What's the future look like for Tesla after it launches the Model X CUV and possibly a smaller, sub-Model S sedan? Would you believe a pickup truck? Yes, Tesla could be looking to use its EV know-how to take the fight to Ford and the F-150, based on comments made by company founder Elon Musk.

"If you're trying to replace the most gasoline miles driven, you have to look at what people are buying," Musk said during an impromptu Q&A session following a speech at Business Insider's Ignition conference. "[The F-150 is] the best selling car in America. If people are voting that's their car, then that's the car we have to deliver."

And while the idea of electric pickup may sound kind of absurd to some, Musk makes a very valid point - if Tesla's goal is to replace gas miles with electrical miles, it simply can't afford to ignore pickups.

Still, according to CNN Money, a Tesla-badged truck is still around five years away, and even then, it will take no short amount of time for Tesla to produce even a fraction of the number of F-150s produced by Ford. More than just the production issues, though, is the finicky nature of pickup truck owners. With trucks, bigger is better, and the idea of replacing a big V8 with a battery pack and electric motor, no matter how good it actually is, may hold a limited amount of appeal.

What do you think? Should Tesla worry about other segments before addressing the most American of markets? Sound off in our informal poll below.

Would you consider buying an electric pickup truck from Tesla?
Sure, why not? 6515 (52.4%)
No, I don't think so. 4743 (38.1%)
I'm not sure. 1176 (9.5%)


