Texas has had a solid reputation as a “red” state where pickups and cowboys are the norm since the Nixon era. Yet the Lone Star state has a lot of green credibility too, and Elon Musk is trying to entice Texas lawmakers with the possibility of opening a second manufacturing facility that could, potentially, build an all-electric pickup truck.
Musk is hoping to convince Texas lawmakers to vote yes on a new law that would allow electric vehicle makers to sell cars directly to customers. Right now, Tesla has two “galleries” that are legally prohibited from giving potential customers any sales information, including cost, financing, warranty, or even test drives. Texas Tesla service centers can’t even evaluate cars for warranty infomation, making it quite difficult to actually sell a Tesla Model S in Texas.
Despite this, Tesla has still managed to sell 400 Model S sedans to customers in Texas, though Musk believes that if this new law were in place, annual sales could amount to 2,000 vehicles or more. This would make the Lone Star state second in Tesla sales, behind California, which led Musk to dangle the potential for a new manufacturing facility in front of legislators.
And what would this plant build? At first, probably just more Model S sedans, though Musk has an idea for an electric pickup that might float better with Texas. An all-electric pickup? Musk says it would have “sports car performance” but would be geared towards towing and capacity, more than a comparable gas or diesel truck.
As wild as it sounds, an electric pickup could be as reliable, if not even more so, than a diesel truck, as there are far fewer moving parts. But would Texans really embrace an electric pickup? We have awhile to wait, as Tesla still has to make the Model X SUV, a BMW 3-series competitor, and a new Tesla Roadster before a pickup can even be considered. Meanwhile, VIA Motors is already offering plug-in hybrid pickups for fleet purchase, which gives them a head start on Tesla, if nothing else.
But maybe one day, Texans will have their choice between gas, diesel, hybrid, and electric pickups. Wouldn’t that be something?
Source: Automotive News