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Tesla Planning an Electric Pickup Truck, Says Elon Musk

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the ok-this-may-drag-me-in dept.

Transportation 293

cartechboy writes "Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the company will make an electric pickup truck to compete with America's best-selling Ford F-Series pickups. Musk made the comment yesterday at the end of an interview at a tech conference in New York. Surrounded by questioners, Musk was asked if Tesla would ever make commercial fleet trucks (like for UPS or Fed Ex) and he responded that a consumer truck would be the company's best answer, because America's pickup truck sales numbers don't lie — that's what buyers want, and if Tesla wants to replace the most gasoline miles possible, that's what they should build. Musk said it will be about five years before the company builds its pickup however, giving it time to focus on another hurdle: breaking into the pickup market. Texas is where trucks rule, and Texas, as we know, is the Bermuda Triangle for Tesla." That also gives me five years to save up for one, and (just maybe) five years for Ford, et al to jump in, too.

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293 comments

If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (-1, Troll)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 5 months ago | (#45427214)

I'll have to start buying insurance for the packages I ship by UPS/FedEx ground. I can imagine waking up one day to check my tracking and finding a "Your package has been destroyed in a roadside fire incident".

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (1)

neminem (561346) | about 5 months ago | (#45427238)

Yep, because only Tesla cars ever catch on fire, not regular cars. Oh, wait, there are 17 google results for the extremely specific phrase "ups truck caught on fire", which seem to reference at least a handful of actual occurrences. (Yes, 17 is pretty low, but that is also a very specific phrase. I'm sure I could find more if I searched for variations.)

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (5, Insightful)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 5 months ago | (#45427354)

I guess we should have stopped taking flights in Boeing air planes after they had electrical fire issues right?

If everybody was as negative as you are towards progress we would still be trying to figure out how to contain fire.

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (0)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 5 months ago | (#45427566)

I stopped flying in 737's until Boeing implemented a workaround for the hardover rudder problem that caused 737's to yaw on their side and fly straight into the ground.

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 5 months ago | (#45427588)

We called that the "Whoopsie" on the Boeing 737 engineering team.

That was a fun problem to debug.

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#45427851)

They had a workaround before the next 737 flew after the problem was isolated. You couldn't have stopped flying in that period because it would have been impossible to do so. That, and what would you do if you booked a flight on an airbus that, when you went to the gate, noticed that it was a 737? walk out and lose thousands of dollars for a flight that had roughly the same chance of arriving safely at the other end as the airbus that was scheduled?

From the time it was isolate to when there was a mechanical fix, there were zero crashes. Training fixed the issue. How to fly when your plane is broken is most of the training pilots get. Flying when everything is working is boring.

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427963)

But there were 2 crashes before the "isolation".... I wouldn't want to trust that they'd fix it right the first time, either.

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 5 months ago | (#45428013)

I stopped flying before they had identified the cause. But they knew well before arriving at root cause that the problem was a rudder hardover - they just couldn't figure out the conditions which led to it. And training didn't fix the issue perse - it only made it less likely to lead to a crash since it added some margin to the approach speed (more headroom above rudder cross over velocity).

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (1)

ebh (116526) | about 5 months ago | (#45428135)

I stopped flying once I proved that heavier-than-air flight is impossible.

Yawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427358)

I'm sure you could be less interesting if you really tried, but I'm not sure how.

Re:Yawn. (1, Troll)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 5 months ago | (#45427680)

I guess I'm just tired of seeing thinly-velied advertisements for Tesla's stock on /. At least the pink-sheet stock emails I received in the 90's had some interesting stories behind them, and even when they didn't I could route them to my junk folder instead of having to see them on the front page of /.

Re:Yawn. (0)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#45427865)

Ah, so you hate Tesla or Slashdot so much that you'll say incorrect negative things just to make you feel better. The other solution is to just not read the ones you don't like. Instead, you read them, and comment on them (multiple times) increasing their popularity and increasing the chance they return. That's not smart. But you've not said anything that would lead anyone to think otherwise.

Re:Yawn. (0)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 5 months ago | (#45428155)

Can't disagree with you but what exactly was incorrect in what I said? If I ship a package that is lost to a fire in transit while in UPS/FedEx custody then it needs to be insured by me in order to indemnify against loss. The UPS driver going on the news and saying how much he loves his Tesla-powered UPS truck while it burns in the background isn't going to bring my package back.

