Elon Musk has tweeted that he is keen to get a prototype of his favourite project – the all-electric Tesla pickup (or, ute) – out as soon as next year.
The Tesla CEO has previously put the pickup at third on his list of priorities, coming after the Model Y and rooftop solar tiles, and if that order hasn’t changed it means 2019 is going to be (another) busy year for Musk and Tesla.
The tweet came in response to a fan asking, “When can I order my pickup truck?”
Musk responded, “I’m dying to make a pickup truck so bad … we might have a prototype to unveil next year.”
I’m dying to make a pickup truck so bad … we might have a prototype to unveil next year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2018
When Musk first put it out there to Twitter fans that he was thinking about a Tesla pickup in July 2018, he ignited the interest of many, drawing rapid responses from many, including some switched on Aussies.
Of course, pickups are referred to as utes here in Australia (short for utility), as @ManWhoEatsTime pointed out:
Pickup? Mate. I wanna see a Tesla Ute mate.
Something that’s tough enough to haul a pig to market on Saturday, yet classy enough to drive the misses to church on Sunday. Something yanks just don’t get when building “pickups”…
— ManWhoEatsTime (@ManWhoEatsTime) June 28, 2018
Since then, the topic of the Tesla pickup/ute has been raised a few times, for instance at the third quarter earnings call when Musk said he is most “excited about the pickup truck – that’s going to be some next level stuff there”.
Indeed – according to comments made more recently in an interview with Recode Decode’s Kara Swisher, Elon Musk has said that the electric pickup design will be “really futuristic like cyberpunk”, and ““gonna have a lot of titanium”.
It might not be the tradie’s ute that ManWhoEatsTime was hoping for, nor the F100-style that one blogger mocked up back in 2016, but then Tesla’s visionary CEO is not one to do things by halves.
Whether the electric pickup prototype actually makes to an unveiling next year thought is of course yet to be seen.
Musk admitted in a 60 Minutes Overtime interview last week with Lesley Stahl that he is “dumb at predicting dates”.
So it may be that we will not see the pickup prototype until “next year, in Elon time” – but as another Twit has said, “Some things are worth the wait.”
Some things are worth the wait.
— Zmansk88 (@Zmansk88) December 11, 2018
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.