Tesla reveals two new trucks as it aims to haul in new customers

14 Apr 2017

Tesla logo. Image: Sam Felder/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tesla has already established itself in the luxury car business, but now it has its eyes set on the US’s most popular type of truck.

As a producer of electric vehicles (EV) and energy storage devices, Tesla is no longer the outsider trying to break into the dominance of the fossil fuel car market – it is now rivalling it.

Soon to launch in Ireland, Elon Musk’s company has already established itself throughout much of the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Tesla has now revealed its ambition to look past the sale of saloons and SUVs to take on the commercial sector.

In a tweet, Musk said that the company will announce a new fully electric truck sometime in September this year.

Appealing to a home base

According to the BBC, Tesla will reveal a pickup truck – called the Model P – within the next 18 to 24 months.

The decision to release an EV pickup truck makes sense in the US market, where the three most popular cars sold are all pickups.

Musk’s first indication that such a vehicle was in the works was back in the summer of 2016, when he revealed the second part of Tesla’s master plan, describing the future release of a “new kind of pickup truck”.

The release of a large truck for hauling goods will also be an interesting addition to a market that is rapidly changing in terms of technology.

Currently in the US, 3.5m people – or nearly 1pc of the country’s population – are employed as truckers.

Future of trucking

As the technology behind self-driving vehicles reaches the point that motorway driving is already being undertaken by autonomous vehicle systems – especially Tesla – the future of trucking as a career is under threat.

Given Tesla’s work in the field, it is almost a certainty that these trucks will come with its AutoPilot software. In Europe, trucks have already driven across countries with no human in control.

Tesla also had an update on its much anticipated Model 3 car, which the company previously said would arrive in the middle of 2018 at the earliest.

Musk confirmed that the final version will be unveiled in July, with the first batch of units delivered to customers as early as the end of this year.

Tesla logo. Image: Sam Felder/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic