Tesla may be a pioneer when it comes to electric cars, but now it wants to be at the very top of the electric pickup truck market too. Earlier this week, Tesla said its large electric lorry will be displayed on 26 October, but it may not be the only new product shown at the event next month – and the new rumour comes from Elon Musk himself.
After a Twitter user asked Elon Musk to build a “light-duty pickup truck” Elon Musk replied: “What if we just made a mini version of the Tesla Semi?” That suggests there’s another smaller commercial vehicle project in the works at Musk’s company and revives rumours of a Tesla pickup truck.
What’s more, according to Electrek, at a shareholders meeting in June, Elon Musk said: “I really recommend showing up for the semi-truck unveiling – maybe there’s a little more than what we are saying here.” So there could be a surprise pick-up truck announcement after all.
A true test for Tesla
Both the rumoured pickup truck and lorry represent a new direction for Tesla, and one that could be the biggest test yet for Elon Musk’s company. Electric cars might be great, but when bought for personal use, there are lots of factors at play. Some people may buy Teslas because they like the idea of electric cars; others because they want to save the planet; and some because they think EVs are pretty cool.
Significantly, buying commercial vehicles has far less emotional or subjective factors attached – they either make sense for a business or they don’t. It will be interesting to see if Tesla can carry the momentum over from its consumer products to B2B and professional-orientated products. We’ll find out next month.