Tesla is planning an electric truck potentially built on the same "skateboard" platform as the Model S, with founder Elon Musk also revealing self-driving car ambitions. The outspoken CEO confirmed the truck on Tesla's roadmap in the aftermath of the Model S winning 2013 Car of the Year, telling Motor Trend that it "could really be a big improvement in truck technology" though not specifying how, beyond being more environmentally-friendly, that would be the case.
"We have this idea for an electric truck that could really be a big improvement in truck technology" Musk said. "I'm really excited about bringing out a whole series of cars that address a wide range of consumer interests and needs."
One obvious possibility is the amount of torque Tesla's electric powerplants can deliver, considerably in excess of what gas engines are associated with. In fact, 100-percent of torque is available from the outset, with no ramping up to maximum power. That could pay dividends for the sort of tough driving conditions trucks are often associated with.
As for autonomous vehicles, Musk has ambitious hopes for who Tesla might one day partner with. "I do think it will be interesting to do self-driving cars, perhaps working in conjunction with Google, who's quite close to us in Silicon Valley" he suggested. "Larry Page and Sergey Brin are longtime friends of mine, so it would be great to work with them, maybe to do self-driving."
Already on the Tesla roadmap is a new crossover SUV and a replacement to the original Roadster, both expected to arrive sometime around 2016. The crossover will challenge BMW's X3, while the new sports model will deliver "supercar performance, but not supercar pricing" according to Musk.