Elon Musk says Tesla pickup will start at $49,000 and be better than a Ford F-150

Elon Musk said he’s aiming to build an electric Tesla pickup that’s better than a Ford F-150 at a starting price of $49,000 or less.

A reveal of the new model is expected this year.

The Tesla CEO told the Ride the Lighting podcast that “It just can’t be unaffordable,” but that its styling isn’t for everyone.

“It won’t look like a normal truck. It’s going to look pretty sci-fi,” said Musk, who has also said it’s like something out of the “Blade Runner” films.


So far Tesla has only released a shadowy teaser image of the truck, which Musk confirmed depicts its front end.

An earlier gag image of the truck depicted it with a Ford F-150 style pickup in its bed.

An earlier gag image of the truck depicted it with a Ford F-150 style pickup in its bed. (Tesla)

Musk told the podcast “the goal is to be a better truck than an F-150, in terms of truck-like functionality, and be a better sports car than a [Porsche] 911.” He has previously said that it would feature all-wheel-drive, a self-leveling suspension, a range of 400 to 500 miles per charge and the ability to tow 300,000 pounds, which is unlikely to be its SAE-approved rating.

The $49,000 figure happens to be right around the current average transaction price for an F-150, which starts under $30,000 but can be optioned up to over $70,000. Ford is working on an all-electric model that could go on sale as soon as 2021, which would likely be the earliest that Tesla could launch its truck.

Ford is also investing $500 million in startup automaker Rivian, who is scheduled to launch its premium electric midsize pickup next year with a 400-mile range at a starting price of $69,000.

Tesla has been struggling to reduce the cost of its entry-level Model 3 sedan, which was briefly available for $35,000 before increasing by $400, while a version with a 310-mile range currently starts at $49,900 before fees.