Pickup trucks are perennial best sellers in the U.S., and their big price tags provide carmakers with fat profit margins. Tesla could use some cash to get the company over the cash crunch from building the massive Gigafactory battery plant while tooling up to build the Model 3 battery electric car. Hmm. Maybe Tesla needs a pickup.
That's what Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks, according to this Sept. 15 tweet. Though Tesla's idea of a pickup is so massive that a Ford F-150 would fit in its bed, according to the concept sketch the company posted on Twitter.
Musk suggests building a "mini version of the Tesla Semi." The drawing shows two axles instead of the three of the Tesla Semi introduced last week, but otherwise the concept pickup isn't really very "mini." It should be scaled down enough that buyers wouldn't need a commercial drivers license to pilot it.
Musk announced Tesla's intent to build a pickup with his Master Plan strategy, though he's been quiet about that product until now.
The concept Tesla pickup share the central driving position of the Tesla Semi. In short-haul commercial truck the single-seat arrangement may work, but today's pickup truck drivers frequently opt for four-door crew cab models and use the trucks to haul people as much as cargo, so a single-seat pickup model would surely meet a chilly reception from buyers.
As usual with Tesla and Musk, only time will tell.