Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk says his pet project, the all-electric Tesla pickup (or, ute) may be revealed within just a few months.
Despite a global transition to electric vehicles that is well under way overseas and taking hold more gradually in Australia (due to a continuing lack on policy to encourage uptake from the federal Coalition government), a production ute that runs on a purely electric drivetrain is still in the wings.
Musk began toying with the idea of releasing an all-electric ute in July 2018, when he mused to followers on Twitter about what they’d like to see in such a vehicle, and apparently development of the ute is well under way, with only a few months left until it is ready to be unveiled to the world.
Responding to a follower on the social media platform, the electric vehicle and energy storage entrepreneur said that the unveil is “close, but the magic is in the final details”.
We’re close, but the magic is in the final details. Maybe 2 to 3 months.
— e^👁🥧 (@elonmusk) July 27, 2019
It’s well known that Musk is planning the Tesla ute to be something quite special, suggesting it will be “really futuristic like cyberpunk”, and even making a referral to cult sci-fi film Blade Runner at the end of March’s Model Y webcast.
Of course, when Musk says “2 to 3 months” it can be assumed that is on “Elon Time”, meaning a delay is almost inevitable.
What the Tesla electric ute will ultimately look like is still more or less left to the imagination – while a number of creative types have designed some pretty interesting renders, all that Tesla has released to date is a angular, dark teaser image with what appears to a backlit “frunk” or possibly tray adorned with the Tesla logo.
Specifications are also thin on the ground – nothing to do but wait until the official reveal there, unless Musk chooses to share some teaser info in the coming months.
When it does come to fruition, Musk has said that the Tesla electric ute will cost under $US50,000 ($A72,360 at today’s rates) – although if the cutting edge style doesn’t prove a fast mover amongst the general populace, “we’ll make a more conventional pickup truck”.
It’s possible there will be a lot of competition by that time also; a number of carmakers have electric pickups/utes under development, including Michigan-based EV startup Rivian and notably American carmaker Ford which ha snot only injected funds into Rivian but also just last week teased its first all-electric prototype F-150 pulling 10 double-decker freight carriages.
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.