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45427370)

You silly optimist. You'd just get "Delivery Status: Exception" and have to hammer customer support for details, unless you've shelled out for Heroic Platinum NSA Tracking, in which case they might have a more detailed error code.

Re:If UPS/FedEx use this technolgy in their trucks (1)

confused one (671304) | about 5 months ago | (#45427378)

UPS and FedEX both already have hybrid trucks in use in a handful of places.

Ford (5, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 5 months ago | (#45427220)

and (just maybe) five years for Ford, et al to jump in, too.

Ford has already made an electric Ranger [wikipedia.org].

Re:Ford (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 months ago | (#45427440)

Ford has already made an electric Ranger [wikipedia.org].

So can we refer to that as a Power Ranger?

Re:Ford (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 5 months ago | (#45427464)

Maybe Unpowered Ranger. Ford has stop production of the Ranger line. Well, of all light trucks in the USA.

Re:Ford (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#45427845)

Really? Why so? I thought those sold well - are truck owners so intent on driving a bigger truck than the neighbor?

Re:Ford (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#45427887)

Ford stopped sale of all light trucks in the USA for CAFE reasons, so what reason did they give for cutting the EV that wouldn't be negatively affected by CAFE?

Just keeping with tradition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45428001)

Ford can avoid the expensive development and factory costs of an electric pickup, by rebranding it under the Ford Ranger nameplate, to produce a cheap and inferior copy. Ford could call its cheap rebrand of an electric Mazda pickup the, 'Power Ranger'. Truly a unique idea! And the Japanese think America is run by Hollywood.

Re:Ford (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427740)

In Texas it needs to 4 to be wheel drive to win market share!

Squandered Research (4, Informative)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 5 months ago | (#45427486)

Like GM, Ford also squandered its early technology in the EV area.

Ford Ranger EV, 1,500 produced, model years 1998–2002. [wikipedia.org]
GM EV1, 1117 produced, model years 1996–1999. [wikipedia.org] They also had the small truck S-10 EV variant.
Toyota RAV4 EV was produced from 1997–2003, and is now back in production with Tesla. [wikipedia.org]

Is anyone surprised that a Japanese company had longer foresight than the American ones? Thank you Wall Street.

market (2, Funny)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 5 months ago | (#45427230)

Yes! Gotta capture that redneck high-tech environmentally-friendly market.

Re:market (2, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#45427270)

or the red-neck-can't-afford-the-increasing-price-of-gas market.

Re:market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427913)

yes because tesla is known for its inexpensive vehicles

Re:market (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45427320)

You probably won't sell them on green-meadows-and-chirping-birds; but (based on the number of insufferable 'our truck uses Butch Power Technology, just like the Hoover Dam, and is made of Steel, just like Big Submarines' advertisements I've endured recently) people who buy trucks like power.

And, if there is one thing electric motors do very, very, very, well, it is torque. Especially if starting a heavy load from a dead stop, the comparison is hardly fair.

It probably doesn't hurt that (particularly among vocational users of pickups), more than a few of them are called upon to deliver a fair amount of cargo, than sit there, potentially charging, while the occupants do construction things or such with the cargo.

Re:market (-1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#45427414)

What? You think delivery trucks just sit there?

They unload and move. Time is money.

I bet you were born to rich parents and never had to work shit jobs. The things you say reveal your history. Like an actor who doesn't know how to use a shovel.

Re:market (3, Insightful)

immaterial (1520413) | about 5 months ago | (#45427548)

Where the hell did you get half the shit you're arguing against? He said a number of people who use pickups for work use them to haul their equipment and materials to the job site, whereupon they use that stuff in the course of their jobs while the truck sits there. Sounds like every contractor, plumber, electrician, and handyman I've ever met. What exactly was your problem with that concept?

Re:market (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45427580)

I've definitely known more than a few sole proprietors and small outfits where the single pickup truck delivered both the gear and the guy or guys who were going to be using it. Not going very far after they got out unless one of them made a run for a second load.

(Also, it's polite of you to ignore the number of 'haha, we'd call it white collar if there were a salary or benefits; because it happens inside an office park or equivalent' shit jobs that you can do in our 'post-industrial service economy' and just accuse me of being a trust-fund asshole...)

Re:market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427632)

Who uses a pickup truck as a "delivery truck"?

