Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed plans to reveal the brand’s first pickup truck next month. On Wednesday, Musk responded to a Twitter follower who asked if the truck’s big reveal was still on track, and he responded, “No change.”
Although Tesla has only released vague images of the vehicle, Musk promises that it will look like something out of a sci-fi film with a “really futuristic-like cyberpunk Blade Runner” design. “It won’t look like a normal truck. It’s going to look pretty sci-fi,” he said. Comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan, an avowed Tesla fan and friend of Musk, has said that he believes truck owners, who have been traditionally hostile toward the concept of electric vehicles, will support the pickup because it’s American-made.
The pickup, which is unofficially referred to as the Tesla Model B, has been met with some reservations due to the lack of charging stations in some areas. In 2012, Tesla began developing a network of 480-volt fast-charging Supercharger stations. As of December 2018, there are 1,375 Supercharger stations operated globally with 11,414 superchargers. The Supercharger, a direct current (DC) technology that delivers up to 250 kW of power, provides a full charge in around 40 minutes. Tesla cars suggest the fastest route for long-distance travel, taking into account possible charging delays.
In the past, Tesla has released an image of a semi-sized pickup carting a Ford F-150 in its bed. “The goal is to be a better truck than an F-150, in terms of truck-like functionality, and be a better sports car than a [Porsche] 911,” Musk said. The pickup will reportedly have no less than six seats and provide up to 300,000 lbs. (136,077 kg) of towing capacity.
Musk also said confirmed that the pickup would have a starting price of $49,000. Despite the big reveal, drivers will have to wait until probably 2021 for the truck to be available since Tesla expects to first launch its new Model Y compact SUV next year.
What we do know is that the new Tesla pickup truck will feature AWD, a self-leveling suspension, a range up to 500 miles per charge and the brand’s semi-autonomous driving system. The company is not the only automaker planning on debuting an electric pickup. Ford, GM, and Rivian are also expected to launch new electric truck models in the next few years, which will liken stiffen the competition and hopefully lower prices.
The United States is a huge market for truck sales. An estimated 2.7 million pickup trucks will be sold this year, with an average selling price of just under $30,000.