Elon Musk Teases Tesla Semi and Pickup Trucks
Tesla trucks are coming: a semi truck will debut first this fall, followed by a pickup next year.
That's according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who teased the company's plans for trucks in a series of tweets on Thursday. He said that a semi truck will be ready in September and that Tesla will unveil a pickup truck in 18 to 24 months.
Tesla's lineup, which has emerged in recent years as a yardstick to which many other electric vehicles are compared, currently consists of the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. Those luxury vehicles will be joined by a mass-market Model 3 sometime next year.
An 18-to-24 month schedule for a Tesla pickup truck would jive with the Model 3's development timeline -- it was announced last spring, mass production is expected to start this summer and the first deliveries are scheduled for mid-2018. Whether or not Tesla can meet its goals for cheaper cars and a pickup, though, depends to a large extent on its ability to perfect battery design and production at its Gigafactory in Nevada, which isn't expected to achieve full capacity until next year.
Tesla's plans for a semi truck are also in line with the company's goals, as Musk alluded to when he unveiled the company's master plan last July. The truck would be electric and equipped with self-driving technology.
"We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate," Musk wrote in a blog post describing the master plan.
Fitting large trucks with electric propulsion and autonomous tech may not be as flashy as working on self-driving cars, but Tesla is one of several tech and auto companies that are pursuing it. Other companies that have floated truck designs include Uber, Amazon and Daimler.