A market analyst at investment research site Seeking Alpha recently speculated on the possibility of what success would look like if Tesla decided to produce an electric pickup truck. Although no announcements have been made recently by Tesla or owner Elon Musk, the article suggests that it could be hugely beneficial for both the auto industry and for Tesla.
However, there are plenty of hurdles in the way, not the least of which are the time and costs involved in designing and engineering a capable light-duty pickup chassis. Clearly, an electric pickup truck with compromised range and/or payload or towing capability would not work for many fleet and commercial buyers, let alone first-adopter lifestyle truck customers. In fact, the road to electrified pickups is littered with slow progress (see Phoenix Motorcars), and there are some who believe the recent Tesla-mania is a bit overblown.
Aftermarket hybrid companies like Via Motors that offer new extended-range plug-in hybrid powertrains seem to be a better alternative in the short term for fleet and commercial buyers looking to make significant savings in their yearly fuel costs. While Tesla would get plenty of attention by announcing its next model would be a pickup truck, neither the buying public nor state and local infrastructures seem ready for full-electric midsize or full-size pickups.