Analysts Continue to Speculate on Tesla Pickup

Tesla-model-x-pickup II

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.

Still, we hope other companies who are already working hard in this arena — like Protean Electric's in-wheel strategy and ALTe's electric hybrid path — continue to make progress.

Tesla - phoenix_side II

 

Comments

I don't get electric cars. You have have to plug them in, and where does that power come from? Mostly by dirty Coal power and they take hours to charge when I can fill up with gas in a couple minutes.

Maybe a pickup with a factory topper option for in-town delivery work could make sense.

An electric truck should would be nice to slip around in the woods with, although I doubt that's what Elon Musk has in mind for his potential customers. Heck if the hippies in California knew someone was thinking about using it to sneak around and whack poor defenseless animals they probably wouldn't put it on the market.

George,
You have to plug in a gas car too, to the gas pump. I drive a Volt and love it. I plug it in every day when I park. It takes all of 3 seconds. I would much rather plug in every day (5 sec/day) than go to the gas station once a week (10 min/wk)

Coal is down to about 40% of US electricity, and the bulk of that comes from a limited number of states. Many EV owners have solar panels on their roof, so they charge up for free on clean power.

The smooth consistent power from an electric motor is much nicer than driving an ICE car as well.

@uncle bud. The indians had something for slipping around in the woods--mocassins.

"Many EV owners have solar panels on their roof, so they charge up for free on clean power."

Where can I get free solar panels that were manufactured with no environmental impact and work at night when my vehicle is home?

Actually, an electric vehicle might be of more use to me than for many since I have a short commute but we have to be realistic about the benefits and the costs. It is very rare that extreme views are accurate. I remember infuriating a co-worker that was bragging about how evironmentally sensitive he was when driving a hybrid. I pointed out that I could drive my 3/4 ton PU with trailer tow package to work and burn less fuel than him because he lived 20 times further from work than I do. Focusing on on aspect of the equation is often misleading. My problem is that I only burn about $2 worth of fuel a day going to work so it would take me a long time to pay off any investment in green energy. When I do need the 3/4 ton P/U to pull a horse trailer I don't see electric doing the job any time soon. Progress is being made and I will keep an eye on it.

This stuff never flies with buyers of real trucks.

In the 1980s we had the VW Rabbit pickup, the Mitzubishi FWD pickup and the Subaru Brat.

Truck buyers want towing capacity, V8 grunt and long term durability. Not compact Asian 4 cylinder thingies or electric golf carts.

Flop.

There has been much talk about a Tesla p/u.
The consensus is they'd be nuts not to, there's a huge market and demand for it, but there are some higher priorities to get to first. For instance, some lower cost sedans, compact SUVs, etc

That picture at the top is just silly. I don't know who came up with that, but I can assure you any pickup released by Tesla will look really good not like some photoshopped el camino / kia hybrid.

@ papa jim,

First of all, the electric trucks currently on the market have a lot of capacity.

Second of all, How will we ever know unless the buyer has a choice?

I keep reading a lot of comments here where people are looking for an economical compact. But we don't have a choice anymore. It's either drive a mid-size guzzler or a fullsize monster guzzler, it makes no difference, the mpg is about the same and the price is about the same. They keep getting bigger and bigger and also more expensive. Not everyone needs a monster truck v-8 with tons of capacity but not everyone can get by with a subaru either.

Even if the environmental benefits are a wash, hey, we can finally take our balls out of the vise grip that the oil cartels keep tightening.

An electric pickup truck would work very well actually. Range and carrying load is not an issue. A pickup truck has more room for batteries due to its design, Tesla can fit their 500 mile battery into it and that would be enough for most people.

As far as carrying load, look no further than the Land Rover Defender all electric. Which travels 62 miles pulling 12 tons on a 6% incline.

A decent range electric pickup truck that can carry a large load is not out of the question. They are also improving charge rates on the supercharger for long distance travel. Latest update was to 135kwh (10% improvement). They plan to cut down charging to 5-10 minutes overall.

I think all electric vehicles are nothing but a stop-gap. A bridge of sorts to get us from fossil fuel to whatever is next. My guess for that future fuel would be Hydrogen. the most abundant element in the world. Problem is the cost of building the infrastructure to support a hydrogen fueled society.
For now, the only way I can see a electric powered truck working is some sort of hybrid system. Probably, along the lines of a plug-in. Tesla only builds pure electric cars with a range of up to something like 200 or 300 miles, but they cost $100k. That range would be greatly compromised with a truck. Trucks are obviously heavier empty, not including a load hauled or towed.
Plug-in hybrid (gas/electric) would be a much better solution. Electric for driving around town empty and the combo for long distance and hauling.