Re:market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427324)

Where I live most people haul their household's refuse to a transfer facility a few times a week. I own a pickup truck primarily for this purpose. Hauling trash inside your automobile stinks. I know, I did so for years. All that to say, rednecks are not the target market for an electric pickup truck. But I know some rednecks who would love to get their hands on one. The best mechanics and diy engineers I know are rednecks.

Re:market (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 5 months ago | (#45427502)

I can see this selling to rednecks. Even they are going solar as opposed to having to deal with the grid.

A Tesla truck has a lot of nice advantages that would be useful, especially for rednecks:

1: Max torque at 0 RPM. This can be extremely handy.

2: No fuel needed, which is a good thing as there is a growing off-grid mentality. Even if the truck trickle charges on a 120VAC, 20A connection via a set of solar panels, it still will be useful. With a larger solar or wind array, a 440VAC charger can be used. Of course, with a redneck, they just sling a generator in the back if worried about range.

3: There is also a very useful feature of an electric pickup truck. Stick an inverter on the batteries, and you have a very large battery for running electric equipment and no obnoxious generator noise.

4: There are times when one idles a pickup truck due to needing heat or A/C. Idling an electric car takes up 0 fuel other than what is used for accessories.

5: Less noise and smell... easier on animals.

Re:market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427590)

A light saber rack in the back will be standard equipment.

The main issue with an electric pickup... (5, Insightful)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 5 months ago | (#45427254)

...is towing capacity. The tremendous torque would make it no problem for power, but range is a huge issue. Buzzing around town light, no problem. But the traditional use of a full size pickup to haul boats, toy haulers, travel trailers and 5th wheels long distance would probably garner almost nonexistant range due to the wind drag and weight. It's hard enough to make that equation work with diesel and gas - I take a significant hit when hooking up the toy hauler trailer.

So you would have a choice of a gas vehicle that will do all those things, or an electric vehicle that is probably only good for short hauls or not towing, and then needing still another vehicle to do towing. A hybrid is a better case for that use, as long as the power is there when you need it.

For all those people that drive them only for a status symbol but don't actually make use of them, then that might be a good market for them.

I use my 7.3L turbodiesel about once a month to pull heavy things like god intended it to, and the rest of the time I'm in my 30MPG car.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#45427412)

For all those people that drive them only for a status symbol but don't actually make use of them, then that might be a good market for them.

A surprisingly large fraction of pickup owners never put anything in the bed of their pickup. Despite this, the Ford Bronco/Chevy Blazer class of vehicle, essentially a pickup with a built-in bed shell, was discontinued years ago in favor of much lighter SUVs built on car-type platforms. (I still own a Ford Bronco. It's basically an 4WD F-250 with a shorter wheelbase. Good for towing a horse trailer. 12 MPG when not towing, so not good for much else.)

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#45427448)

That's a lot less true today then ten years ago.

The current fashion accessory car is a Prius.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 5 months ago | (#45427542)

Depends on where you are. Priuses (Priii?) are everywhere in urban environments, but last time I visited texas oil country, every last car in a parking lot at lunch one day was a full size pickup.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427694)

Depends on where you are. Priuses (Priii?) are everywhere in urban environments, but last time I visited texas oil country, every last car in a parking lot at lunch one day was a full size pickup.

Even in urban areas. Here in Chicagoland the Priuses are vastly outnumbered by trucks and SUVs that are hardly used for their intended purpose.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

CaptBubba (696284) | about 5 months ago | (#45427965)

Same even in the Austin suburbs. King Ranch edition F-150 crew cabs are very common as a daily driver.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about 5 months ago | (#45427478)

Unfortunately, here in 'Murrica, some states have more pickups than cars, with a staggering majority having no need for a truck, other than to give their music choice some credability.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 5 months ago | (#45427752)

This is also true in backwater parts of Canada. Apparently they get bonus points for having the truck jacked so high that the bumper is inline with the windshield of a car, and two points for belching black smoke.

I think it's likely true everywhere between Vancouver and Toronto.

Trucks (which includes minivans and SUVs, apparently, not sure who decided on that...) outsell cars 3 to 1 out here in the boondocks. YEEHAW!

