Tesla Could Unveil Electric Pickup Truck Next Year

DEC 11 2018 BY MARK KANE 63

Unveiling maybe in 2019, production perhaps in 2020?

Elon Musk responded to a Twitter follower regarding a question on when the Tesla pickup truck will go on sale. Musk hints that there is a chance the prototype will be unveiled 2019:

“I’m dying to make a pickup truck so bad … we might have a prototype to unveil next year”

As you can see, Musk is eager to introduce the Tesla pickup truck. Perhaps nearly as eager as the hundreds of thousands of potential customers. Pickups area huge segment in North America, which would open a tremendous growth opportunity for Tesla.

We can only guess that if a running prototype would be ready for unveiling in 2019, then the launch of production probably will happen by late 2020. Full-scale production would still be some time away though, maybe in 2021.

Well, Tesla is no longer in a position like it was back in 2012 when it surprised the world with the Model S, which to this day still has no direct competitor. In the case of an electric pickup truck, some competition already presents itself, such as the Rivian R1T (scheduled for 2020 or so).

This again returns us to the burning question of, should you pre-order a Rivian R1T today, or wait for the Tesla Truck?

Categories: Tesla, Trucks

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63 Comments on "Tesla Could Unveil Electric Pickup Truck Next Year"

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The Tesla pickup truck will be earth shattering–at least 35,000 and probably 40,000 lbs towing so that it blows away the entire repertoire of trucks made by ANY company and ANY custom shop and forever destroys the image of diesels as being the locomotion of choice.

That’s in Ford F-450XL super-duty territory. If the Tesla Semi @300 miles of range is priced at $150k pulling 80,000 pounds, then would a vehicle with half the towing capacity be 50% of the price?

I feel like a Tesla super-duty pickup truck isn’t as wide a section of the market, and therefore would be a later development. Point made just the same, though!

Think of it like a shot across the bow. Niche market low volume, impressive specs to prove it to the world and dominate in that category, then work down market and to mass volumes. Similar strategy they used with S and X then to 3.

I think what it may also be is that they can’t make a mass market priced truck with same or better specs than existing trucks with current BEV technology and be profitable. So hit the high end first.

Elon has already said they’re aiming for the high end of the pickup market. That is, the high priced end. Not necessarily the high towing capacity end.

Rivian but they should get into fleet sales on the pickup that’s where they can disrupt Ford and make them go bankrupt

I’ve had similar thoughts. Are people that buy heavy duty trucks the same folks that support the electric car industry? There seems little overlap to me but maybe I’m underestimating the EV movement in the mainstream consciousness.

I think at present there is very little overlap indeed. Towing or hauling heavy loads takes a great deal of energy, and EV battery packs have very limited energy.

But that will improve over time.


I hope you are wrong because that is a truck I would not want to buy for personal use.

if it looks like the rendition, has 400+ miles, and performs anything like my M3D, I absolutely hope it is for personal use. Just not sure how much i would use my M3D then.

Towing 40,000 lbs? Wow, a “pickup” that can tow half as much as a Class 8 Heavy Semi Truck?

That’s not a pickup, son. Even 20,000 lbs. would make it the equivalent of a 10-ton truck, and we can be pretty confident that Tesla’s first BEV pickup won’t be rated for that.

Even towing a mid-sized trailer, the Model X loses half its range at highway speed. If Tesla is smart, it will aim for a relatively low tow rating for its pickup in order to preserve as much of the unloaded highway range as possible.

On the other hand, it would be nice to be able to unleash the full power of a Tesla pickup’s torque for towing at low speeds. I wonder if there is a way to do both? A high tow rating for low speeds but a much more modest tow rating for highway speeds.

What are you talking about? This isn’t how truck weight ratings work. Regular full size pickups, in their highest specs, can pull 35,000 lbs. The “ton” of a truck is payload capacity, not towing. And are generally severely underrated in capacity.