@Maxx You are speaking the language of the 1970s. There is no Arabian vise on our balls, nor was there ever.

You've been drinking the Koolaid so long!

America has all the energy we need, period. We have enough to be a net exporter of energy. We have enough natural gas and coal to turn Saudi Arabia into a ghost town. The green political movement in this country is funded by the Saudi's

Al Gore and Bill Clinton are both very wealthy men today because of their middle eastern friends. America can be independent of the Arab oil states but to do that we have to break Washington's dependence on Arab money and influence.

China is the one to watch. They are building important energy infrastructure right now that will convert low grade coal into liquid fuels that can be blended with regular unleaded just like we do with ethanol. The US and China have enough of this high sulfur coal to build an entirely new energy industry but here at home we are being blocked by the EPA and their friends in Congress.

Look it up.

@Sprinter293 - Electric vehicles are not a stop gap, eventually all vehicles will be electric. A little fyi, hydrogen vehicles are electric too. They are called FCEV, Tesla cars are called BEV.

That said hydrogen is not the future of cars and for obvious reasons. While hydrogen is abundant, it is bonded to other elements. Water for example or H2O is a covalent bond which is the strongest bond. The amount of electricity you would need to break down that bond is enough to run a BEV for a long time. Then there is the issue that you need platinum (which is an extremely rare metal). Then there is the infrastructure cost.

It would be cheaper for us to cover all the highways and roads with wireless charging giving BEVs unlimited miles range then to build out a hydrogen infrastructure.

Then there is the issue of leakage. NG for example we add sulfur so that you can tell if there is a leak by the smell. Hydrogen is too light to add any scent. You would never know there is a leak until it is too late.

The cost of a Tesla Model S base model is 70k and extended range version is 80k. It only ends up costing 100k if you start adding options and go for the performance plus models which give you better 0-60. Though Tesla plans to release a 200+ mile BEV in 2016/2017 for 35k.

The current battery technology, Lithium Ion is made out of common materials. The cost right now is mostly in the manufacturing. As manufacturing improves, cost is dropping every year at a pretty decent rate. And as economies of scale sets in, cheap EVs will be here soon enough.

And by the end of this decade most likely metal-air batteries will be out. Metal air batteries such as Lithium-Air is 10x lighter than Lithium-Ion so you can achieve 10x the range. And they have much faster recharge times.

I dread the days of the electric appliance that drives itself. I truly love to drive and I like the sound of a nice throaty V8 under the hood and the smell of burning rubber.

@John. And How!

I just got home from a little trip on 2 lane asphalt country highways. The Silverado's small block V8 turns about 1500 rpm on the cruise control at sixty mph.

Music to my ears. There is no other sound like it. A nice little rumble that can be turned into a roar with just a press of the pedal. Love it!

As long as it is reliable and affordable. I don't think that we are meeting those parameters yet.
What about the infrastructure to support an "electric" transportation system?

"While oil gets the attention, America uses just 15% more of it today than when the first modern energy crisis hit in October 1973. But electricity use is up 115% since then, thanks to all those plasma screens, iPhones, computers and data centers. And all economic forecasts see substantial growth in demand for electricity--think just of the coming electric cars--yet lots of problems in meeting it.

Right now the nation has 760 gigawatts of power plants to meet current consumption, with another 154 in reserve capacity to maintain grid reliability. But in fact only 10 gigs is truly excess capacity. The other 144 is utterly essential to keep lights on when unexpected demand arises from heat waves, outages or maintenance downtime. That reserve will begin to shrink quickly. NERC estimates that over the next decade 135 gigawatts of new capacity will be needed to meet the growth in consumption. But right now plants producing a total of 57 gigawatts are planned."
http://www.truthin2010.org/news/article.asp?ArticleSource=353


@Voltage,

Electric vehicles pollute more than a gas powered vehicle !!!

Have 2 brand new cars with 0 miles on them.

Have a Dolt er...Volt and a similar size gas powered car and the electric car pollutes the same as driving 90,000 miles ,so with an electric car it already polluted as much as a gas powered car that has driven 90,000 miles !! How are Electric cars green/good for environment ? Furthermore,you have to put the harsh old battery material in the ground after the life of the battery (polluting the Earth)

Yes,the dirty process of strip mining for the battery materials pollutes more than the same type of gas powered car !!!!!!!!!!

Electric vehicle owners are clueless about science and reality,its like windmills those are not Green energy...

Want clean green energy,use Natural Gas !!! Thats why the pollution is down in America,because of Natural Gas,not electric/windmills..

Furthermore,man has no effect on the climate,no such thing as man caused global warming,last 15 years the Earth has cooled and will continue for another 15 plus years...Its a cycle kids !!!!

CLIMATE STUDY: EVIDENCE LEANS AGAINST HUMAN-CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING — Group of 50 international scientists releases comprehensive new 1200-page report


We has warm spells in the 1800's,1900's the 1930's were very warm,but they take that out of the science computer models,infact..They took out all of the warm periods in the 30's,40's,50's,60's,70's,80's to make it look like the Earth is warming,infact its not !!!!!!!@###$$@##$$!!!

I am tired of the ruining of America,Green junk science (all done by Non-Scientists) brainwashing people with ZERO facts !!!!

Remember by the year 2010 the West and East Coasts of America (U.S,Canada) were to be covered by water,New York was to be underwater by now..And in Europe by 2005 they were not to have any more snow...Yeah,Europe/Asia has seen many snow storms since,all normal and snow fall matches years ago !!

I could inform you more but I am in a hurry and cant proofread for any more enlightening/informing for the brain dead drones out there.....


Remember as a good poster says on here..Go out do a burnout its good for the Environent !! LOL !!

This is the type of article I enjoy.

First EV technology isn't ready for the mass market. Like Australia all of these people that put solar panels on their roofs thinking how green they are live a subsidised life.

Why should someone pay extra taxes or have a country borrow extra money to pay these people to feel good about themselves. Why should someone on $10 an hour pay tax to subsidise someone who can afford to buy a solar panel.

I believe in a user pays world. If you can't afford then don't use it and don't expect others to subsidise your paradigms.

We aren't ready for hybrids or EVs. Diesel is almost as good as a hybrid in fuel consumption.

Diesel is the answer into the medium term. In the longer term something else better will arrive. Creating infrastructure on unproven ideas is ridiculous.

Will a cheaper and better system for transportation arrive in the next 5 decades and make all of this EV stuff useless?

If countries want to reduce their CO2 footprint use this ridiculous waste of subsidies to create natural gas infrastructure to homes. At least this would pay for itself, create many jobs and modernise the US's energy system for decades to come.

Electric Commercial Trucks and Pickups have huge hurdles to overcome just to become viable , let along competitive.
Notice someone tried to "electrify" Koreas one and only locally made Pickup the Ssanyong.

The "Phoenix" vehicle.

I have nothing against a company producing EVs. They have to stand on their own two feet.

This just in:

Analysts Continue to Speculate on Whether Drivers of Pickup Trucks Can Keep an Open Mind.

I'm thinking no....

(I really wanted to say Rednecks, but I'm trying to play nice).

@CDN Mark :)
Open mind? I'm what would be considered on this site as a liberal, even though I'm slightly to the right.

I don't think many have much against EVs. It's the way they are managed that affects most.

Who is paying for this stuff? Or better, who is borrowing for this stuff you really can't afford?

@ P.L
I wouldn't go as far as you have :-)

Creationism and a flat earth?

We are impacting the planet. But wasting money isn't the correcct way to manage this issue.

Does anyone know what the impacts are into the future of what we are doing?

Do people want to reduce their standard of living? This global warming issue is similar to the state of the US economy and how to rectify it.

Everyone wants action, but no one wants to put any effort to change it.

The simplest way for the US to reduce CO2 emissions is to increase fuel tax so small vehicles the size of Euro/Asian vehicles are driven.

Just that very thought will send shock waves around the PUTC fraternity.

So change will occur slowly, maybe to slow. EVs are not the answer as they will always be subsidised just like CNG etc.

Like I stated to reduce CO2 your big pickup will have to go.

They can keep their electric junk. I will burn gas and diesel till I'm dead

@ papajim,

I didn't say we didn't have energy, I said we are at the mercy of the oil cartels and speculators.
My electricity comes from hydroelectric and is sold by a non-profit co-op. That's more my style than BP or Shell or some other foreign company making record profits.

I would be willing to pay a good bit more for an electric truck just "because". Tesla will be the one to bring phev trucks to the masses. It's just a matter of when. If you need a v8 noisemaker to make you feel like a man, I hear Nissan is coming out with a wonderful new titan. I'll be holding out for some alternative.

