Could there be a pickup truck in Tesla’s future? According to Tesla chief technology officer JB Straubel, the answer could be yest. Straubel, speaking at an industry event at the International Transport Forum in Germany this week, said “I can’t say too much about the new products and the things we are developing, but from a pure technology point of view, everything that we’ve done on vehicles translates directly into trucks. There’s no reason that today you can’t make a very compelling electric truck.”
Straubel couched his comments with the disclaimer that he could obviously not disclose specific information about future products, but that it would be relatively easy for the company to put its resources toward a truck.
CEO Elon Musk has also suggested trucks are a viable option, saying “It is quite likely we will do a truck in the future. I think it’s sort of a logical thing for us to do in the future.” Musk’s comments were made last January at a venture forum in Hong Kong.
Since these comments were made, many in the online community have created concept sketches for what a future Tesla pickup truck would look like. The sketch below were made from Tesla Motors Club member who goes by the name McHoffa. He calls it the Model P.
In addition to the aerodynamic cab, what makes the vehicle stand out is its large truck located in the front of the truck. McHoffa calls the space “the frunk.”
“The frunk would be great for actual storage of things like tools, valuables, etc, while the bed could be dedicated to hauling,” says McHoffa “The frunk would be deeper than the X probably, so lots of space. The batteries could be longer (larger pack so you still get 200+ miles while hauling).” This rendering makes sense because without a massive oil burning engine to deal with, there’s a lot of room under the hood that could be put to good use.
Back in 2013, Musk also spoke about his vision for the pickup truck:
One of the things that I think should be present in trucks is something like an air suspension that dynamically adjusts the load and sorta keeps the angle of the truck correct and the ride height even and adjust the dampening in real-time. Because the challenge you have with any vehicle where there’s a big potential difference between the minimum and maximum load is that the suspension is always wrong and usually wrong by a lot.
I was driving an F-250 down the 405 one day and honestly that thing… it was resonating on 405 on the little ridges. I thought my teeth were going to rattle out of my head. If you put load on it it’s fine, but if you’re empty it’s not. It would be good to do that and obviously to make it light and really handle well. That’s where having a battery pack low can improve the center of gravity. I think it’s possible to produce a really well handling truck that feels good at any load point. That would be really great.”