Elon Musk Confirms a Future Tesla Pickup & Semi Truck!
The Internet is abuzz with Elon Musk’s latest bloggings: “Master Plan, Part Deux.” And rightfully so. Musk’s scribblings detail a 10-year to-do list for Tesla that includes solar-powered cars, increasing autonomous driving safety, and ride sharing. But that’s not all. Musk plainly admits Tesla will expand its reach into various automotive segments, including a new compact SUV, a pickup truck, and commercial vehicles like semi trucks and city buses. Yep, it seems there’s no stopping Tesla’s momentum.
While the news of semi trucks and city buses is new, this isn’t the first we’ve heard Musk talk about a pickup truck. It was back in January 2016 during an on-camera interview in which Musk was asked if a pickup was a possibility. His response? “Quite likely… It’s sort of a logical thing for us to do in the future.” And it was just last week TopSpeed published our speculative rendering of a Tesla truck.
Musk’s blog solidifies the idea of a Tesla pickup. We can now anticipate in full faith the all-electric automaker will enter the consumer pickup segment. Details on the truck are basically nonexistence, though we’re betting Tesla’s pickup will mostly closely align with the Honda Ridgeline, a mid-sized, unibody offering.
Musk says the addition of a pickup and a compact SUV allows Tesla to “address most of the consumer market.” The sales of these new products would afford the automaker the ability for further expand its reach. Thanks where the semi trucks and buses come into play.
The blog section reads:
“In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”
We’ll have to wait for further details on Tesla’s commercial truck plans, but for now, excitement can grow knowing Tesla is indeed got an all-electric pickup on its drawing board.
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Believe it or not, it costs nearly $2,000 for Tesla to sell a 2015 Tesla Model S out of any one of its showrooms. Online sales inevitably come at a much lower price, so Tesla has decided to pass on the savings from online sales on to its customers through an experimental referral program. Current Model S owners can hand out a referral link to any of their friends. If a sale is generated through the link, the current owner and new customer get a $1,000 credit toward a new Model S. If the current owner isn’t looking to purchase a new Model S, he can use the credit toward service or accessories for the one he already owns. So, what if you have more than one friend interested in buying a Tesla? Well, if you have five or 10, the incentives get even better.
Any Model S owner who generates five online sales through his referral link gets a tour of Tesla’s Gigafactory, and 10 referrals gets him a $20,000 credit toward a Founder’s Series Model X. The program doesn’t stop there either. The first owner in each region to hit 10 successful referrals gets a brand new, fully-loaded 2016 Tesla Model X for free. Currently, the referral program is set to expire on October 31, 2015, but if it is successful, Musk may continue the program and potentially extend it to used models as well.
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Tesla’s new Model III lineup won’t consist of just one model. Tesla Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel announced at the EIA Energy Conference in Washington D.C. that a Model III crossover will be available in addition to the sedan. The news comes courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, which says the new Model III crossover will be available in 2017 — the same year the sedan debuts.
Tesla has previously confirmed the sedan will start at $35,000, and as Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a conference in New Orleans about a week ago, will have a range of 250 miles, 50 miles more than the company’s original estimate. Straubel and Musk declined to share any additional information about the Model III crossover. Expect it to be a bit more expensive than the sedan but also a more-affordable alternative to the mid-size 2016 Tesla Model X, deliveries of which Musk says will begin in a few months.
The Model III crossover will likely use the same chassis and drivetrain as the sedan, but expect maximum range to take a slight hit due to its taller aerodynamic profile. We already know the sedan will take aim at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, so expect the Model III crossover to be positioned against the X3, GLC and Q5.
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Deliveries of the highly anticipated Model X, Tesla’s first electric crossover, could commence this September. That’s the word from company CEO Elon Musk, who at the 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting in Mountain View, California, said that the first examples of the 2016 Tesla Model X will reach their customers late in the third quarter of 2015, Autoblog reports.
That’s two years later than initially announced, but it’s better late than never, right?
So what kept Tesla from releasing the all-electric SUV on time? Well, it seems it has something to with its fancy falcon-wing doors, which require large torsion springs and extensive testing to withstand the test of time. They might be cool to look at as they reach for the sky, but they need to be as reliable and strong as regular doors. Apparently, this was rather difficult to achieve. According to Musk, Tesla engineers have also been working on the vehicle’s rear seats and "a few other things that people aren’t aware of," but no specific details were given.
Now that this is no longer a problem, production of the Model X can finally go on as planned. If Tesla’s initial claims are still in place, Musk’s company should build at least 10,000 SUVs a year. Pricing is likely to start from around $82,000 for the base model, before the $7,500 federal tax credit.
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We always see new little wrinkles in automotive dealerships to try and make the car-buying experience seem less stressful and forced. Two key examples are the “No-Haggle” promise offered by now-defunct Saturn and the “Sign-and-Drive” deals offered by several manufacturers now, but started by VW. These are less about making the process easier for the consumer and more about increasing the dealer’s profits while displaying the illusion of an easy-going sales force, which is an oxymoron for any commissioned sales job.
Tesla appears to be going into a realm where car buying is a simple and stress-free environment. How they are achieving this is by beginning with the elimination of the traditional dealership and replacing it with smaller stores in local malls. The second step is to eliminate all commissions and pay the employees a salary. The third step is to not require car sales experience as a prerequisite for hiring, which eliminates the high-pressure “Sell now or sell never” mentality. To get a good picture of what to expect, walk into an Apple store in a local mall and see how laid back it is. You can walk in and play with all of the gadgets without a single sales person bothering you until you ask.