There you go again P.L, talking about something that you know nothing about. Research it before you post, your knowledge will improve if you do.

@MaXx If you need a non noisemaker to make you feel like a man so be it. Some people like different things, people like papajim, john, me and many others love the sounds and feel gas and diesel engines make. Maybe we should be saying to people like you is, If you need a non noisemaker to make you feel like little school girl. Yeah bet you don't like that, and neither do we.

@johnnydoe

Those are probably your other usernames. And to your first comment hopefully that isn't too long lmao.

@johnny doe

I am going to put your statement to question. If you really miss the sound, you can easily replicate the sound with a good surround sound speaker system to the point where you can't tell the difference.

But I always question the notion when people say they "like" the engine noise and here is why.

If we look at your music playlist right now, does the top 10 or any at all contain engine noise? Because what I often find is what people prefer is not the noise but what they associate with the noise. And as long as that is delivered, people quickly lose interest in the noise.

I'm gonna ignore the jerk that challenged my manhood over a question on a truck website.

Kiss my *ss!

We should all care about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit from us. My dad's generation of men stood up to the Nazis and the Emperor of Japan. Many of them paid the ultimate price for their courage.

Our generation of men need to face a different challenge, but we will still do it for our kids, and their kids.

Don't be a fool and fall for someone else's vision. All of this crap about green solutions is being paid for by people who really don't like our way of life--and they envy it.

If you think that taking the wealth of your parents and grandparents and giving it away to people who hate our way of life is ok, then we just don't agree.

Be aware of the people who are trying to tear this country down. We have a God given right to live the way we want to here. If I want to drive a pickup, or have a V8--that's ok. They don't like it, then they can leave.

Find out about the choices we have for energy. It isn't hard. Look it up. Check out the stuff that Robert Zubrin has produced about clean coal and refining methanol to replace the corn based fuels. http://energyvictory.net/

@P.L. or Canadian Ram Owner and a bunch of other lame aliases. Spare us the brain dead B.S. The globe is warming and the accumulation of CO2 is happening. The question is how much carbon can be sequestered in the ocean or in plant life?
If one is to debate the topic at least try to sound remotely intelligent.
I haven't experienced a truly cold winter in several decades. Mountain Pine beetle is wiping out large tracts of forest because it isn't cold enough to kill them. I've seen grey tick infested moose die due to the infestation. It isn't cold enough to kill the parasites.
We do not have the infrastructure to go electric. In Northern BC they want to develop what is refered to as "Site C". That is a project that involves building a dam to increase hydroelectric output at the WAC Bennett dam. The greens are protesting it but how else do we get power? The only other options for large scale generation is with nukes or by burning hydrocarbon based fuel. Solar panels or wind are not effective on a large scale.
I think that we are stuck with ICE in the short term and electric vehicles don't cut it unless you live in a mild climate with short distances to travel.

I'm don't understand this at all. electric I don't think is the way to go. I have 2 v8s that surprise me with there mileage everyday. I have done tuning on my truck and car and the 98 z28 with several mods is getting an avg of 25 to 26 with over 400hp and the truck which will get electric fans soon and all new exhust system with high flow cats. I sure I can get almost a 20 mpg avg. I say if the auto makers don't give you the gas mileage use the after market. auto makers cut corners to save money not to pass it on to the customer.

I honestly like the idea of this because it sounds pretty interesting, though I can imagine the price tag being outrageous if Tesla decides to put this truck into production for customers.

I am looking forward to buying a Telsa pickup , and using in heavy snow and -45f weather ' I think it will hold up very well .
I am sure the battries will not let me down and the truck will stand up to anything Mother Nature can throw at it !
No I am not telling porkie pies 8-)

@DaffyDuck - I can see the company my brother works for getting fleet of these. (Sarcasm on)
If one believes the 300 mile range in an unloaded aerodynamic car and extrapolated that number unchanged to a pickup.......... That would be enough to get him into the middle of F--ing no where with no way to get out. I'm sure that they will work real well as you have pointed out in -45 weather.
The greens would love that, send all the loggers to work in a "green" vehicle that won't allow them to return home.

Where do I sign up?

All kidding aside, like I said earlier, if It isn't affordable or reliable - I don't want it.

Global warming?

I am getting sick and tired of -45C winters.

@The Real Lou
If they use pickups can't they carry a gen set and extra fuel for the generator to recharge the batteries?