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  • 220 Comments
      heavychevy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla should build a smaller, lighter, more ranger like truck, to use ford terminology. instead of trying to go after the f150 few companies offer good light duty trucks anymore, and the lighter weight, smaller towing etc would be better suited to an EV than a 6000lb truck i imagine.
        no1bondfan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @heavychevy
        Along with a truck, how about a delivery van, Ford Transit Connect style? Those things are everywhere, and I'm sure a lot of businesses would love to be able to buy delivery/service vehicles without fear that their fuel costs will skyrocket on OPEC's whims.
        Haelphadreous
        • 1 Year Ago
        @heavychevy
        I came here to say the same thing, I see cost as a big limiting factor here, a nicely optioned Model S runs $80,000+, the Model X is going to cost even more than that, and I would imagine that an F150 competitor would cost $100,000+ easily. And that is a price I don't think appeals to the target market, in addition to that a fair percentage of F150's are actually used for work and take some pretty serious abuse, Making a Tesla that tough would be hard, and even if you made it better than an F150 it's going to be a tough sell convincing people of that fact. And that is a real problem because a lot of the suburbanites that buy trucks do it for the image of toughness that comes from driving the same truck someone else is using on a work site. A Ranger type truck would be much cheaper, wouldn't need to be engineered to have a 10,000 lb towing capacity or enormous pay load, and it would be entering an under-served market so there wouldn't be tough competition already waiting for it.
      EXP Jawa
      • 1 Year Ago
      When Ford was marketing an electric Ranger a decade ago, how were they primarily used? Fleets, delivery I'd assume? Maybe that's the area Tesla aught to focus on - short range, delivery trucks. If they built full-sized trucks, they'd have a tough sell, considering the limitations the range would cause for both towing and hauling heavy loads any distance.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EXP Jawa
        I believe most of them went to power/utility companies and weren't marketed to the public at all. I think electric drive is fine but a range-extender would be popular since trucks are often used for long trips.
          rubley00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          Supercharger network will be complete by the time this comes out
          rubley00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          Yes, because that's the way most people use their trucks every day, pulling 5,000 lb trailers from San Diego to Albany. Nope, most people spend very, very little time hauling anything, and especially not over long distances.
          montoym
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          @rubley00: If they want to benchmark the F-150, they need to take it all into account. If they want to build a car with a bed on it, then they can do that. But, they shouldn't say they are building an F-150 then, because they most certainly are not. If they do go the route of building basically a Model X with a truck bed and it has very little actual truck capability, it will be a joke. There'd be virtually no point in doing that. It's a truck with no truck capability. Even if you believe that most truck buyers don't use their trucks, giving them one that can't actually perform as a truck isn't the way to get them to buy your product.
      EvilTollMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd hate to stereotype here but if Tesla can win over the hearts of thickheaded 'Merikan pickup drivers, not saying all pickup drivers in the country are thickheaded, but if Tesla can win them over, they will be able to convince ANYONE that an electric car is the future and be able to close the gap between eco-minded individuals and conservative individuals.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EvilTollMan
        Tesla doesn't have to win every single one of the millions of truck drivers over in order to be successful. Just a small fraction of these drivers would be a big enough niche market for Tesla to make plenty of money off of a truck. Not all of us 'Merikan pickup drivers are thick headed.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          thats not the issue, once all the Govt ansd State subsidies go away, tesa has to sink or swim on its own...and that means they have to make a profit....this is a SCARY segment that I fear in which he will not be competitive, and fail miserably....and selling a handful makes ZERO fiscal sense....too risky...NEXT! focus on the core.....
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      It wouldn't work to replace our K2500 HD diesel, but then again, it is supposed to be an F150 replacement, and an F150 wouldn't work to replace our K2500 HD diesel either. A Tesla truck doesn't have to meet every single need of every single F150 owner for it to be successful. Different trucks for different folks. With the F150 being the biggest selling vehicle in the US, even picking off a single digit percentage of F150 buyers would be way more than enough customers to make Tesla plenty of profits. Stealing just 5 or 6 percent of F150 sales would double the number of cars Tesla is currently selling every month.
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      This might be a hit with us tradesmen if they can get costs down. The fuel savings would be magnified with the 15 mpg my current truck gets.
      groingo
      • 1 Year Ago
      They first need to offer a car people can actually afford.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @groingo
        Model S. Many people are waiting in line for it.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          80k isnt affordable for most...and I will raise my hand as to being one of those individuals....
          Miguro Takahashi
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          Many people are waiting in line for it because Tesla only has one factory in Fremont, CA which only makes 5000 cars per quarter.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @groingo
        A truck might actually be that affordable product. People spend more on the average truck than they do on the average car, so Musk is certainly heading to where the bulk of the market is. 2013 average truck transaction: $39k 2013 average auto transaction: $31k
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like a great idea, though they might have to pull a BMW type range extender to the design.
      banzairx7
      • 1 Year Ago
      Diesel stomping toque at zero rpm? Sounds like a huge selling point for a pick up.
        montoym
        • 1 Year Ago
        @banzairx7
        For the 50 miles you'll get using that torque. Unless you have the bed full of batteries. It takes a lot of energy to move a lot of weight (why trucks exist) and considering the limited energy-carrying capacity of batteries, it means you'll need a lot more of them to bump up the range to a reasonable level. The Supercharger network will certainly help, but they are still far enough apart that a truck would need a sizable set of batteries to make it from one to another if they are pulling any significant load. Same reason you see dual, 30gal. fuel tanks on a lot of HD pickups. If anything, they should go after the city truck market (akin to the Ford Transit Connect or Nissan NV200) before they try to go after the full-size market. Lower payload, lower range requirements, easier to achieve. That or they go after the non-load carrying truck buyer market. Admittedly, that's a lot of them, but I doubt they'll give up the capability just to go electric. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
      Erik Goossens
      • 1 Year Ago
      Smart - probably why Bob Lutz got into that game with Via Motors. I think Via has the winning recipe with an EREV truck with a 40-mile electric range (for 90+% of it's driving), plus 150kW of power to power all your tools at the worksite.
      brianXL
      • 1 Year Ago
      The popularity of turbodiesel heavy duties and the Ecoboost V6 is proof positive that pickup truck drivers are willing to consider alternative powertrains. They aren't the neanderthals they have been made out to be.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't think that a pure EV drivetrain is a good application for trucks for the foreseeable future. Their range needs to be more flexible. Buyers will won't a product that is capable of working unforeseeable long hours and distances until the job is done. The trucks will need to be able to venture into places away from the route of charging stations. They need to be able to pull trailers and haul loads that would dramatically affect range. They also need to be affordable, so an enormous battery pack is probably not an option. A hybrid drivetrain, on the other hand, would be an excellent application for a truck.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        There were approx. 1 million half-ton truck buyers in the US last year. That's just half-ton trucks, not bigger trucks or smaller trucks or SUV's. You don't think there are some of those buyers that don't really need all that? I do agree that a PHEV truck would attract more buyers, but carving out 10-20K buyers out of 1 million buyers would be plenty for Tesla.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          now ask yourself how many will pony up double the pricefor an EV novelty?.......PHEV from a major player will undercut Tesla by $$$$$, AND have most likely better payload, capacity and Range....Elon would be better served focusing on his strengths rather than risking potential catastrophic failure....the 1/2 ton market is extremely volitile, and many have tried and failed dismally...Nissan, Honda, even Toyota.....I admire the gumption, but if I owned stock and this had even an inkling of happening, I would be OUT....
      mark
      • 1 Year Ago
      Look on the bright side, trucks would have better clearance to avoid road objects etc..
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