Tesla is beginning to take the form of your typical automotive brand. It currently has a full-size sedan and a crossover on the market, it will soon introduce the compact Model 3 and company founder Elon Musk recently divulged plans to bring both a transport truck and a pickup truck to market. That latter product probably has domestic automakers like Ram and Ford a bit worried that Tesla is going to take away some of their business – not that they already weren’t a bit intimated by the electric car maker.
Musk revealed on Twitter this week that Tesla’s full electric transport truck will first be shown in September of this year, with a pickup truck debuting in 18 to 24 months’ time. The pickup is still a long way out, then, which leaves Ram, Ford and General Motors’ Chevrolet and GMC brands plenty of time to respond. The only problem is we’re not sure if any of the American brands will have a true answer to Tesla’s pickup.
All of the Big Three are currently planning hybrid or “mild hybrid” versions of their pickup trucks, but as far as we know, none of them have all-electric variants in the works. Ram was recently spied testing a four-cylinder version of its Ram 1500 that was suspected to be hiding some sort of electric drive system and Ford also has a hybrid F-150 in the works. A fully electric truck, however, is a bit of a gamble seeing as many pickup buyers will want a good amount of range. This is hard to achieve with an EV truck, as range may dip sharply once towing and cold weather are brought into the mix. Cost, reliability and off-road performance are other factors we could see becoming an issue.
The Ram hybrid is expected to arrive for the 2018 model year, with the F-150 hybrid set to hit dealers sometime in 2020. We imagine Tesla’s pickup will arrive sometime around 2020 as well, so get ready for an all-out hybrid-electric domestic pickup truck war.
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