Tesla all-electric ‘ute’ verges on a reality

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From pv magazine Australia.

Perhaps buoyed by the success of the Model 3 after its belated arrival on Australian shores, Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to have decided to sweep Australians completely off their feet with the Tesla electric utility vehicle verging on reality. Unless Musk has plans to come up with a pack of never-ending Tim-Tam biscuits, a ‘ute’ is the surest way to Australian hearts. 

The release of the long-awaited vehicle is set for November and Musk has teased the launch on Twitter. 

In his social media update, Musk claimed the vehicle resembled an “armored personnel carrier from the future”. Whether the CEO thinks a design of that type is particularly appealing to Americans whose pick-up truck taste mimics their meal serving expectations, or whether he was attempting to get his foot in the door early for a military contract, is not yet clear.

If nothing else, Musk’s braggadocio is at least a good sign the electric ute’s release has not suffered any of the delays which have hampered Tesla’s other recent launches. Some Australian punters had to wait almost three years for their Model 3s after paying for pre-orders.  

The delays to the Model 3 were primarily driven by Musk’s promised price point of US$35,000. The news of the upcoming ute release will be particularly pleasing then, as Tesla is planning to put the ute on the market for less than US$50,000 (AU$73,200). It seems the lessons learnt in the Model 3 release are enabling Tesla to keep its latest models on track. 

We already know from previous Musk teases that the electric ute will be powered by a dual-motor, all-wheel drive with “crazy torque and a suspension that dynamically adjusts for load”. Tesla has also floated the idea the ute will feature outlets for heavy-duty power tools.

By Blake Matich