Elon Musk seems to have an idea about Tesla’s next big vehicle project, at least after the Cybertruck, Semi, and next-generation Roadster. Based on the CEO’s recent comments, it appears that Tesla is testing the waters for a “Robovan,” which could be used for both people and cargo.
Musk mentioned the Robovan in a recent Twitter post, writing that “maybe Tesla should make a highly configurable Robovan for people & cargo?” The suggestion was met with mostly positive comments from the electric vehicle community, though some reminded the CEO that Tesla already has quite a lot on its plate with the Cybertruck.
That being said, Musk does seem to have some general ideas about the Tesla “Robovan.” When asked by the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley group if it would be possible to release an all-electric van that’s bigger than the Tesla Model X, Musk slyly responded with a winking emoji.
Musk’s references to the Robovan being able to carry both people and cargo could hint at a strategy that’s adopted by numerous van-makers today. Volkswagen, for example, recently released its all-electric ID.Buzz, which is available in configurations that are optimized either for cargo or people. Cargo versions of an all-electric van have a lot of potential, as they could be useful for small businesses that perform deliveries around town.
While Musk may seem like he is suddenly springing up the idea of a Tesla Robovan out of the blue today, this is not the case. The Tesla CEO actually mentioned the vehicle early last year. During a previous Tesla earnings call, the topic of a Tesla van was brought up by RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak. In response, Musk noted that he believes “Tesla is definitely going to make an electric van at some point.”
Later around September 2021, Elon Musk reportedly mentioned the Robovan again during an all-hands meeting with Tesla employees. During the meeting, Musk reportedly highlighted that the Robovan would not only be capable of transporting large numbers of people — it would also be designed in such a way that individuals with disabilities could get in and out of the vehicle easily.
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