Could Tesla Motors build a pickup truck?..Enlarge Photo
There can be few vehicles further removed from the Tesla Model S than a full-size pickup truck. From pretty much any angle you approach it, they're cut from a different cloth.
Despite this, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says a pickup might be in the company's future--deeming the clear popularity of such models a pretty good reason that Tesla should offer one too. According to CNN Money, the Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] CEO told reporters that America's pickup sales don't lie. "If people are voting that's their car, then that's the car we have to deliver."
The car Tesla delivers would likely have a few differences to the average pickup, though. It'd be electric, for a start--something we've not seen outside of Via Motors' Chevy Volt-style range-extended trucks and dabble into the market by Ford in the late 1990s. Where the Ranger EV was a 70 mph EV with a maximum range of 115 miles or so, there's no reason to suspect Tesla's offering would offer any less range than a Model S--and strong performance to go with it.
Styling would be the interesting direction. Ford, Chevy and RAM don't sell hundreds of thousands of pickups each year on the back of sleek styling--customers like the rough, tough, solid image portrayed by boxy styling and gargantuan grilles. Existing Teslas are all about curves--so we're interested to see how the company approaches such an issue.
It'll be a while, though. In the meantime, Tesla has a Model X crossover to launch and a smaller, more affordable sedan to develop--so don't expect to see a pickup for another five years or so. Musk admits it's an important goal though, as pickups have the most room for improvement. "If you're trying to replace the most gasoline miles driven," he said, "you have to look at what people are buying."
The question is--would you drive an all-electric pickup?