Tesla Pickup Truck Will Cost Less than $50,000, “Be Better than F-150”

Tsing

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Elon Musk talked up Tesla’s upcoming pickup truck during Sunday’s Ride the Lightning podcast. One point he made was lower pricing: while nothing is set in stone yet, the CEO suggested he would try to sell the vehicle at less than $50,000.

“We don’t want it to be really expensive. I think it got to start at less than $50,000 – it’s got to be like $49,000 starting price max. Ideally less. It just can’t be unaffordable. It’s got to be something that’s affordable. There will be versions of the truck that will be more expensive, but you’ve got to be able to get a really great truck for $49,000 or less.”

Musk also teased its appearance, hinting it’ll have a sci-fi aesthetic that sets it apart from other trucks. Some of the concept art out there have imagined the vehicle with sleek curves and futuristic lighting, which may not be too far off from the final product.

“It’s got to have incredible functionally from a load carrying standpoint, look amazing – but it won’t look like a normal truck. It’s going to look pretty sci-fi. That means that it’s not going to be for everyone- like if somebody just wants to have a truck that looks like trucks have looked like for the last 20 to 40 years, it’s probably isn’t for them.”

Of course, price and visuals don’t mean anything unless the truck can perform. Musk says he’s attempting to make something that can contend with both a Ford F-150 and Porsche 911.

“It’s going to be a truck that is more capable than other trucks. The goal is to be a better truck than a [Ford] F-150 in terms of truck-like functionality and be a better sports car than a standard [Porsche] 911. That’s the aspiration.”
 
People like their cowboy Cadillacs. If they get too Barbarella with this it could easily backfire. I understand wanting to keep with a futuristic branding image but the idea of a truck automatically can imply certain visual characteristics.

Let's hope it's not something like this either:TheHomer.png
 
People like their cowboy Cadillacs. If they get too Barbarella with this it could easily backfire. I understand wanting to keep with a futuristic branding image but the idea of a truck automatically can imply certain visual characteristics.

Let's hope it's not something like this either:View attachment 5

Truck people also tend to be brand loyalists. It will be hard to win over some of the more fanatic customers.
 
It's all fun and games until it bursts into flames.

It needs to run a gamut of ridiculous durability tests, and if it comes out smelling like a certain venerable 1988 Toyota Hilux, then it shall be a worthy vehicle for one day replacing my '92.
 
What it needs is durability, capability and range. The first two are going to severely limit the third. And without the first two the third is meaningless in a truck. The only way I can see getting all three is over building the platform and cramming as much battery as they can in it, making the entire package extremely heavy. Like 8000#+ empty kind of heavy. Picture an F650 frame, axles and suspension in a F150 form factor kind of heavy.
 
I feel stupid for wanting this, but I do want it :).
I also have no faith that it will be 'good' and hope that it pushes Ford to make a comparable F150... And then I'll probably still buy a Toyota/Honda anyway :)
 
And then I'll probably still buy a Toyota/Honda anyway :)

Gross. The Tundra is archaic and the Titan is hideous. It's also F-250 money for something that's just a little better than an F-150 in terms of capability.
 
I think they'll get great fleet sales with these. I just can't see mass adoption to the general truck crowd, however. It needs to look like it'll last 20+ years, and then also be capable of it.
 
I'm very interested in a hybrid truck. I think a mostly electric power train with a small ICE standby would be extremely appealing, I'm not really excited by the mild hybrid FCA is trying to push now.

I'm much less interested in an all-electric truck. Rivian's announcement of vehicle-to-vehicle charging helps, but doesn't move that needle very much.

I guess I could always ghettofy an all-electric, and just wire up one of these in the bed and slap a Cummins badge on the fender.
 
I'm curious how any manufacturer is going to balance out the weight in a truck. The electric motors will need to be beefy and heavy, along with a large battery pack. And without all that weight of an engine over the steer axle how are they going to transfer weight forward so you don't have squirrely towing characteristics. It would suck to need a WDH for all towing applications. I guess they could make a huge block of battery to stick under the hood.
 
I'm curious how any manufacturer is going to balance out the weight in a truck. The electric motors will need to be beefy and heavy, along with a large battery pack. And without all that weight of an engine over the steer axle how are they going to transfer weight forward so you don't have squirrely towing characteristics. It would suck to need a WDH for all towing applications. I guess they could make a huge block of battery to stick under the hood.
If I'm not mistaken, the DC drive motors are actually pretty small. The ones used in the Tesla S (which make something like 550+ hp and 900+ ft/lbs of torque) is only like 70 lbs.

The batteries are pretty flexible to configure - that can be made in just about any shape you want, so getting that in and making the weight distribution work for that won't be too bad (Model X with it's rollover video is pretty infamous for showing that off)

The size and weight on the motors isn't the issue. It's cooling. If you want to sustain that high level of performance, you will have some heat to dissipate.

Sounds just like overclocking, really... my guess would be a honking large electric AC unit under the hood, only part which would actually go to the cabin. The rest would probably end up with some liquid cooling to the motors and batteries.
 
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If I'm not mistaken, the DC drive motors are actually pretty small. The ones used in the Tesla S (which make something like 550+ hp and 900+ ft/lbs of torque) is only like 70 lbs.

The batteries are pretty flexible to configure - that can be made in just about any shape you want, so getting that in and making the weight distribution work for that won't be too bad (Model X with it's rollover video is pretty infamous for showing that off)

The size and weight on the motors isn't the issue. It's cooling. If you want to sustain that high level of performance, you will have some heat to dissipate.

Sounds just like overclocking, really... my guess would be a honking large electric AC unit under the hood, only part which would actually go to the cabin. The rest would probably end up with some liquid cooling to the motors and batteries.

I'd imagine the motors would need to be larger, beefier, in order handle the weight of not only a truck platform, but the capability to tow/haul for long distances. Small works fine for a 4500 lb car, but add another 2500 lbs of vehicle and 10,000 lbs behind it and those things will overheat. Larger motors with larger integrated heat sinks and cooling.

Industrial electric motors that run hydraulics aren't exactly powerful, but they're huge to keep from burning up due to the heat generated.
 
I would love to see The Fast Lane Truck team to run it through the Ike Gauntlet.

...if it doesn't run out of juice during the trip.
 
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