You may be wondering about the floor models and demo models. Keep in mind that all Teslas are built to order, so stores only need a handful of models on the floor and a few test vehicles in the mall’s parking lot. The biggest focus of these stores is to simply educate the customer about Tesla models, and what better place to get plenty of people to educate than a traffic-heavy mall?
Our hats go off to Tesla in its new approach to vehicle sales, but we have a sneaking suspicion that we will see Tesla dealerships and commission-based sales in the near future. Especially if sales start taking off and more models have to be kept on hand for the I-want-it-now customer. So we’ll see exactly how long Tesla can hang onto this low-pressure buying experience before converting into your typical high-pressure dealership.
Tesla has yet to officially launch its latest EV, the Model S, and already the upstart automaker is setting up some pretty lofty goals. In an interview with CEO, Elon Musk, it was made clear that the company is confident that it will achieve 20,000 total models sold in 2013. With the Nissan Leaf eclipsing just 9,500 total sales in the U.S. in 2011, those are some pretty stratospheric goals.
This is especially difficult considering that Tesla is not expected to infiltrate the European and Asian markets until mid-2013. We do see the logic behind this though, as the base $57,400 price is relatively affordable, considering what you get at that level. Also add in the fact that the Model S is more stylish and ego-massaging than the very odd-looking and soft-feeling Leaf, and Tesla just may be able to hit those numbers.
Once Tesla debuts the Model X SUV, the automaker anticipates a huge upswing in sales at the tune of 75 percent. Yup, Tesla anticipates 2014 sales to eclipse the 35,000 mark thanks to its newest EV SUV, which means the Model X’s sales are expected to hover around 15,000 for the year.
Overall, these are very high goals to achieve for an automaker that really has no reputation or customer base to attach its wagon to yet. However, there are tons of enthusiasts out there that would love nothing more than a 300-mile-per-charge supercar that hits 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and still hauls the family around. So, if Tesla remains true to its promises with the Model S, we could all see this new automaker well exceeding its projected goals.
We’ll be closely monitoring the sales of the Model S to see if the demand is there and if this upstart can provide ample supply if the demand is high.
The long-awaited revelation of the Tesla Model X has finally arrived. And we gotta admit, the hype and all that wait was definitely worth it.
As the third model of Tesla’s company automotive portfolio, the Model X Crossover carries the same design architecture of the Model S. As expected, the front end of the Model X is similar to the Model S while the sloping roofline exudes an aura of coupe-like aggressiveness and downright awesomeness. We gotta give props to Tesla on the design of the prototype crossover because it looks amazing!
But the biggest talking point of the Model X are the so-called "falcon doors"on the rear, allowing the passengers a rather unique access to the car. These rear doors are complete with a hinge in the middle of the door that allows it to be folded and opened in tighter spaces. Say what again?
Inside, the Model X was designed to carry three rows of seats, providing enough space for - at the most - seven adults while also having ample room to carry some extra luggage. Another unique feature of the Model X is that it has two storage areas - one in the front and another in the back - that was made possible because the crossover doesn’t carry a combustion engine.
Speaking of the engine, Tesla announced that the Model X will carry the same batteries that are currently being used on the Model S, particularly 40-, 60-, 80-kWh battery packs that allow a variety of powertrain options for prospective customers. The expected range for the Model X is expected to be 145 miles for the 40kWh batter pack and up to 275 miles for the much more powerful 80kWh model.
Considering that Tesla waited a while to unveil the Model X, the crossover’s mind-blowing design has made the wait worth every second. Here’s to hoping that the production version remains the same as the prototype!
The Tesla Roadster is already a success on the market - there are more than 1,200 units on the streets despite its costly price tag, but the company is not stopping there. In 2012, Tesla will also be bringing in a Model S sedan said to be priced at about half the price of the Roadster. And Tesla is not stopping there.
In a recent interview, Tesla chairman Elon Musk talked about the company’s future plans and they sounded impressive. The first generation Roadster will go out of production in 2012, but the company is preparing for a successor for the next year. New models will also be unveiled in 2013 and 2014, including a crossover. The future products will also be four-wheel drive models.
And the good news keeps coming as Tesla announced that with every new model, they are focusing on making them more affordable "and by the time the third one arrives, it’s expected to be attainable for mainstream customers, in contrast to the expensive, performance-oriented Roadster."
We are happy that Tesla has such a positive outlook into its future considering they only have one model cruising the streets at this point. We just hope they have the cash flow to substantiate such an elaborate car producing scheme. Can’t wait! Maybe they firmly believe that of the whole car-making thing doesn’t work out, they can just sell batteries, chargers, and electric drive train technology to other suppliers. That’s the plan they have outlined anyway.
At Detroit Auto Show,
Martin Eberhard, chief executive office and founder of Tesla Motors said that Tesla plans to build a sedan crossover vehicle to fill out its model line. The company has already hired a dozen engineers to staff its new technical center in Rochester Hills, Mich., to manage the project.
Eberhard said Tesla’s goal is to produce a second electric vehicle that will sell for around $50,000, or about half the price of the all-electric Tesla Roadster, which will retail for (...)