Elon Musk is promoting a bizarre-looking Tesla Pickup Truck. Thus, Musk is finally demonstrating real knowledge of the auto business.
A Tesla pickup makes sense because pickups are America’s family car in the 21st Century. In fact, the three bestselling vehicles in America are pickup up trucks.
The top-three selling vehicles in America during the first half of 2018 were; the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Silverado, and the Ram. In addition, Business Insider reports Ford (NYSE: F) sold 451,138 F-Series pickups in the first half of 2018.
Moreover, the Ford F-Series has been America’s top selling-vehicle for 41 straight years. Yet, Musk only just noticed that pickup trucks dominate the American auto market. I have to wonder where Elon has been living.
The Tesla Pickup Truck is straight from Blade Runner
The Tesla Pickup Truck will be a big vehicle with a “really futuristic-like cyberpunk Blade Runner’ design,” Musk tells Recode.
I think the Tesla Pickup truck looks like a Tesla semi with a bed stuffed on the back. Consequently, the Tesla Pickup reminds me of the Econoline pickup Ford sold back in the 1960s. To clarify, Ford stuffed a pickup bed on an Econoline van to create a neat looking vehicle.
Thus, the Tesla Pickup will provide the basis for a Tesla van to compete with the Ford Transit and Fiat Chrysler’s (NYSE: FCIU) Pro Master City. Moreover, Tesla could build a wide variety of vehicles; such as ambulances and motorhomes, cPickup frame.
The Tesla Pickup Truck is a Smart Move Commercially
Therefore, the Tesla Pickup is a smart move commercially. Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) could use it for the basis for a full line of commercial vehicles.
Another obvious use for the Pickup will be as an army truck. The Tesla Pickup interest the military because it needs no fuel.
Fuel is a liability on the battlefield because it is flammable. Additionally, fuel is heavy and takes up space that could hold ammunition.
The enemy can destroy plus fuel dumps and trucks carrying fuel. Moreover, soldiers have to be diverted from attacking the enemy to guard fuel trucks. The army of the future will generate electricity on the battlefield with solar panels or windmills.
The Tesla Pickup Truck is designed for Preppers
The Musk apparently designed the Pickup for preppers preparing for the apocalypse. For instance, it will feature six seats and a 400 to 500 mile range, Electrek claims.
Indeed, military use will make the Tesla Pickup more appealing to preppers and the working class. In fact, the cyberpunk design will appeal to appeal to preppers and the military.
The Tesla Pickup is a big truck so it will deter zombie attacks and marauding bandits. Concept art shows the Tesla Pickup with a high drive train for off-road driving.
Tesla Energy expands Utility Business
Tesla Energy’s Powerpack is becoming the standard battery storage solution for utilities.
For instance, a PowerPack connected to a 600 kilowatt (kW) tidal power station is operating in Scotland. The station uses tidal movement to generate power stored in the Powerpack, Electrek reports.
Thus, electricity generated at high tide is fed into the grid after tide goes down. Nova Innovation operates the tidal power station which financed by the government of Scotland. The station looks like a wind turbine in the sea.
Moreover, Tesla is working on four projects that will store 1.1 Gigawatts (GWh); or 1.1 billion watts, of electricity for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). The PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) is the main electric utility in Northern California.
Tesla will supply powerpacks for three third-party owned battery farms and one PG&E owned facility, Electrek reports. The proposed facilities will be massive, for example a PG&E battery farm at Moss Landing will store up to 182 megawatts of electricity.
The entire project will have as much storage capacity as 3,000 Tesla Powerpack 2 units. Hence, Tesla Energy is the leader in supplying battery backups to utilities.
Tesla Energy brings Solar in House
Tesla Energy; formerly Solar City, is bringing its solar panel production in house.
Notably, most of its solar-electric projects utilize Tesla-branded solar panels built at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, Electrek reports. To clarify, Tesla formerly used equipment supplied by manufacturers such as Panasonic.
Currently, 68% of Tesla solar installs in California use Tesla-made panels. Thus, Tesla now controls its solar panel supply chain.
Tesla needs to up its solar electric game, because it is losing ground in the field to Sunrun, The New York Times claims. To clarify, analysts interviewed by The Times think the privately-held Sunrun will become the top-residential solar installer.
Is Tesla pulling out of the Home Solar Market?
Musk, however, may not mind Tesla’s losing ground in solar installation. I think Musk is repositioning Tesla as a supplier to companies like Surun. To clarify, Tesla will make the money by selling solar systems.
Meanwhile Sunrun deals with the headaches of installation, maintenance, and customer service. For example, Tesla is cutting back on its installation activities.
Sunrun’s business model is to buy solar panels from companies like Tesla. In particular, Sunrun could be a large customer for Tesla’s Solar Roof, Powerwall, and other home products.
Thus, Musk is showing that he is a savvy businessman who is changing Tesla’s business model. However, only time will tell if Tesla will ever make money.