Also tow capacity isn’t just about how much mad torque a vehicle can deliver. There’s positioning the load properly on a 5th wheel hitch, and sheer geometry of wheelbase vs trailer. If Tesla doesn’t have a model with an 8′ bed you can kiss a 40,000 lb towing capacity goodbye. SAE J2807 defines trailer towing standards. Also any unibody construction won’t work for work trucks who need to be able to carry service bodies.

It cracks me up when EV guys try to comment about trucks.

An ordinary pickup with a 35,000 lb. towing capacity? You’re out of your mind.

I don’t know that much about trucks, but I can read. For example:

“10 Tough Trucks Boasting the Top Towing Capacity”

Looks like the max towing capacity is ~13,000 lbs. until you get into the oversized “pickup on steroids” class.


10k lb on the towing.

It wont be able to tow that much because it will be too light. With a semi roughly half the weight of the trailer bears on the tractor’s wheels giving them enough traction to drive an 80,000 lb. vehicle. The pickup cannot have enough of the trailer mass applied to its wheels to make a 40,000 -50,000 lb. combined gross weight vehicle go safely.

Remember, Boring Co. used a Model X drivetrain to pull 250K or so of dirt out of the tunnel. There’s a video of it somewhere.

But that’s a stunt, pulling a very heavy load at very low speed. Rating for towing at highway speed will be much, much lower.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Christ that rendering is BUTTFUGLY.

i like it!

Love it

Better than Tesla’s own stupid joke.

Yeah, I wish IEVs would use this much nicer one, which was featured in one article:


Fugly ^^^

Oh please…yikes, that looks like something Russia deployed in WWII

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder… I love that look.

“Pickups are a huge segment in North America, which would open a tremendous growth opportunity for Tesla.”

Absolutely correct.

The real question is: Is Telsa planning to build a pickup?

On the last Telsa pickup article, one commenter said “Elon said the Tesla Pickup will look like something out of “Blade Runner” or “Mad Max” and that the style might be polarizing”

What’s the market for a “Blade Runner” truck? As cool as that would be, it sounds like another rich boy’s toy. The market for which may not be so large. If they want decent sales, they need to make a very capable truck with target price far south of $75k.

I look forward to the reveal.

Rich boy’s toy… isn’t that’s what trucks are? My coworker just bought a pickup for $60k and it’s in no way special. $75k for an BEV pickup with the obvious capabilities electric brings would be a steal, and that’s not including all the ways Tesla vehicles are better and have the prestige of a Tesla compared to a Chevy.

Yep, there are ICE rich boys toys too. But most are acutally used as trucks (you may not see this from your office window, of course)
The average full size pickup price is just under $50K. If you look at the fine print, that’s not actual transaction price (does not include all discounts and incentives). So probably looking at mid 40’s for actual transaction price.

Mid 40’s is a heck of a lot less than mid 70’s.

FWIW, my F150 ecoboost 4×4 with 6.5′ bed, 20″ rims, upgraded interior package and a bunch of accessories was $41k CDN (about $32k USD). It’s a ton of truck for the money and will be insanely hard to compete with on a financial level.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

If they’re paying mid-40s for $50k, they’re getting ripped off. Manufacturers throw $10k discounts around like candy.

The fine text says their transaction prices does not include *ALL* discounts and incentives. They don’t say what they did include.
So I was being conservative here – the financial equation may be even worse for EV pickups in real life.

Not really. 2 friends of ours have pickups but only have use theirs on getting supplies at home deport in the 2 years I have known them

All pickups driven by “suburban cowboys” are rich man’s toys. I’m guessing rather few people looking for a practical working truck will be looking at the first-generation Tesla Pickup.

But I’d love to be proven wrong! 🙂

There are a sh1t ton of people between the stereotypes you all are describing. In the midwest, I see a lot of pickups being used for every day driving where they use that bed only once in a while. They have it for the better 4×4 capabilities in the winter, hauling things once and a while (ie to the dump, moving stuff), hunting, and simply like sitting higher off the ground. They don’t want vans nor suburbans. They are not rich nor do they use their trucks for their job.

