Talk about burying the lede.

Autocar published a short piece the other day about Tesla Motors releasing its third-generation vehicles – mass-market models that we believe will come in both sedan and crossover flavors with starting prices in the $30,000 neighborhood – in 2015. Cool, but we knew that.

Speaking with Tesla's chief designer Franz von Holzhausen, the publication was also told that future models would feature more distinctive styling compared to the Model S. Those familiar with the man's work (see the Mazda Taiki and Kazamai concepts, as examples) don't doubt his ability to create a unique design language and it's nice to know he will be allowed to spread his artistic wings somewhat. This was also pretty cool.

The best part of the dialogue for us, however, was at the very bottom of the page where Holzhausen disclosed that Tesla is thinking about building a pickup truck. He said, "There will be a time and place for us to develop something around a pickup. That's a market for which the torque of an electric motor would be ideally suited."

Now, how awesome is that? (Answer: Very, very awesome!) Pickups account for a large portion of the market – June 2012 saw 924,129 162,527 units sold – and most currently suffer from horrible fuel economy. An electric drivetrain would certainly improve on its environmental impact and also give drivers an improved experience behind the wheel.

While it's likely to be a while before we see such a beast from the California automaker (and when we do, we're certain it will look better than our admittedly poor photochop of the Model X above), those of us who have occasion to haul firewood, go kayak fishing, help friends move, etc., are happy to have an electric vehicle to at least daydream about.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 64 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mass market vehicles have to be able to stand alone - not be simply around town vehicles like the Leaf or even the low end Tesla Model S with its probable EPA driving radius (not range, which is misleading) of under 70 miles (with new batteries and not using much HVAC). It is economically quite impossible to build such a vehicle using the rather mediocre and ultra expensive li ion batteries available these days. von Holzhausen probably used the gimmick of quoting a price that included the govt subsidy of $7500 and referred to the small battery low end version that nobody will wan't. The only Tesla Model S version that approaches being a fully functional car is their "300 mile" guy (actually 265 mile guy according to EPA). It costs $78K (including batteries). The battery pack costs over $40,000, or accounts for more than half the value of the car. I don't know how long that battery will last (Tesla has a warranty for their batteries of 8 years, but that apparently doesn't cover anything except total failure - but NOT total failure if the battery was allowed to become completely discharged, which has happened to perhaps a dozen or more roadster owners - we know of 5).Those batteries are continually losing capacity (and power) from day 1. It may very well have lost over 20% by the end of the warranty period. Tesla reportedly advised their roadster owners to replace their batteries every 7 years, at a cost of close to $40,000 (parts and labor) . I doubt that many followed Tesla's advice. This should give you an idea of what kind of $30K mass market electric vehicle Tesla (or anyone) can produce using those Panasonic laptop batteries (6831 of them in each "300 mile" Models S).
        • 2 Years Ago
        http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/672-Ken-Kent-Kerry-Beauchrt-Beuchert-Beuchrt-Biker-Rider-Krider/page44?p=163267#post163267 Kent is back. Kent, you must have some serious issues.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        Maybe all you can think of is a 70 mile range with such a car but most of us who can actually afford the ModelS base model will spend the night where we have access to 240v charging. I have dozens of places I'm planning on going, places that are getting ready for that as we 'speak'. But really, it's jealousy and life-impotence that I sense behind the illogical drivel. Blah blah blah we've heard smarter people say it better, a hundred times, and the intelligent here understand how confused you truely are. Keep looking backward dinosaur, yelling at everyone else how dumb they are while you back-up, tripping over life like a fool
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Some people are afraid of change. Congratulations on your Model S. It's a very exciting car and the reviews are fantastic. I'm happy that Tesla has apparently lived up to their promises and delivered the car that everyone was hoping for.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        Well Ken/Kent/Kerry Beauchrt/Beuchert/Beuchrt/Biker/Rider/Krider or whatever nom de plume you care to choose. You go around to various blogs and make roughly the same comments at every site. What's your beef? Really. Tell the truth about what bothers you because all you post is FUD. If there is any truth to what you post then it is lost in the rest of the BS you spew. Because most of what you post is crap with half @ssed information you need to get a life or come clean with what really is motivating you.
        • 2 Years Ago
        You state that a driving range is misleading, whereas you imply a driving radius is not. It seems that the exact opposite is much more likely. If you have a driving range, the typical consumer will be able to determine whether the range meets their needs (as long as they do not harbor the dreaded range anxiety). A driving radius, on the other hand, is not nearly so clear for people. Take your alleged 70 mile radius. That would seem to equate to 140 miles of range. If, for example, a person wants to make a trip from point A to B that is 50 mile, then from B to C that is 50 miles, then from C to A that is 40 miles. Theoretically, the driving range should be sufficient to make all three trips on one charge. Using a driving radius, a person would have to make an additional calculation accounting for the fact that the radius is 1/2 of the range. Additionally, gas powered vehicles are not given a driving radius. They are given an estimated range. Consumers already expect that the range is as far as a vehicle can typically go. Your suggested change would result in many more confused consumers.
      Ken Donahue
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm a truck owner. I've had maybe 10 in my life, and they're all I'm really interested in driving. Would I buy a Tesla truck? Depends. If they dropped their drive line in something very similar to a Lariat F150 and got the range closer to 500 miles, I'd consider paying as much as $70k for one. My current truck costs close to that and I have no reservations about electric drive lines after seeing what a beautiful job Tesla has done with the S.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ken Donahue
