Tesla unveiled its new electric semitractor-trailer Thursday night near its design center in Hawthorne, California. CEO Elon Musk said the semi is capable of traveling 500 miles on an electric charge – even with a full 80,000-pound load. (Nov. 17)
Tesla’s forthcoming electric pickup will have standard four-wheel-drive and a high-tech suspension that enables a smooth ride, CEO Elon Musk promised Tuesday.
Musk tweeted that the vehicle “will have dual motor all-wheel drive w crazy torque & a suspension that dynamically adjusts for load. Those will be standard.”
Standard pickups usually come with rear-wheel drive but “can be upgraded to all-wheel drive and bigger motors,” Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for auto-selling site Kelley Blue Book, said in an email.
A standard system that dynamically adjusts for load “will be something unique,” DeLorenzo said. But such a system is currently available as an option on a Ram pickup and a suspension that dynamically adjusts for off-road conditions is available on the Ford Raptor pickup, he said.
The Tesla pickup will also parallel park itself automatically with 360-degree camera vision, Musk said. There are many vehicles on the market that can park themselves.
The pickup’s rear gate “seems like” it “should rotate on a four bar linkage & drop down to the ground or close. Kinda like some big trucks have,” Musk added.
The pickup is likely still years away because it typically takes three to five years to develop a new vehicle from scratch.
It would be the first fully electric pickup on the market from a major automaker. And it would enter a fierce competition with stalwart pickups from Chevrolet, Ford, Ram, Toyota and others.
Tesla declined to reveal more details or timing.
Tesla has been focusing intensely on improving and accelerating production of the Model 3 compact sedan. Critics have said Tesla’s Model 3 shortcomings have called into question whether the company can manufacture high-quality vehicles in large quantities.
And Musk has faced skepticism for promising new technologies and products while not placing enough emphasis on current production.
After the Model 3, Musk has promised to deliver the Model Y, a crossover vehicle based on the same platform.
But the pickup has been one of his goals for quite some time.
“I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y,” he said on Twitter in December. “Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years. Am dying to build it.”
On Tuesday, Musk asked his followers, “What would you love to see in a Tesla pickup truck?
“I have a few things in mind, but what do you think are small, but important nuances & what would be seriously next level?” he asked.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
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