must be coming down to frame design.

(Of course the battery casing doubling as structural support helps with that too…)

Passenger cars have a totally different design to trucks. Cars have monocoque designs – the frame and the strength comes from the entire “cage”. A truck has a ladder frame – It’s a flat ladder design that takes the majority of the stresses.

Monocoque chassis:

Ladder frame (F150):×382.jpg

The Model 3 has a 75kwh battery and weighs around 10-15% more than a similar BMW. A pickup is going to need a 200kWh+ battery, which by itself will weight around 2500+lb.

In a car you can remove the tunnel and reduce the strength of the front for starters. In an F150 you’re going to be removing a few lugs of metal that the engine and transmission screw into.

It’s also worth pointing out that two people can lift a fully stripped F150 frame, which means weighs in the region of 300lb, so there’s not a significant weight saving even if you lop of the few small engine mounts. Even taking 300lb off a 2500lb+ additional weight is going to do nothing in the grand scheme of things.

The calculations look reasonable and shows with current tech they’re essentially creating an F250-350 competitor rather than half ton competitor, at least if it requires a reasonable amount of range.

For comparison half ton pickups have around 5000-5500lb curb weights, rather than the 7800lb curb weight of the vehicle calculated above.

The issue with that is you’re then not comparing it with a 400hp, 450ft/lb torque vehicle (3.5 Ecoboost), but a 450hp, 935ft/lb torque diesel engine (6.7 Powerstroke), so with those motors you’re up on HP (600), but down on torque (660), so you’re going to need bigger motors.

It would certainly be competitive performance wise, but IMO you’re looking at around $150k for it, which is about double the price of a superduty. They could potentially make it cheaper, but they have the 100kWh battery prices of the X and S to consider.

The torque is not really comparable with diesel engines. (Much higher RPM of electric motors means completely different gear ratios.) The Tesla Semi only uses four Model 3 drive units, yet can easily out-torque a combustion semi…

Sounds like it will be more of a “work” truck, similar to a Ford F650. Enormous and capable of heavy-duty commercial work. It might do quite well in the medium duty commercial segment; I imagine it would make one hell of a good box truck, tow truck, or moving van. Maybe even a seaport truck for moving containers around, given its massive capacity.

Musk originally tweeted: “What if we just made a mini version of the Tesla Semi?” and Tesla released a photo of a mini semi which is at the top of this article. Sounds like people weren’t very keen on that and Musk went back to the drawing board to create the pickup…I’m sure it’ll be a $100K vehicle…

News of nothing ™

Whatever Tesla comes out with is welcome since if the Truck sells (whether a big truck, or a much smaller more affordable model) then that will put pressure on the legacy car makers to come out with something electrified.

Ford are developing a PHEV for 2020 so that should be interesting. Hopefully if done right (and they are talking about running tools from it) it should have a decent electric range. As always though it’s battery weight that’s the biggest issue for trucks.

The smart move would have been GM taking VIA in-house and building dual-motor series hybrids. That would have been the smart thing to do at the time. Given battery tech advances, it would still be a good idea, though they could probably put 50kWh where they started out with 40kWh way back when.

I would sincerely hope that Ford is smart enough. They made very good hybrids before – I’m still driving mine and happy with it, but it’s a mid-sized SUV, not an F-150-scale vehicle.

Read the nearby article here saying GM isn’t going to do ANY plug-in truck. At least they’re candid about it. But I have trouble believing 20 ‘electrified vehicles’ over the ‘
next 5 years’ either won’t apply to the states and/or won’t amount to much.

I’m not holding my breath – if they come out with a prius-like hybrid non-plug-in that would be very surprising in and of itself.

Editorially here at IEVs, I think they jumped to conclusions and see no statement where Ford has actually confirmed a plug-in.

Lately, ford seems to have considered EV’s of ANY kind just a fad, and are selling less and less of them. They also seem to be interested in EV’s only when they are legally required to be, such as Europe and China. This no longer seems a front-burner issue here in the states, and Ontario Canada has also dropped their C$14,000 ev incentive – but I chauk that up to asking for too big a benefit : they got it , for a while. But now they have nothing, and they have nothing federal besides.

Hopefully the Dems in the House will work with GM and Tesla to get the $7500 tax credit continued.

It seems a bunch of car makers are dropping their existing compliance car efforts, presumably because the glut of ZEV credits from the few makers more serious about EVs brings the price down to a point where low-volume compliance cars don’t pay off. That doesn’t mean those makers aren’t working on more serious efforts down the line, though. Take Daimler for example: they dropped their existing electric B-class, while working on a dedicated BEV platform and a lot of models based on it. Ford supposedly also formed a dedicated EV unit a while back… (Though admittedly we haven’t heard anything new from them in a while. And now there is talk of just licensing VW’s platform instead…)

Toys for rich

I think your estimate for cd is likely high. Tesla cares a good deal about cd and always comes in below the competition – the fact that you said it’s the same as a Chrysler 1500 Regular Cab 4×2 indicates it’ll definitely be lower than that.