        Ken How about a truck that runs 100 miles on electrons, and then 400 miles on gas? How about one that can recharge from 0 to 150 miles in 10 min? There's lots of variables out there, such as charge speed, hybrid set-ups, battery swap, density of charging outlets etc..
      • 4 Months Ago
      This would be perfect. I really hope they don't do some monster pickup truck. That isn't their audience. We want a small pickup truck.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      interesting. how do you know this? it's the 5000 I have in mind if they still mess around at 1 per day. they'll suddenly have to increase speed dramatically. and that's of course assuming they will have that many sales in the bag. 8000 reservations is one thing, but how many translate to sales and if they fill all those in the first 6 months then can they keep customers coming at that rate. it should be interesting. I look first to the Q3 report, that will be quite telling and then Q4 will have its own significance and even if things go well in both of those then Q1 2013 will tell if the sales rates are sustainable. I asked Tesla if the weights of the smaller packs will be the same as the big one. Jack Rickard started a rumor that they will all weigh the same as a way to only require crash tests for one which in itself is concerning but Tesla wont say, she issued a non denial denial. little odd that at this stage of the game they might not even know the characteristics of the model range. or are intentionally withholding it. doesn't seem like an ideal basis for sales.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hang out on the Tesla forum and read quite a few articles about the company besides here. Tesla and Elon Musk has said their goal is to produce 5000 by the end of the year. They have contacted every Signature (1000 cars) holder and asked for their final configuration and given them two month windows for delivery. The latest of those is October. Tesla said in their last "Inside Tesla" from last week that they were tweaking the design to adjust to the real world information they've gained. They didn't say, but this will probably delay them a week or two. This shouldn't delay them too much since they started giving out the cars a month early. And they have well over 10K Model S reservations now. I heard the same weight rumor also and I don't think it's true. The EPA hasn't issued the MPGe for the other packs because they still need testing. So far every review for the car has been glowing to exceptional. It helps improve the perception of EV's in the public mind. Let's hope they keep it up.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      "There is a big difference between a NEV hauler and a full sized pickup. A NEV hauler like you describe is good for moving small scale loads around a full sized pickup used by builders and contracters has to have the ability to move around large oversized and potentially very heavy loads on a regular basis." That's my whole point. Smaller NEV haulers have already proven their value. A bigger BEV pickup (with greater payload capacity) is the next logical step in the market. "A builder/contracter will be much more likely to stick with the vehicle he knows than the new technology he doesn't know." Builders made the switch to Li-ion hand tools very quickly. They are already familiar with the tech on a small scale. Still, I do agree. The HD truck market is different than the regular pickup truck market, so BEV pickups will likely start in the suburban homeowner "does stuff on weekend so I need a truck" demographic before moving into the professional construction/landscaper market.
      CorkyBoyd
      • 2 Years Ago
      Range (mileage) suffers significantly from an non aero shape. This is why the Volt looks nothing like its prototype. This is particularly true in the EPA highway cycle. Anyone who drives a Prius knows mileage seriously degrades above 70 mph, and the Prius has a Cd of around 0.18. A pickup, no matter how aero the front is, will have a Cd of around 0.35. Leave the pickups to the V8s with a lot of grunt and with large gas tanks.
      aaronm_mt
      • 2 Years Ago
      worst photochop ever
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Finally someone is making an electric pick-up. But I didn't think it would have been Tesla. Both GM and Nissan have smaller pick-up models and assembly lines. Well GM shut a few of theirs down... But, this looks like the el Camino. And it looks like it is made to be tricked out and for cruising down the street in Cali. Someone still needs to make a 'utility' pick up truck that can take some abuse...besides me that is.
        Ziv
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        Ryan, I think that is a photoshop chop of an S, not sure but I doubt the Tesla pickup will look much like this.
          Ziv
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          Stumpy, I didn't mean X, I really thought it was an S... My error, you are right.
          stumpy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          you mean X
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        They're not actually "making it" yet, they plan to a few years from now, probably in the 2016 to 2020 time frame. It will take a few years of research and development and testing before production begins. Before their pickup launches, they'll be launching the Model X, their mid-size (not yet named), and a successor to their original Roadster.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Grendal Do they then update the previous ones with these small changes??
      • 2 Years Ago
      I believe the problem here is not as much with design as it is with infrastructure or in the case of the US lack there of when it comes to electric charging locations and times to re-charge. This does not only apply to tesla but also with the Nissan leaf and others as well. Untill longer lasting batteries and more charging stations are available that will always be the electric cars down fall. If you can charge up your truck while you are loading it up and it takes only 5 mins then who cares, sadly that is not the case. There should be more investiment into Solar charging staions(with a grid back up) in places like hotels along main intererstates and in larger malls where it would be more easily accessible to the people who need it, And when not in use they can use the electric or sell it back to the company thus reducing cost and therefore reducing prices for there guest, or maybe discounts/perks just for electric car owners, ie perfered parking, discounts in stores and resturants, maybe a free car wash. Id love to buy an electric car or truck, but no where to charge it, no garage, cant run a extension cord across the side walk (or would be sued by someone who trips over it) job has no spots for charging...
      papago66
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome! I've been hoping someone would move in this direction. Next I would like to see something like the Jeep Willy's concept from about ten years ago as an EV or an electric ATV for road use. People that love the outdoors care about them and may likely buy an EV for that reason.
    • Load More Comments