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427827)

Modern "cars" are cheaply built front-wheel drive pieces of crap built on a unibody design. They have plastic trim, rubber fenders, timing "belts" instead of more reliable timing chains, a traverse engine layout that means bad struts might result in a transmission failure, etc. If you want a proper rear-wheel drive automobile with a much safer, more dependable frame on body design, you either have to move into the luxury car segment (BMW, Mercedes) or get a pickup truck.

There's a reason you see so many old pickup trucks on the road: they still work, after all these years. There are several documented million-mile F-150's on the road still. There are fleets of frame-on-body RWD taxicabs and police cars pushing a half million miles on the original drivetrain. Don't knock people just because they chose reliability (or reliability chose them by sheer luck, and consequently they never needed to get a new vehicle) over whatever you would have chosen (better gas mileage, cars with touchscreen media consoles, etc).

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#45428115)

Are you telling people buy cars as status symbols? I can't believe it! The only thing more shocking about your statement is that you think it's limited to 1 social group and 1 type of music. Next time I drive by a Prius blaring Mumford and Sons I'll tell them to go get a pickup like God intended!

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#45427596)

(I still own a Ford Bronco. It's basically an 4WD F-250 with a shorter wheelbase. Good for towing a horse trailer. 12 MPG when not towing, so not good for much else.)

My 1992 F250 7.3 with a turbo kit gets 15+ MPG on the freeway with 35" mud tires... And it's you're Bronco's big daddy. Down to the Dana IFS.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

confused one (671304) | about 5 months ago | (#45427472)

The VAST majority of 1/2 ton trucks are sold to people who only use them to drive around town. They might get used to haul a few plants, a couple pieces of landscaping lumber, or a couple bags of mulch every few months. Nothing more than that.

Around here, they might get used to pull a boat trailer from the house, 20 or 30 miles (at most) to the boat ramp. Usually a couple times a year... I'm not seeing the problem with using the type of system Tesla has been using for this.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

nblender (741424) | about 5 months ago | (#45427512)

God didn't build your Powerstroke...

Not everyone who wants a pickup wants to use it to tow a boat or RV. I have had a pickup that only rarely towed things and it wasn't for a status symbol. I used it to haul my Mtn Bike around, or my Skis, or to sleep under the canopy... People use them to haul dogs, tools, parts, lumber, appliances, and to help their friends move.

People tow with big trucks. An F-150 is not a big tow rig... It's a half ton that might do ok towing your speed boat down to the lake but my wife's Honda Pilot can do that. An F-150 is not going to tow a 3 bedroom dual-hottub with 6 deep friers 5th wheel out to the Mesa.

He's going after the F-150 market, not the Dodge 5500 market.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 5 months ago | (#45427602)

Not everyone who wants a pickup wants to use it to tow a boat or RV. I have had a pickup that only rarely towed things and it wasn't for a status symbol. I used it to haul my Mtn Bike around, or my Skis, or to sleep under the canopy... People use them to haul dogs, tools, parts, lumber, appliances, and to help their friends move.

Even an F-150 is overkill for that kind of thing; the Ranger would have been good enough.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427859)

Would have been, but in one of the dumbest decisions they've made since going full derp with the Microsoft SYNC deal, Ford got rid of the Ranger.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427738)

You needed a pickup truck to haul your skis and your mountain bike?

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427660)

Most people who drive a pickup around town occasionally will use it for hauling tasks. If you don't drive enough total miles but every once in awhile need to haul, it is not worth it to get a second vehicle just for passenger transport. Unless you drive a lot of passenger miles, the added expense of two vehicles is significant.

My guess is that they are probably thinking about more of a plug-in hybrid with a large battery, like the volt. That way when you aren't hauling anything, it can just use the battery most of the time, but when you are hauling you have the benefits of gas if you are going further than the mile the batteries would last.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 5 months ago | (#45427692)

In my observations, pickup owners who actually tow or use their truck for anything other than daily driving seem to be a corner case. Though to be fair, people who actually use them more often than "moving, or helping friends move" tend to use them a lot. Those people should probably stick to diesel. The other 99% should be fine with electric.

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427706)

The majority of pickup trucks where I live appear to be used mostly to drive around and burn fuel with a completely empty flatbed. (not to mention that most of them appear to think that their truck has the maneuverability of a go-cart, and drive accordingly, but that's a separate discussion)

Re:The main issue with an electric pickup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427798)

...is towing capacity. The tremendous torque would make it no problem for power, but range is a huge issue. Buzzing around town light, no problem. But the traditional use of a full size pickup to haul boats, toy haulers, travel trailers and 5th wheels long distance would probably garner almost nonexistant range due to the wind drag and weight.

