The long awaited electric pickup truck from electric car maker Tesla is set to finally emerge. The idea of coming out with this vehicles has been touted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk for years and now it is set to challenge the markets of pickup trucks – especially in the US, made by the Detroit automakers with the conventional internal combustion engine. The Tesla pickup truck is being called a cyberpunk truck.
According to Musk, Tesla’s new pickup truck will combine the functionality of Ford Motor Co’s industry-leading F-150 full-size truck and the performance of a Porsche 911 sports car and according to analysts it is expected to hit the market for commercial sale in 2021 or early 2022 and will be have a starting priced under $50,000.
“Making an electric pickup truck that sells in the same price range as an F-150 and making it profitable will be tough,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at Auto Forecast Solutions.
While Tesla is preparing to challenge the likes of Ford and larger rival General Motors in the pickup truck segment, these Detroit, US based auto majors are preparing a separate challenge for Tesla in its own turf of electric vehicles – the Ford Mustang Mach E electric SUV and some other electric pickups are slated to be launched by them.
For Ford and GM, it is not only the bottom line that they are concerned about with the launch of electric vehicles. Both the companies hope that their electric pickups and SUVs which are core of the US auto market, will help the companies to generate the necessary EV sales for them being able to meet the tough emission standards and mandatory EV vehicle sale in US sates such as California. And even though the Trump administration is preparing to roll back those standards, the sale of electric trucks will be crucial if the law of California prevails.
Fiorani said that the higher priced pickup trucks also offer an opportunity for generating greater profits in the investments in battery that they have made.
With the unveiling of its electric pickup truck, Tesla will move into the trucks and SUVs segment – a source of maximum profits for Detroit’s automakers. While mostly manufacturing and selling its Model S and Model 3 sedans, Tesla has also offered its Model X SUV and will start offering its new Model Y compact SUV starting next year.
The success of Ford’s 450-horsepower F-150 Raptor truck, launched in 2009, is reason enough for auto makers to focus on the high-performance end of the market. According to Ford spokesman Mike Levine, the F-150 Raptor truck has seen sale figures rise since its launch. .
By 2026, about 75,000 in sales will be accounted for by the electric truck segment – both full- and mid-sized models, estimates the industry tracking firm IHS Markit. It expects that the overall sale of light trucks will be in the region of 3 million in the same time. The Tesla truck is not part of that estimate given its uncertain timing.
(Adapted from USAToday.com)