Or stuff some solar panels in the back of the truck and recharge the batteries when they stop for work?

Only joking.

I believe an electric compact and/or mid-size pickup truck would meet the needs of pickup truck users 90% of the time if it had a range of around 200 miles. The biggest problem isn't infrastructure, rather it's the price of batteries. Battery prices are slowly coming down but before electric vehicles can make any real inroads the price of the batteries must come down a lot more. Once range and price of electric vehicles are about the same as conventional vehicle, we won't have much need for most fossil fuel vehicles.

Wow, it doesn't take much to bring out the redneck crowd these days, does it?

Ford should try to buy this design. It is certainly better looking than anything they currently have on the market these days. They lost their way a long time ago. Sad.

@BigT I am far from a Red neck mate. The point I am trying to make is this idea of a yuppy tesla truck is very impractical in the real world. Dose anyone know what the carbon footprint of these electric vehicles is ?
Give me a Electric truck that has a range of 600 plus miles, that stands up to extream cold weather and can tow and haul the same as a half ton truck to start. Plus affordable. with 4x4 Thanks Santa .


@papa jim:
"In the 1980s we had the VW Rabbit pickup, the Mitzubishi FWD pickup..."

Sorry Papa, the Mitsubishi was NOT an FWD pickup, it was RWD. (I owned one). The Rabbit truck was FWD and the Brat was either FWD or AWD. And yes, the Mitsubishi WAS capable of "real work" even if it couldn't carry as much by volume. Not everybody needs to carry 1500 pounds all the time. In fact, most service industries that use pickup trucks use the smallest, least expensive model available simply because while they need SOME carrying capability, they don't carry heavy weights or huge volumes. Many are now using compact vans simply because there's no smaller, less expensive truck available.

@P.L.:
How far did the glaciers retreat during those three "warm spells" you describe? How far have Earth's glaciers retreated just in the last 25 years?

Did you know it takes hundreds of years to create those glaciers? Did you know that some of those glaciers were THOUSANDS of years old? Did you know that some of those ancient glaciers are extinct now?

There's a difference between "warm spell" and 'Climate Change". If we're lucky, we've managed to slow Man's influence on the climate (readily measured by reviewing a single week's weather back in September of '01 vs the average weather over the same time period every other year.) You cannot convince me that Man has had NO influence; it's simply too obvious in observation of the world around us.

Blah blah blah.
The more insults you receive and the more names get called, the more right you are.

@weapon,
these are the same mouth breathing rednecks that go out in their yards early in the morning and stand there with a leafblower for hours. Maybe nissan was on to something afterall.

@maxx what is the difference between calling someone a redn*ck and calling them a n*gger?

None.

It takes a bigot like YOU to be a name-caller. I bet it makes you feel superior too.

When you get home from your fast-food delivery job tonight you can reply to my post.

@vulpine Actually, buddy, I think there was a brief spell where the Dodge Colt had FWD and there was a Mitsu version of it in a micro pickup config. Just saw one at the gas station recently. Must have been at least 25 yrs old, still chuggin along.

Too bad Mitsubishi didn't have better dealer networks and product development in North America. Their drivetrains were ahead of their time and very durable.

@papa jim: Considering that I was selling Dodges at the time, while the Colt was definitely FWD, there was no pickup version--at least, if there was they never showed up at my dealership. However, I've heard more than once about some being 'custom butchered' to make them into such. There was a Colt wagon that was just about the right size to do that to.

@Lou Bc , nice post mate. I think we are on the same organic zero carbon page mate . 8-)


@DaffyDuck - I'm all for new technology but not if it is impractical or supported by legislation or incentives, subsidies etc.
We must look at long term sustainability of anything that we do but unfortunately that would require altruistic politicians that can see beyond their elected term in office.

Many of the "greens" are just as hypocriticlal as truck fanboys. They push an agenda that makes no sense. Makes you wonder when one of the founders (Dr.Patrick Moore) of GreenPeace quit them and now works for the forest resource industry. I refer to Greenpeace and others like it as "Eco-Corporations". They want to make money to pay for their lifestyle.

This is an interesting quote from Dr. Patrick Moore, President of Greenpeace Canada 1981.
“It does not matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”

That basically sums up fanboys and eco-nuts or what ever closed minded group that is out there.
http://typingisnotactivism.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/greenpeace-is-lying-and-stealing-your-money/

http://www.themetropolitain.ca/articles/view/973




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