I’ve been saying it for awhile – we’ll see it unveiled alongside the Model Y at the March 15th event.

Yelp. Using the model 3 as the platform

This sounds like non-news. GM, Ford, Toyota, etc… could also announce news of EV trucks next year or 2020.

The More ., The Merrier ! ….. * 🙂 *

Hmm, I wonder how the fact that other companies may announce something similar makes this non-news.

In other non-news: GM already announced it wouldn’t bother with BEV trucks.

In other news, that was one executive for global sales. Oh, and GM is axing 25% of its executives. Hopefully that dimwit is on the chopping block. Especially since the chief engineer of the Colorado truck said they designed the platform with all future drivetrains possible, from mild hybrid to full BEV.

GM said it wasn’t bothering with full size BEV trucks, the Colorado is mid-sized. But based on their lethargic enthusiasm for BEV in general I wouldn’t hold my breath for anything form them in the next ten years. Ford will be the first Mainstream Mfg. to bring a full size BEV truck to market, when I have no idea but it will be them.

Yeah, maybe GM can make theirs on the Volt line shutting down…. whatever.

The Bollinger is more my style.

Same here. Don’t need a million bells and whistles on my EV.

You do realize that all renderings of Tesla’s pick up out there are just someone’s fantasy? But it’s unlikely to have the extreme box shape of the Bollinger I suppose as Tesla is pretty religious about aerodynamics.

It is not about the body shape but about the unnecessary expensive technology and connectivity inside most EVs. Who needs a truck that can be remotely taken over by a hostile actor and made to drive off a cliff with you inside? Or that can be commanded by an oppressive government to lock all the doors and then drive itself to the nearest Gestapo station with you inside?

Dude, you need to loosen your tinfoil hat. It’s cutting off the blood supply to your brain.

Yeah, he is a little paranoid… but has a point. Complete autonomous driving is a ways out and IF there is any substantial costs in that piece, maybe excluding it could reduce the costs. Many people are and will be scared of it for a long time and many simply don’t want it.

I like airbags, personally.

Love the Bollinger simply and basic aesthetic.

Bollinger looks way too “military brick” to me.

Yup. If you love a WW II Willys Jeep, then you’ll like the Bollinger B1.

I’m all for form following function, but I think they’ve taken it too far if they’re not putting safety features such as a padded dash or airbags into the truck.

I must admit I’m happy with Monsieur Musk’s pickup infatuation because that hopefully leaves the Model Y team to concentrate on keeping it simple and bringing a product to market that utilizes a maximum of 3 technology and associated capital equipment. The Model Y should break sales records the world over.

Seems like Rivian pushed Tesla to move quicker.

Based on past experience, I tend to give Tesla the benefit of the doubt, but that Rivian pickup seems pretty hard to beat and the only real advantage I can see for Tesla is the Supercharger network.

Agreed. There’s also the price issue. They’re going to have to undercut the X with a more capable vehicle to come close to the price of the Rivian.

I worry about the complexity of providing the TLC needed to keep lithium safe & happy for a long time. That is a big reason Tesla is the company for me.

looks quite ugly

Mini-Pickup is coming soon?

It’s pretty clear he WILL have a pickup unveiling in 2019, and I think it’ll be a co–unveiling with the model Y.

It’s going to have to look like a truck and not a car with a bed (El Camino), and at least jump seats if not 4 door crew cab will need to be considered, the drawing shown simply would not fly with truck owners.

I am a truck owner and love that look. I did cut my teeth on an El Camino however, so maybe I am on the fringe 🙂

Where do I go to deposit my $1,000 down?

Pickup and SUV Y will be on the same platform

I so would love to replace my F150 with a Tesla… and if it looks anything like the rendition above, OMG… where do I put the reservation in…