Expect (or at least hope for) multiple innovations from the much anticipated new Tesla pickup truck that has been teased by Tesla's founder, Elon Musk, might be launched by October 2019, and is a hot trending online topic. I believe that Tesla's all electric engine and battery storage should allow for avant-garde design changes and pioneering pickup truck functionality. Below is a list of what we may see:
- No front hood: An all electric engine means that the pickup can look more like a "flat face" truck with a "cab over" design; a shorter front may also allow for easier turning and parking
- Front storage: A flat face truck front could allow for vertically hinged doors that provide shelf access for tools or golf club storage where a grill would normally be
- Higher ground clearance: An all electric engine(S) that provides power directly to each wheel could eliminate axle hubs (which are the bane of ground clearance) and provide best in class ground clearance versus conventional pickup trucks
- Lower pickup bed floor: The most difficult function of a pickup truck is loading it with heavy things, which is ironic, since that is what it is made for. Lowering the floor of the bed would make the truck significantly easier to load. If the rear axle hub is eliminated (see point 3 above) then the bed floor could be lower than conventional pickups
- Rear hatch loading ramp: A tailgate that can slope nearly to the ground would double as a ramp and make truck loading easier; a lower truck bed (see point 4 above) makes this more possible
- Centered weight distribution: Unlike the Tesla models S, X, and 3, which distribute batteries from wheel to wheel, across the entire bottom of the car, battery placement for the pickup in either the back wall of the cabin, the front wall of the pickup bed, or the bottom of the cabin could allow for better weight distribution in a loaded truck and allow for a lower pickup bed floor (see point 4 above). Compare this to conventional pickup trucks that have a heavy engine in the front balanced by a heavy full fuel tank in the rear
- Continuous track: Off roading would be revolutionized if the the rear tires were replaced with continuous track (a.k.a, caterpillar track) which provides phenomenal grip and weight distribution! But that probably won't happen ;)
Any one of these hypothetical changes would be progressive and a huge differentiator. A combination of them could make the Tesla pickup truck front of mind for traditional buyers. We'll see what comes to fruition and how that compares to current full size pickup truck leaders like the Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, FCA Ram, and Toyota Tundra.
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Additional disclosure: The views and opinions expressed are those of Michael Ashley Schulman, CFA and are subject to change without notice. This material is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or commodity or invest in any specific strategy, and is not a recommendation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account each investor’s unique circumstances. Information has been speculatively made up or obtained from sources believed to be reliable; its accuracy, completeness and interpretation cannot be guaranteed. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Stocks, securities, and companies mentioned may be held long or short by the author.