This week following an appearance in New York at a Business Insider conference, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he wants to produce an electric truck to compete with the Ford F-150 pickup.
Ford’s light-duty truck is a top seller filling a solid spot in the American buying public’s need and want list, and Musk and company are more than a little aware of it.
“If you’re trying to replace the most gasoline miles driven, you have to look at what people are buying,” Musk said. “That’s the best selling car in America. If people are voting that’s their car, then that’s the car we have to deliver.”
Musk’s comment follows earlier revelations such as in July 2012 when Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen suggested some form of an electric pickup, “a market for which the torque of an electric motor would be ideally suited,” he said.
Musk urged caution that a potential full-sized Tesla truck could be five years away.
And while some may think a pickup might sound far afield from Tesla’s present forte for sleek passenger cars, in April this year Musk also held out as a carrot to Texas the notion of building a Texas assembly plant for trucks.
That was when he was still hoping to change the law in that state which has strong franchise rules barring Tesla from operating as it wishes.
Beyond that, Tesla has previously said it aims to become a full-fledged electric vehicle company filling broader needs as soon as possible.
On that note, its planned-for entry level car aiming for around 200 miles range and a price point around low-middle 30-s is still “several years away” according the text of a CNN Money report.
The company’s intent as of July last year according to Tesla’s von Holzhausen was a $30,000 all-electric sedan to rival BMW’s 3-Series possibly “on sale by 2015.”
Undoubtedly as it’s enabled to run free, Tesla intends to do many more things to take on the established gas-powered paradigm.
Its Model S became an overnight hit and surprised jaded car enthusiasts and journalists, so imagine what the Tesla formula could do if applied to a traditionally top-selling pickup truck.