Electric Pickup Roundup: Musk Says Tesla’s Cyberpunk Truck is Months Away

The electric pickup market is starting to take shape and there seems to be a steady stream of developments making headlines from both startups and the auto giants.

One of the most highly-anticipated items to watch is the debut of Tesla’s pickup. It sounds like it’s receiving final touches. 

Replying to a Twitter follower anxious for details, Musk said the debut is a couple months away. “The magic is in the final details,” he said.

That Twitter follower isn’t the only one excited for news on the vehicle that Musk calls the “coolest car he’s ever seen.” Car news site AutoWise analyzed geotagged Twitter data for more than 100,000 tweets and found that the Tesla Pickup is currently more talked about than the bestselling Ford F-150.

According to Autowise: “The Ford F-150 is currently the most popular truck in every state, but when put up against the upcoming Tesla pickup truck… it is defeated at a count of 26 states to 24. With most of the Tesla support coming from the West Coast and Upper East coast. The south holds all the support for the Ford F-150.”

Musk has said that Tesla intends to build a pickup that’s “more functional than a [Ford] F-150, but a better sports car than a basic [Porsche] 911.”

The cyberpunk-inspired pickup truck will cost less than $50,000, Musk said.


Rivian’s highly-anticipated electric pickup is in pre-production manufacturing. The company shared pictures of the first body panels lined up in its Illinois factory. 

The company has had several vehicles on display at auto shows and events around the country, but prospective customers haven’t had the chance to take the wheel. Rivian also tweeted that test drives will be available closer to production.

Rivian also attracted headlines recently when a video made rounds on the internet showing the company’s R1T pickup doing 180-degree tank turns. Unfortunately, it seems the video was computer-generated and not an official video from the company. 

That said, the rumors of a tank-steering Rivian persist. The company previously trademarked the terms Tank Turn and Tank Steer. “All I can say is that it wasn’t an official video, and that we have discussed Tank Steer as a feature,” a spokesperson told DigitalTrends.

Rivian plans to begin production in 2020 and claims that it will be able to produce 250,000 vehicles per year at its factory.


Bollinger is still planning to deliver its first electric B1 SUV and B2 pickup next year. In the meantime, it’s letting customers dream up how they would like their all-electric, off-road vehicle configured. 

The company recently released a set of renderings based on conversations with Bollinger fans regarding how they would trick out their ride. The renderings show tube-frame doors,  rear-mount and front-mount spare tire options, a roof rack with ample storage for equipment, and roof-mounted off-road lights.

Since it first showed off a prototype vehicle in 2017, Bollinger has consistently offered a behind-the-scenes look at the development process. A recent video from the company went into detail on the vehicle’s transaxle, which is a 2-speed gearbox to enable better off-road capabilities. Check out the video here


Ford seems to be firing up the marketing efforts for an electric pickup. In a recent stunt, the automaker used its F-150 electric prototype to pull 10 double-decker rail cars over 1,000 feet. The rail cars are loaded with 42 gas-burning F-150s, weighing in at more than 1 million pounds.

It’s great to see one of the big manufacturers of trucks making the case that electric vehicles are beyond capable. Watch the video here.

Ford announced earlier this year a $500 million investment in Rivian, and a plan for collaboration. Ford will have access to Rivian’s electric “skateboard” technology, a rolling chassis that stores the battery pack and can be used for various body configurations.

With the partnership, Rivian will have access to Ford’s engineering and manufacturing resources as it ramps up production of its R1S (SUV) and R1T (truck).


Chinese automaker Kaiyun Motors may take claim as the company who first offered an all-electric pickup, but it’s Pickman is even too mini to be a mini truck. The EV began selling to U.S. customers in May.

With a payload of 1,100 pounds and a top speed of about 30 mph, the company believes their mini electric vehicles are more than enough to meet consumers’ daily needs. 

Quartz reports that Kaiyun has sold around 40 cars to the US, mostly in California. 

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