Hearing industry-changing news from eccentric billionaire, Elon Musk is nothing new and the statement he made during an appearance on the ‘Ride the Lightning’ podcast this last week was no exception. The TESLA CEO intimated that the electric car company was planning to release an electric pick-up truck that would be priced around the £40k mark.
In the podcast, he stated that, “… [It] Will be a better truck than an F-150 in terms of truck-like functionality, and be a better sports car than a standard [Porsche] 911. That’s the aspiration”, “… It just can’t be unaffordable.”
Whilst this statement points to yet another feat of engineering brilliance, Musk’s nay-sayers believe that he is trying to accomplish the impossible (and even some TESLA supporters are a little sceptical). However, history shows us that nay-sayers, in sharing their negative opinions, often interrupt the person making the impossible happen. Musk has delivered the impossible before, why should this time be any different?
I do think, however, that the rhetoric around this new model may need to be tweaked somewhat before the actual finished product rolls off the assembly line. The engineering mechanics of a ½ tonne truck capable of lugging heavy loads in heavy off-road terrain in low torque yet still being able to put ‘Porsche-like’ times on the flat road, may be a bridge too far.
Brett Smith, the director of propulsion technologies and energy infrastructure at the Centre for Automotive Research, stated that it “will be very challenging,” for Musk to meet all of his goals in this project.
“The physics don’t work there… But can it be a really great-performing, road-driving vehicle? Sure,” Smith said.
“Tesla has proven time and time again that they can do some really great things with products, and they’ve proven again that it can be hard to deliver on some things. So, I think what he said was a good benchmark to shoot for, [but] the reality is probably going to be much different.”
Watch this space…
Artistic rendering of the forthcoming TESLA Pick-up. Photo credit: TESLA
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