People do not buy pickups to haul shit, take them offroad, or even get them dirty. And you should know that by looking around and seeing what I see. Nothing but $30,000+ trucks that blind you with their spotless waxed paint jobs and gleaming chrome that's never seen a single drop of mud.

I would be surprised to find even 25% of new trucks on the road equipped with a basic trailer hitch. 90% of people buy trucks for two reasons. Safety and social status. That's it. Again, look around you. You'll probably only find 10% of trucks that really look like a truck. The rest are soccer moms that didn't want the minivan, or "men" who drive them around town to try and look like real men, complete with their manicured hands and AAA card. After all, changing a tire is beyond reproach with most these days.

And it is that affluent, status-seeking spoiled demographic that knows nothing other than "light" hauling in their pointless truck that Tesla is targeting. The other 10% that makes up the hardcore rednecks would give up their guns before they would give up their gas guzzler.

Trucks in Texas (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about 5 months ago | (#45427268)

I think range will be one of the bigger issues in Texas. Many truck owners put on a lot of miles, especially out in rural areas. You don't generally have the option to recharge inplaces like Vernon, TX, Post, TX or Detroit, TX. And I don't see it as likely in the near future. And these will be particularly tough to sell to anyone who uses them for hunting and such activities, since the destinations are frequently remote.

Re:Trucks in Texas (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45427474)

There's a lot of wind energy in Texas looking for something to use it.

Electric trucks would work well with swap out battery systems. One size fits all.

Re:Trucks in Texas (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 5 months ago | (#45427538)

I don't know that I see swap-out systems winning over the Texas truck market. Convenience counts to busy people.

Re:Trucks in Texas (1)

timothy (36799) | about 5 months ago | (#45427620)

Even ("merely") moving big things in-town would be a great thing for an electric truck; I don't have two cars, which (living in Austin, but having occasional need and desire to drive long distances*) means I have a gas-fueled, fairly efficient car (Subaru Impreza). Even with IKEA furniture, though, that means I can't haul around anything too big ;) An electric *truck* would be really cool IMO as a 2d vehicle, though ... 5 years out, this is really tempting. I wonder where battery tech will be then ... if it meant that the gas car (though at a lower MPG) would be long-distance vehicle, and I could drive around town in an electric truck, I'm OK with that. But especially when a lot of the time on I-35 around here is spent idling in a swamp of exhaust, I'd rather the around-town one be an electric, overall. Trade-offs!

* And I want to hit more of just such places as you name!

 

Re:Trucks in Texas (1)

krotkruton (967718) | about 5 months ago | (#45427875)

This runs under the assumption that the batteries will be roughly the same size as they are in the cars. If pickups had the same size gas tanks as cars, they would run into the same problem, but it turns out that some people came up with the idea to make the gas tanks bigger, thus extending the range. And some people, unhappy with the range provided with the gas tanks built into their trucks, purchase additional tanks that fit in the bed of a truck (and they even pipe those into the regular tanks so they can fill from one tank to the other with a flip of a switch while driving!). Isn't it amazing how people come up with solutions to problems instead of just writing off the whole concept?

I don't actually know the answer, but I don't see it as such a big issue. Extra batteries. Solar panels on the roof. Fold out solar panels for when you're stopped. Maybe they have a cord with a turbine on the end that you can drop in a river right next to where the deer come for a drink. I think there are plenty of possibilities.

Convince the Truck Buyers (3, Insightful)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 5 months ago | (#45427308)

Nissan and Honda have tried to break into the truck market for years but the market is not the same as the car market. Truck buyers are hard to sway away from what they know, love and trust. Ford lovers don't buy Dodge and vice versa.

With electric engines torque won't be a problem but will reliability and durability be issues?

If Tesla succeeds at making a durable truck that gets at least 300 - 400 miles with a decent load capacity, a price tag to compete and more power, I can see some changing their preferred brand.

Re:Convince the Truck Buyers (1)

confused one (671304) | about 5 months ago | (#45427510)

reliability and durability should be higher with electric. Fewer moving parts. For what it's worth, Nissan and Toyota own the mid-size truck market.

