Elon Musk loves a surprise. The Tesla boss caught us napping last week with the reveal of a 400kph EV Roadster, hidden away in his new truck – one noticeably quicker than most supercars from the Eighties, and one that’ll do 800km on a charge. He also loves Easter Eggs. Not the chocolatey ones laid by rabbits in April, but hidden gems in his cars, software or, this time, presentations.
The observant among you will have noticed a slightly smaller but still massive bakkie hauling a Ford F-150 SuperCrew sketched out on the projector during his speech.
“We created a pickup truck version of the Tesla Semi,” Musk said during his presentation. “It’s a pickup truck that can carry a pickup truck.”
Considering America’s best-selling vehicle class is still the bakkie, and much the same theme is repeated in most parts of African and Australasia, Musk is sensing an opportunity.
He later confirmed that you’ll be able to drive Tesla’s bakkie with a normal driver’s licence, rather than a specialist code EB for one. Which is odd because Tesla’s bakkie looks huge. Like, Unimog huge.
Visually, it looks like the potentially game-changing Semi truck, just with one less axle. So, we’d assume one less motor. But other than the speculative renders, we know little else about this potential bakkie. With Australian mining companies having commissioned specialised electric Land Cruiser 70 bakkies, the applicability fo battery powered bakkies is in no doubt. Tesla could most certainly have a winner on its hands here.
The question with all things Tesla, remains volume. The company shows amazing potential, but customers are required to show perhaps too much faith – gifting Tesla the funding benefit of massive deposits, whilst datelines for vehicle delivery keep drawing further onto a seemingly undefined horizon.
Tesla fan-people might be tolerant towards late delivery of the Model 3 sedans, but bakkie customers might not be quite as tolerant to the cult of Musk.