Musk confirms Tesla semi truck reveal in September, pickup truck in 18 to 24 months

Tesla logo
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed timelines for the company’s electric semi truck and pickup truck on Friday via his favorite method of communication: Twitter.

In one tweet, Musk said the Tesla semi truck would be revealed in September. It’s possible Tesla will only unveil a prototype, as it did with its Model 3 launch, and follow it up with a production model sometime later. In a separate tweet, Musk said the pickup truck would appear in 18 to 24 months.

Both vehicles were mentioned in Musk’s second-phase “Master Plan” for Tesla, which he unveiled last year. They were part of a range of new vehicles promised by Musk, which also included an electric SUV and a bus-like autonomous vehicle. Tesla will keep its engineers very busy in the coming years, it seems.

At a recent TED talk, Musk gave us a bit more information, offering up a teaser image of the semi truck for the first time. He even told audience members that he’s driven the truck around the Tesla parking lot, and that he hopes the electric vehicle will outperform a diesel truck’s range and torque.

While the semi truck has only been discussed fairly recently, Tesla has actually hinted at an electric pickup truck quite a few times before. The first time was in 2013, when Musk said Tesla might open a factory in truck-loving Texas and build a pickup there. When he mentioned this, Musk was testifying before the Texas legislature over letting Tesla sell cars directly to customers in the state. Tesla doesn’t use franchised dealers, which has led several states, including Texas, to institute sales bans due to perceived violations of franchise laws.

Americans buy more pickups than any other vehicle type, so it’s not surprising that Tesla wants one of its own. But a pickup would be unlike any other vehicle Tesla has developed so far, and that lack of truck experience could cause issues. A small truck maker called Workhorse is also developing an electric pickup, but with a range-extending gasoline engine.

More groups have toyed with the idea of electric semi trucks, which have the potential to vastly reduce emissions and transportation costs. But the limits current battery technology place on range have been a major hurdle, leading companies to propose everything from stringing overhead wires on highways to getting truckers to swap vehicles during their runs. Interestingly, another company named after Nikola Tesla, Nikola Motors, is also developing a zero-emission semi truck. Called the Nikola One, it combines hydrogen fuel cells with batteries.

Article updated on 04-29-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added image of the upcoming electric semi truck from Tesla. 


Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.

From cars to computers: How data is transforming F1 racing

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…

Recall bounty hunters needed as millions ignore deadly Takata airbag recall

It's the recall campaign from hell and too many people aren't responding. Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and Carma Project want to give financial rewards to people who alert family and friends to the deadly Takata airbag recall.

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Beltronics.

Domino’s in-car infotainment app lets you order pizza on the drive home

As if you needed yet another way to order a Domino's Pizza. The company has now teamed up with car software firm Xevo on an app that’ll let you order pie through your car's infotainment system in just a few taps.

Audi isn’t giving up on sedans as it pivots towards electrification

Audi wants to release no less than 12 electric cars by 2025. Most of them will be SUVs and crossovers, but the company still believes in sedans. It's working on an A4-sized, battery-powered four-door expected to come out by 2023.