At first it seemed like Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was kidding about an all-electric pickup truck.
Then the concept got a little bit more real.
On Tuesday the serial entrepreneur (who is also CEO of SpaceX, the rocket company) revealed a vague timeline for the vehicle, saying that he plans to build a Tesla pickup truck after bringing the Model Y electric crossover to market. The Model Y has a tentative launch date of 2019 and follows production of its mass market Model 3 vehicle.
“I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y,” Musk wrote in a tweet. “Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years. Am dying to build.”
Musk first showed early designs of the vehicle in November, when Tesla first revealed its Semi truck to the public. “It’s a pickup truck that can carry a pickup truck,” Musk said at the time. “You’ll actually be able to legally drive that with a driver’s license.”
But the company’s ambitions must be grounded in reality. Tesla Motors earlier this year revealed that it had fallen short of analysts’ expectations for the Model 3, making just 260 of the 2,000 expected mass market vehicles in the third quarter. More recent reports from one of Tesla’s auto components makers, Taiwan’s Hota Industrial Mfg., suggest that production is once again ramping up, a sign that the automaker could be getting its plans back on track.