Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and its CEO Elon Musk want to bring a full-size pickup to Telsa customers, much the same way Ford (NYSE: F) has delivered to its drivers with its popular F-150 series.
We would assume Tesla would transfer and incorporate its entire stellar electric vehicle (EV) technology to its pickup, but for now, there is little we can squeeze out of the company as far as logistics – only that the idea is being shot down the pipeline.
The question is: would eco-conscious Tesla owners even want a pickup truck?
Musk seems to think they would.
Tuesday, as he spoke at Business Insider’s IGNITION event in New York, Musk was asked what other kinds of models he was planning for future Tesla drivers. He freely replied that his company wants to offer a full-size pickup to compete with Ford’s top-selling F-150.
Granted, Musk wasn’t on the forum stage when asked about this; this actually took place during a post-interview Q&A session off the stage. But it makes you wonder…
In relation to consumer demand, the F-150 is one of the most popular vehicles on the road today and the top-selling vehicle of any kind in the U.S. Who wouldn’t want a share of that? Earth-friendly folks are going to need a truck that suits their needs, too.
The Five Year Plan
Musk did add that anything in line with a pickup truck from Tesla would probably still be five years away from hitting market.
Musk made his comments after he was asked if Tesla would ever try to make a fleet truck, along the lines of UPS (NYSE: UPS). With an enthusiastic “yes,” he clarified that Tesla most definitely has plans for a truck, but not one built for commercial success. The commercial truck market is too small.
And what more would we expect from Musk, who always seems to think big – his Tesla truck would be modeled after the most popular and best-selling truck in the U.S.: the Ford F-150.
The truck would likely appear very similar in design to the F-150. There isn’t a whole lot of modification you can do with a pickup truck, but then again, Tesla is known for its sleek design. What’s more important is the market share of potential buyers.
According to hybridCARS, Musk said briefly, “If you’re trying to replace the most gasoline miles driven, you have to look at what people are buying.” He added, “That’s the best-selling car in America. If people are voting that’s their car, then that’s the car we have to deliver.”
Clearly, Tesla has been keeping an eye on the F-150. And with its solid spot already on American’s wish list, an EV that can offer similar performance has to have a niche somewhere.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a truck being built by Tesla. In July of 2012, Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen hinted at work on some form of an all-electric pickup, saying “a market for which the torque of an electric motor would be ideally suited,” according to hybridCARS.
If we were to zoom in on the market right now, we would see that Ford sold 560,000 of its F-series pickup trucks in the U.S. through the first nine months of this year, while Tesla managed just a morsel of that number with just 14,000 units sold of its highly acclaimed Model S, according to CNNMoney.
But that shouldn’t sway us from believing we could see a Tesla pickup truck driving down the road in five years’ time. Tesla continues to expand every day, and it has already proven a worthy adversary in the auto industry, despite its limited sales.
While the company gains critical acclaim, we’ve seen Tesla’s stock nearly triple in price this year.
Tesla is now moving into Europe and spreading throughout the world. It has its new crossover SUV – the Model X – set to start production next year. And it has plans for a less expensive EV aimed at giving drivers a range of around 200 miles and a price tag right around $30,000.
We’re not sure exactly when we will see the less expensive model, but the Tesla pickup truck shouldn’t follow far behind.
When you go on a ride with Tesla, you can’t be afraid to dream. Elon Musk is a dreamer, and he’s not only taking the auto industry by storm, but the man is trying to take us into outer space with his SpaceX rocket company.
It just goes to show that in the Tesla world, you have to be ready for anything. This past April, Musk presented the notion to Texas of building an assembly plant for trucks in that state.
State laws have since put the kibosh on that notion, but it shows the kind of commitment Tesla is willing to make; there are no lengths to which Tesla won’t go in order to be successful, even if that means going out of this world.
Tesla is taking dead aim at the EV market on a global scale. Of course it’s going to offer a pickup truck!
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