You estimate for battery weight improvement also seems quite low. Musk says to expect a 7% improvement every year. The Model 3 entered production in 2017. The Tesla Pickup likely won’t enter production until 2020, so the weight should improve by at least 15 and maybe 20%. That’ll cut the weight by 200-400 pounds.

Then there’s also the fact that Tesla will likely have a lighter chassis than the Raptor, possibly by using more Carbon Fiber instead of Aluminum (which I believe is what Ford trucks mostly use… right? I might be wrong on that…)

All-in-all, I expect range to come in higher – perhaps as much as 500 miles. They might accomplish this by having a pack larger than 200 kWh – if the Roadster can have a 200 kWh pack and the Semi will have a 600 kWh pack, why couldn’t the Tesla Pickup have a 300 kWh pack?

The chassis is steel, the cab is Aluminium. It’s body on frame not monocoque like cars. Basically the skateboard design without the batteries.

Ford (especially, they have the lightest trucks) and the other manufacturers have been shaving weight off their trucks quite significantly recently with the use of Aluminium and Carbon Fibre (the new Sierra can be specced with a Carbon bed). You could potentially go with a Carbon fibre chassis, but that’s likely to add $$$.

Battery weight is still the biggest issue, and there is going to be a compromise between Curb weight/GVWR range. An additional 100kWh of battery is going to add 1000lb+ to the weight of the vehicle, either pushing GVWR up, or reducing the payload.

It is very likely Tesla has no efforts whatsoever in this space,they are concentrated on there 3 and the Y,the next truck would be a short range semi.

Medium Van like VW Transporter. No pick-up.

This looks much bigger. More like a Crafter sized pick up. Given the truck on top, I’d say even bigger.
First electric monster truck in the future?

There are lots of companies already offering or working on electric vans right now. (Including VW…) No need for Tesla to disrupt that market.

Sounds like the pickup truck is going to be a replay of the Model X. Everything that sounds great on paper will be included, but the result will be a truck that is way too expensive and complex to build.

Aside maybe from the suspension, I don’t see anything in the list that would add meaningful complexity…

300,000 lbs towing capacity? Is that a typo with an extra zero? Whatever they would be towing that weighs that much would sink into the asphalt. That it completely unrealistic. Towing capacity has more to do with how much weight the truck could stop if it were towing on a downhill grade and needed to stop. The Ford Chevy and Ram HD trucks can tow 30,000 lbs but you would need a CDL to tow that much weight. 300,000 lbs? No way!

Musk actually said it could pull 300,000 lbs.

That would not even be a record.

Tesla Model X towed a 287,000-pound Boeing Dreamliner.
VW Touareg V10 TDI towed a Boeing 747 weighing 155 tons
Nissan Patrol towed a 170.9-ton Ilyushin Il-76
Cayenne S Diesel pulled a 73-meter Air France Airbus A380 weighing 285 tons

Towing capacity is totally different, which includes being able stop from speed, corner, take curves at speed, tolerate sidewind at speed, etc in safe manner.
It also has to be able to do that frequently for many years since it does not void the warranty.

Remember the Model X pulling an entire train out of a Boring tunnel?…

Towing heavy loads is not really a big deal, if you don’t expect to go fast…

“Musk said that ‘it will look like a truck’. I take this as he is not planning an overly different design because it’s electric. He mentioned that he likes the design of the old Bronco.”
If you listened to the Recode-Decode podcast, he said this:
“It’s going to be a futuristic, cyber punk, Blade Runner pick up truck. It’s going to be awesome.”
“I don’t know if a lot of people will buy this pick up truck or not, but I don’t care”

He followed that up with, if they have to, they may make a more conventional version too.

If Tesla has 220 volt outlets and 120 volt outlets with 10,000 watts of capacity to feed a house anyone would who has this truck with a 200 kilowatt battery wouldn’t need a portal gas generator unless they wanted to power something huge.

This could make construction sites a lot clearer and quieter.

The render looks like a dually. Which means an F-350 or bigger. Yes, people buy a LOT of dually pickups in Texas.

I’m thinking this thing will be like an F-450 crew. A $150k price tag is not outrageous for something that lasts 300k miles or more. The Tesla truck will most likely go 500k or more before it wears out.

As others have mentioned, the Tesla Truck needs to fit in the garage. As pictured, that isn’t likely at the present home. The HOA won’t allow it on the street. Time to move?

If you have a HOA, it’s time to move.

