Responding to a Tesla fan’s request, Elon Musk pledged that his company would make a pickup truck soon after Model Y was rolled out– the SUV he had unveiled at Tesla’s 2017 Annual Shareholder Meeting, back in June.
In a Tuesday (Dec. 26) Twitter exchange with Tesla fans, after he had thanked Tesla owners for their support and belief in the company, Musk asked how Tesla could “improve further.”
A fan that goes by the Twitter name “Vancouver Seed Bank” immediately responded, asking for a Tesla pickup truck.
Musk answered the tweet with a promise to “make a pickup truck right after Model Y,” saying he has had the “core design/engineering elements” in his mind for nearly 5 years and he was dying to build it.
I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y. Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years. Am dying to build it.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 26, 2017
While Musk is “dying’ to make it, Vancouver Seed Bank is “dying” to drive it, as he said in his tweeted thanks.
“Well, I’m dying to drive it thank you sir.”
Another fan asked if the pickup would be larger than Ford’s F-150, adding that she was “hoping for a regular family size truck.”
While Musk anticipates a somewhat similar overall size, it may just turn out a tad bigger to accommodate a revolutionary feature he has in mind.
“Similar total size. Maybe slightly bigger to account for a really game-changing (I think) feature I’d like to add,” he wrote.
The announcement doesn’t come as a big surprise given that Musk had made a similar announcement in April this year, tweeting that he would “unveil” the pickup in “18 to 24 months.”
Even before that, in July 2016, Musk had dropped hints about this pickup during the announcement of the second part of his much talked about “master plan.”
He had spoken about a next-gen version of the Tesla “Model X” SUV, which we now know is the Model Y, and a “new kind of pickup truck” – the one he promised will follow the Model Y.
Musk had also revealed the company’s plans to launch a kind of urban transport and a semi truck, which turned out to be the futuristic-looking Tesla electric semi he unveiled at the company’s Hawthorne facility in California, last month.
No sooner had the semi truck been revealed than Tesla was flooded with pre-orders from companies like, Walmart, JB Hunt Transport and the Michigan-based hypermarket chain Meijer, that anticipate substantial cost-per-mile savings by replacing traditional diesel trucks with the electric version.
“We have a long history of testing new technology – including alternative-fuel trucks – and we are excited to be among the first to pilot this new heavy-duty electric vehicle,” Walmart had said in a statement at the time. “We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chain, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emission.”
JB Hunt’s President and CEO John Roberts had said, “We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and dray routes, and we look forward to utilizing this new, sustainable technology.”
Furthermore, Michigan-based supermarket chain Meijer told Bloomberg at the Hawthorne event that it had advanced $5,000 to Tesla for each of the four semis it has ordered.
Tesla Semi pic.twitter.com/7VLz7F46Ji
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 17, 2017
Musk’s Tesla pickup plan goes as far back as the 2013 Tesla Owners Event.
“I am quite keen on building a truck and I think there’s a lot one can do with truck technology,” he had said.
“I was driving an F-250 down the 405 one day and honestly that thing… it was resonating on 405 on the little ridges. I thought my teeth were going to rattle out of my head. If you put load on it it’s fine, but if you’re empty it’s not. It would be good to do that and obviously to make it light and really handle well. That’s where having a battery pack low can improve the center of gravity. I think it’s possible to produce a really well-handling truck that feels good at any load point. That would be really great.”
While the promised pickup may be music to many ears, it is still going to be a long wait ahead, before fans have the pleasure of driving it, as the Model Y itself will not be ready for production until late 2019 or early 2020.
During his Tuesday chat, Musk also appreciated a suggestion to use all onboard cameras on Tesla vehicles as dashcams, sign recognition, as well as a “Disco Mode” – to allow the vehicle’s lighting to pulse in sync with the music being played, which Musk almost rejected but changed his mind, calling it “good, cheesy fun”
He also agreed to tech investor Jason Calacanis’ idea of incorporating an alert for the family of Tesla users to let them know the expected time of arrival of your Tesla at home.
Was gonna say we’ll do all but the last, but that last one sounds like good, cheesy fun 🙂
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 26, 2017