Re:Convince the Truck Buyers (2)

nblender (741424) | about 5 months ago | (#45427544)

Disagree. Honda tried to make a truck for the antiquing market... But Toyota did mighty fine in the mid-size pickup market and they're doing great with the Tundra market... Around here (Alberta), the Tundra sems to be the pickup for the successful redneck vs. the Ford/Dodge/Chevy. I predict Nissan will do great now that it has licensed the Cummins for 2015 (and Dodge is going Italian diesel)...

Re:Convince the Truck Buyers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427556)

For what trucks are used for, there's no downside to electric motors; not a one. What there are significant downsides with are batteries; same old song. First fellow smart enough to build trucks like Diesel-Electric trains will have that market sewn up in a flash.

Re:Convince the Truck Buyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427718)

a price tag to compete

This is Tesla we're talking about, their price will be competitive with other ultra high end luxury trucks if there are any.

Re:Convince the Truck Buyers (1)

Spectre (1685) | about 5 months ago | (#45427893)

a price tag to compete

This is Tesla we're talking about, their price will be competitive with other ultra high end luxury trucks if there are any.

2014 Chevy Silverado "High Country", MSRP $44,000 (from Chevy's web site).
That might even be reasonable to get a comparable price point from a Tesla truck ...

Re:Convince the Truck Buyers (2)

AJWM (19027) | about 5 months ago | (#45427937)

will be competitive with other ultra high end luxury trucks if there are any.

There are. For one example, Cadillac makes a pickup. (Well, some may argue that that's only "high end", not "ultra high end".)

Hard market to break into (3, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | about 5 months ago | (#45427334)

Several manufacturers have gotten out of the U.S. small truck market recently. Ford and Dodge both dropped their small and mid-size offerings due to falling sales in the small truck arena. It's a hard market to break into and there's a lot of brand loyalty among the consumers.

Re:Hard market to break into (4, Interesting)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 5 months ago | (#45427416)

A large factor in the derth of small pickups is the chicken tax [wikipedia.org], the stupidest protectionist law still on the books.

Re:Hard market to break into (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427666)

Even the American-made ones aren't around anymore. Ford discontinued the Ranger, Dodge got rid of the Dakota, the made-in-Texas Toyota Tacoma has increased in size to what an F-150 used to be. Chevrolet is the only one in the market.

They just don't sell, chicken tax or no.

Re:Hard market to break into (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 5 months ago | (#45427780)

Small pickups are light trucks, but light trucks [wikipedia.org] are not limited to small pickups. In other words, if the tariff was "a large factor," one would expect to see correlation in vans, minivans, SUVs, and other pickup truck sales.

Re:Hard market to break into (3, Interesting)

Tailhook (98486) | about 5 months ago | (#45428073)

So the tax has been in place for 48 years but only recently caused manufacturers to drop these product lines....?

That doesn't actually make sense. Here is something that does;

Light trucks are now tallied as cars in the fleet average for the purposes of CAFE fuel economy regulation. Manufacturers can't make historical quantities of these vehicles because they hurt they average too much, so they've reduced production. Naturally, prices climb due to lack of supply.

Light trunks are low margin products for budget conscience buyers, so as prices climb buyers vanish, some heading to used car lots. Manufacturers can see [wardsauto.com] the writing on the wall for light trunks and they're pulling out.

"Because of the new CAFE guidelines, the most fuel-efficient segment for pickup trucks, the small ones, aren’t going to be available in the U.S. market."
— John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America

Electric trucks don't solve the problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427336)

Pickups might be the only place gasoline[or truly diesel] makes sense. We just have to stop buying a pickup truck to only actually use it 30% or less of the time.

Trucks would make so much more sense as rentals rather than owning them for most truck owners. If you have a boat you use a hand full of times a year, you don't need to own a truck. If you go hunting and bring ATV's for two months out of the year...you don't need to own a truck.

If you own a labor business or work on a farm, or whatever, yes it makes a lot of sense to own a truck.

The over whelming population of people who are paying notes[they don't own shit] on huge trucks don't need them. The only purpose they generally serve is false reassurance of masculinity and to further escalate the American 'Canyonero' phenomenon.

Re:Electric trucks don't solve the problem (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 5 months ago | (#45427390)

It's not up to you to decide who does and does not need a truck.