Looks like a reasonable set of assumptions based on Elon’s comments. Elon did say that the pickup was going to have a radical “Blade Runner” look to it, so perhaps it will look less like the Raptor and more like a scaled-down version artist’s concept shown at the top of the article. I do not expect it to be big enough to hold a normal pickup in its bed. Something that big would not be a mass market vehicle, period. However, I could see it being bigger than a Raptor; perhaps something closer to one of the GMC “pickup on steroids” trucks.

I agree that Elon’s over-the-top remark about “300,000 lbs. of towing capacity” should be ignored. Again, that wouldn’t be a mass market pickup.

200 kWh for the battery pack, or at least for the largest battery pack offered for the pickup, looks about right too.

However, the estimate here is obviously based on very incomplete data, so I hope George and Keith will refine their computer model as more info comes in.

Unfortunately 200kWh would have to be the mid range/lower end option. Trucks generally come with two fuel tank options, one with ~400 and another ~600-700 miles of range (empty). If the 380 mile empty calculation is about right then that sates the trucks with the small tanks, but not the trucks with the larger sized tanks (standard on 4×4 versions of the F150 sold in Canada). They may seem ridiculously high ranges but you need to consider the fact you’re going to lose more than half that range if you’re towing something (and if you’re towing a 5th wheel or similar you may lose even more than that). That gives you 120-180 miles of range with the 200kWh battery. Then add in battery loss in cold weather (Mid west/Prairies for example) and you could be down to <100 miles of range with a 380 mile summer empty range. That's the kind of scenario that shows why there are larger fuel tanks. That said, those larger battery options could come later. 100-200kWh battery sizes could do well in some instances – the lower one for fleets that generally do short ranges (telcos, road works etc) and the larger ones for people… Read more »

Yeah, I forgot that Elon said something about a version with… what was it, 500-600 miles of range? So a 200 kWh battery pack very likely won’t be the largest available. My mistake.

Elon has been talking about making battery packs in modules. Possibly the pickup will have room for a very long battery pack extending the length of the pickup bed, and possibly Tesla will put in as many modules as the customer wants, up to as many that will fit in the space. That could get the range (driving without a load) up to around 500 miles or more.

The use of air tools on job sites is shrinking, people are going with electric cordless nailers.

Errors: won’t look anything like the stupid pickup/semi hybrid truck render we’ve seen from Tesla.

Since the largest vehicle segment in the US is the full size pick-up with all models matching very lose size specifications, I expect the Tesla Truck to be right there with the leaders. I think it was symbolic of having the F-150 in the bed of the rendering of a Tesla Truck, but I think it’s the hauling/towing power that Tesla was relating to.

Which is why I think a version of the Model S/X architecture is what will be used. Earlier Musk did state that 125kW was the largest for the ‘current’ S platform. But a new next gen S is coming, and let’s not forget that the new smaller Roadster will have a 200kWh pack offering over 600 miles of range.

Tesla tends to target high volume and premium segments directly, so the Tesla Truck has to get on the list of over 150k buyers a month. This is why I think Musk is so excited about the Tesla Truck, because it will be a high volume premium priced vehicle.

Lets have some fun with a name for the Tesla pickup. How about the “T200SilverRam’Undra”?

How much does it cost to recycle that big battery?

Butt ugly truck, too.

Tesla should make their 1st pickup based on the Model Y, sharing it’s all wheel drive , aero (w/camper top), increased ride/clearance height, etc. This will lower the cost of a world market competitor to the Hilux, L200 and Colorado in places where they care about saving on fuel costs like Hawaii, Europe, Asia, etc. Full size ev pickups can be made in limited numbers as proof of concept.

You’re not going to be making a Hilux/L200 competitor using the Model 3 platform (which is what the Y is going to be based off last we heard). It’ll need beefing up and it’ll need different suspension systems for starters. Pretty much the only car based pickup on the market that remotely competes with stuff like the Hilux is the Ridgeline, and that’s not remotely similar in reality.

Unibody vehicles can be beefed up to compete with body on frame vehicles. Unibodies are used for off road rallying successfully. Tesla added titanium skid plates to early Model S. It’s about having super strong shock mounts and solid rear axle for towing.

The last sentence is why there would have to be significant modification of the platform, to the point where it would probably be easier to just start again.

In 1968 Datsun 510s had independent rear suspension in their sedan and rear solid axle in the wagon. Same car otherwise. I bet it’s a lot easier than falcon wing doors.

I’m pretty sure Tesla has secured solid state electrolyte battery technology. This will allow the newer batteries (like in the upcoming Roadster) to have more density by using lithium metal and be lighter than conventional liquid electrolyte lithium ion batteries. These new batteries are incredibly safe and will save on size and weight compared to current lithium ion batteries.