Tesla founder, Elon Musk, has used Twitter to confirm several details about a forthcoming vehicle, and in the process has confirmed the name of the next vehicle Tesla will build.
When asked whether Tesla would build an all-electric pick-up truck, Musk said he was “dying to build it”.
In a tweet replying to @VanSeedBank Musk said:
“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.”
Two things are of interest here:
1) The name of the all-electric crossover is now confirmed as Model Y; and
2) Tesla is building a large pick up truck with full off-road ability.
How do we know that it’s going to be that big?
Musk again let the cat out of the bag when replying to @sustainableanna on Twitter, who asked whether it will be the size of a Ford F-150. Said Musk:
Similar total size. Maybe slightly bigger to account for a really gamechanging (I think) feature I’d like to add.
Tesla Truck’s special features
As to what that feature is, Musk recently tweeted that it would be power outlets so that tradespeople can use heavy duty 240 Volt power tools. No generator would be needed – they’d simply run off the Tesla Pickup Truck’s battery pack.
In addition, the “Tesla Truck”, as Musk is calling it, will get a dual motor all wheel drive setup. Musk also used the word “crazy” to describe the amount of torque it would have.
The suspension would be adaptable, and dynamically adjust for the load carried in the tray. Musk said these features “will be standard.”
So, what’s special about the Model Y?
The Model Y will be an EV crossover which is based on the same platform as the Model 3.
It’s not a stretch to envision a high-riding machine using similar underpinnings, and with a shape that’s almost crossover in profile anyway, the Model 3 will be easily adapted to the Model Y.
It also makes sense for Tesla to use part sharing to maximise economies of scale, just like the Model X has done with the Model S.
The Tesla Model Y is said to have Falcon-wing doors just like the Model X, which should be interesting given it’s a smaller vehicle.
The doors will need to lift higher or the vehicle will need to be higher to prevent people smacking their head on the doors as often happens with gullwing doors.
So, when are we likely to see the Model Y and the Tesla pick-up?
Some news sources are reporting that the Model Y is in advance stages of development and will be unveiled later in 2018.
Of course, Model 3 production will need to ramp up before that happens, to keep the masses happy.
If there are any further delays in the Model 3’s roll-out, there may be some reluctance to lay down deposits for the Model Y.
As for the Tesla pick-up, it’s unlikely we’ll see anything before 2019, if not 2020.
It’s not going to be as simple as taking an existing platform and engineering around it – it will probably require its own platform.
Then there’s the game changing feature that Elon Musk spoke about. These things take time – we’re betting on a late 2019 reveal with production in 2020.