Re:Electric trucks don't solve the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427450)

I would never tell you or anyone else to give up their four wheeled cod piece.

But sooner or later the economics and common sense prevail. It makes sense to get ahead of it.

Re:Electric trucks don't solve the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427762)

But sooner or later the economics and common sense prevail.

Perhaps on your planet, but not here on earth.

The really smart people are breeding less, and idiots are breeding like rabbits.
So the quaint notion that "common sense" will prevail doesn't correlate to what
can be seen in the real world. Gas in many parts of the US still sells for close to
$4.00 per US gallon, and the masses continue to insist on driving huge inefficient
vehicles. Sure, there are a few outliers who bought a Prius or a TDi, but the masses
still consume petroleum like it was 1965.

;

Re:Electric trucks don't solve the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427919)

I would never tell you or anyone else to give up their four wheeled cod piece.

Liar. You're doing just that when you call it a "four wheeled cod piece", which is an absolutely ignorant and unwarranted assumption about their reason for owning a truck. It's bigotry, plain and simple.

And no, I don't own a truck myself, and yes, that is what you were going to say.

Never be popular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427428)

Trucks need to be tough and able to take abuse. Tesla has shown pretty clear their cars won't take abuse.

Actual WORK gets done with trucks. Multiple ton use. Hauling, towing, pulling, off road use.

The torque electric provides would be very nice. The longevity not so much.
And if you have a battery pack large enough to provide the duration of use you'd need for a truck... Well there's your weight limit right there.
Plus most of the people who work out of their trucks. Run them for decades. A big expensive battery replacement rules that out as well.

You might sell a few to the yuppies who pretend they 'work' for a living. But i think the SUV market has them covered pretty well already.

Re:Never be popular. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427476)

Locomotives are electric[diesel-electric] and I think they work plenty hard. Stop regurgitating American truck commercials. Going to Walmart and McDonalds is not hard.

Re:Locomotives are electric[diesel-electric] (2)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 5 months ago | (#45427895)

Actually, I was thinking that instead of full-on electric, train-based diesel-electric hybrid technology would make a lot of sense. I'm sure having something like the pulling power and range of a train would be all kinds of awesome in a pickup.

This should be good in Alberta as well (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45427454)

Alberta is the Texas of Canada, and there's cheap hydro power from BC to power them.

In fact, anywhere that electricity comes from cheaper solar, wind, or hydroelectric sources, given how people actually use their trucks, an electric truck makes sense.

America's best-selling Ford F-Series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427508)

Ford's F-Series is Americas best selling for a few reasons:
1. It's cheap.
2. It's a full sized pickup.
3. It's durable enough.
4. It's cheap.
5. Do you hear, Elon? It's cheap.

Ford has already produced an electric pickup. It doesn't sell well! It doesn't sell well because it isn't cheap. Ford's best selling vehicles are not fuel efficient at all.

As usual the British did this 50 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427524)

suffice to say, they dont use them anymore
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_float [wikipedia.org]

Re:As usual the British did this 50 years ago (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 5 months ago | (#45427889)

We (the uk) still have these doing their rounds.
The main reason they have declined is due to supermarkets obtaining the customer sales. Nothing to do with how their powered.

Sure, I'd Buy One (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#45427554)

.. Presuming it has at least a 1500 lb weight rating, can tow 30,000 lbs, all while maintaining a range of 250+ miles. Oh, and I'll need to be able to go from 0% - 100% charge in less than 30 minutes (preferably less than 5).

In rural Missouri.

Big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427628)

This technology has been used in guitars for at least 50 years now. I'm sure you'd think electronic pickups is something really cool to use in cars at first, but I guarantee, at most it'll just another short lived craze. Don't understand what the point is really of having cooler sounding cars

Teslas are toys for those with money to waste. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45427670)

Many people use trucks for work, five or six days a week, in
all kinds of weather and road conditions. For many truck owners
a truck is their only vehicle, and they need to be able to do anything
and everything with that truck. Stuff like range restrictions or a vehicle
catching fire if it runs over a sharp rock on a job site won't fly for these
users.

Frankly, converting to natural gas fuel makes a LOT more sense than
buying one of Musk's scam products. /.

I have an idea (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#45427959)

If it doesn't have ion thrusters for towing, I will be thoroughly disappointed. Yes, they basically only work in a vacuum but still, they'd look really cool!
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