PALO ALTO, Calif. - Tesla's soon-to-be-unveiled pickup truck will have a starting price of less than $50,000, it will be a better truck than a Ford F-150 and it will outperform a Porsche 911, according to CEO Elon Musk.
"It just can't be unaffordable," Musk said of the truck during an interview on the Ride the Lightning podcast.
That price would undercut the trucks that electric truck maker Rivian plans to offer next year. The starting price of those trucks is expected to be just under $70,000. Ford is investing $500 million in Rivian and Amazon led a group of investors putting $700 million into the Michigan-based company.
Rivian's trucks are designed especially to excel off-road, something Musk did not boast about for Tesla's truck. Musk did say, though, that it would excel on the road.
"This will be a better truck than an F-150 in terms of truck-like functionality," Musk said, "and be a better sports car than a standard 911. That's the aspiration."
Musk has said on Twitter that the base pickup truck will have all-wheel-drive and "crazy torque" from two electric motors. Torque is a measure of pulling power.
Musk did not say to which version of the F-150 he was comparing the Tesla. There are many. Ford F-150 prices vary enormously from $30,000 for a simple work truck to more than $70,000 for roomy, luxurious trucks with powerful engines. Ford has also said it will make its own all-electric version of the F-150.
Even at less than $50,000, the Tesla pickup would still cost more than the average truck. The average price paid for a pickup in America last month was about $37,000, according to the auto web site KBB.com.
The design of the Tesla pickup may be off-putting to many, Musk said.
"It won't look like a normal truck. It's going to look pretty sci-fi, it's not going to be for everyone," Musk said of the truck. "If somebody just wants a truck that looks like trucks have looked for the last 20 years, 30 years, or 40 years, this probably isn't for them."
Musk has said the truck would be unveiled this year.
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