5 Reasons the Tesla Pickup will be Epic!

Elon Musk is most excited about the Tesla Pickup. Here’s why.

1. Mars

Yes, Mars. The Red Planet. The chief object of purpose and desire for the large SpaceX family — within SpaceX, and observing from the side. Humanity is headed to Mars, and whatever you may think of Elon Musk, he is indisputably the most effective force agitating us to become an interplanetary species.

We are headed to Mars; once there, they will need “rovers” to roam around and explore. The Tesla Pickup represents an ideal rover platform for Mars.

Musk is known for his mantra of “order-of-magnitude” productivity, efficiency, etc. gains. Musk’s firms and engineering teams are also known to cross-pollinate ideas, knowhow, and human resources.

An Earth-bound Martian exploring Death Valley in a Tesla Pickup in preparation for Martian geological mapping expeditions.

1A. Electric Propulsion on Mars

Proven, tested, safe electric rover propulsion systems would mean huge reduction in the complexity (and attendant risk!) of space travel and Martian settlement.

1B. Biohazard Mode → Mars Lifesupport Mode

Many folks were puzzled by Tesla Model X’s “biohazard mode” option (which delivers the world’s highest quality filtration). Like so many things Tesla, it seemed like overkill at first.

1C. Tesla-to-Space Precedent

While many people thought the launch of the Tesla Roadster into space was a fluke, perhaps the SpaceX wizards of Hawthorne (SpaceX headquarters) were actually testing mounting, stress, and performance characteristics of Teslas as space vehicles.

2. ICE-ers

This reason is a bit more subjective than others, but it holds water. The basic idea is this: Tesla will make the Tesla Pickup “orders of magnitude” stronger, tougher, and more capable in order to relegate diehard ICEers to the fringe.

3. Modularity

This reason is a bit more wonkish, but here it goes. Many people have asked, begged, and pleaded with Tesla to sell the signature Tesla drivetrain (the so-called “Skateboard” powerplant + drivetrain) by itself, permitting the conversion of existing cars into Tesla e-cars.

The so-called Tesla “skateboard” chassis. Image copyright: Gizmodo Australia.
Image credit: Eletrek (original story, highly recommended, here).

4. Hyperutility

Here’s Musk on the Recode Decode podcast with Kara Swisher speaking about the Tesla Pickup:

Elon Musk on Tesla Pickup: It’s gonna be like a really futuristic-like cyberpunk, “Blade Runner” pickup truck. It’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be amazing. This will be heart-stopping. It stops my heart. It’s like, oh, it’s great.

And so a lot of attention has been spent analyzing styling cues.

5. Competition

Tesla’s not the only firm working on an electric pickup truck.

Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen checking out Rivian’s pickup truck concept at the LA Auto Show. Source: Teslarati.

Toyota has most likely already designed a 300-series electric platform that will undergird the new generations of its highly-capable light-truck and heavy-truck vehicles. Toyota is just waiting for the right time to launch.

Bollinger and Rivian are cool, but if Tesla wants to dominate the pickup truck world, it will need to dominate in the only place that where it ultimately matters — on the trails, in the mud, and on the mountain knife’s edge. In those rarified heights, the Toyota Tacoma and the Land Cruiser reign supreme.

  • True 4x4 (+ locking CFR diffs);
  • Short-bed & long-bed (short & long wheelbase);
  • Easy truck-bed removal;
  • Production winch/rally bumpers (front and rear);
  • High wheel travel;
  • Simple, swappable, suspension setup;
  • Built-in solar charging (including support for subsequent scaling & expansion);
  • Excellent off-grid-ability (long range and enough power for high voltage power tools in remote applications)
  • Easy bumper/fender removal/upgrading (without impacting road sensors, airbag sensors, etc.);
  • Underbody armor that de facto serves as sliders, skid plates, etc;
  • [… have more? Drop them in the comments below]

Closing Thoughts:

Of the characteristics we’d most like to see in a Tesla Pickup, a big bright Model X & Tesla Semi-style windshield and cockpit would be at the very top. It doesn’t matter how big and powerful today’s Dodge Ram trucks are. If a 6'4" driver has less visibility in this truck than they do in a Honda Civic, the truck’s utility is poor. Fortunately, Tesla has been a darling of the automotive industry in this respect, giving drivers great visibility when most other manufacturers are forcing drivers to squint through smaller and smaller porthole windshields and windoews.

A parent with three toddlers & a head full of ideas for making their future brighter.