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Tesla Again Promises Electric Pickup

Tesla Again Promises Electric PickupTesla Again Promises Electric Pickup

Elon Musk is promising to make an electric pickup -- repeating a pledge he first made in 2013.

In a twitter conversation with Tesla fans, one asked Musk for an electric pickup. “I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y. Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years,” he responded, CNN reported.

The Model Y is the working name for a lower cost crossover, comparable in price to Tesla’s Model 3, or about $35,000. The current Model X crossover typically runs more than $100,000.

Musk has been somewhat vague about the timing of the Model Y. He told investors in May that “we need to come out with the Model Y sometime in 2020 or late 2019.”

Musk has been talking and tweeting about an electric pickup since at least 2013. He said then he wanted to build a truck to compete with the Ford F150, the bestselling vehicle of any kind in the US market every year for the last several decades.

It is not clear how great demand is for an electric plug-in pickup. Buyers have remained extremely loyal to Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler’s Ram brand.

According to figures from Autodata, Japanese automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan between them have been able to take only about 14% of the US pickup market, by far their smallest market share of any segment. Other foreign automakers do not even offer a pickup in the United States.

In November, Tesla unveiled plans for a semi-truck, which it said it will start producing in 2019.

The ever-ambitious Musk has been overly optimistic time and time again about when he would be able to deliver on his promises. He said earlier this year he expected to make 1,500 of the Model 3 in the third quarter. Instead the company made only 260. He also predicted 5,000 by the end of the year.

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