UPDATE: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has issued a tweet correcting this article. Musk noted that he merely mentioned the Cybertruck at the event, not as a way to pitch the vehicle. “This is based on an incorrect Electrek article. The Air Force asked me to speak at a startup conference called “Pitch Day” & I happened to mention Cybertruck. They don’t buy APCs. It’s the Air Force,” Musk said.
This is based on an incorrect Electrek article. The Air Force asked me to speak at a startup conference called “Pitch Day” & I happened to mention Cybertruck. They don’t buy APCs. It’s the Air Force.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2019
Original text follows.
During the recently-held Air Force Space Pitch Day in San Francisco on Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk lightly mentioned the idea of using Tesla’s upcoming “Cyberpunk” pickup truck as a potential vehicle for the US military. This bodes well for Tesla’s “Cybertruck.”
Musk described the vehicle once more as a futuristic-looking truck that would not look out of place in a science fiction movie set. Reiterating a previous tweet, Musk mentioned that the truck will look like a futuristic armored personnel carrier, a vehicle that the military is all-too-familiar with.
“We are going to come out with the Tesla pickup truck, or we call it ‘Cybertruck.’ I mean, it looks like an armored personnel carrier from the future. It doesn’t look like a normal car. You may like it, you may not. I like it. It’s going to look like it came off a movie set. When it goes down the road. Like, ‘Whoa, What’s that thing?'” Musk said.
Musk mentioned once more that while the design of the Cybertruck will likely polarize people, it is a vehicle that he is particularly fond of. This, according to Musk, is a very important thing for a manufacturer. “All the time people try to make products that they think others would love, but that they don’t love themselves. If you don’t love the product, you shouldn’t expect others to,” he said.
Considering Musk’s recent pitch, it seems safe to assume that the Tesla Cybertruck will be quite a large vehicle. Even the military’s light vehicles are pretty large, after all, such as the ubiquitous Humvee, which can seat anywhere from four to nine people. Musk’s statements also suggest that the Tesla Cybertruck will not be a city car like the Model S, X, Model 3, and Y. Instead, the pickup truck will likely be built tough, and be capable of traversing rough terrain.
In a way, an all-electric pickup truck would actually make sense for the military. The Cybertruck (or at least a military-spec variant of the vehicle) would be a breeze to charge if it’s stationed in a nuclear-powered ship, for example, allowing the US military to transport less extra fuel during its excursions. It will also be able to “refuel” pretty much anywhere provided that remote military bases have solar panels and battery storage devices. These are all just ideas, of course, but they do give a glimpse of some practical advantages of a tough, all-electric vehicle for military use.
The Tesla Cybertruck will be released this month, as per Elon Musk’s most recent announcements on Twitter. That being said, the electric car maker is yet to provide a final date for the vehicle’s launch. Invitations for the pickup truck unveiling event have also not been distributed as of yet.