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Did Tesla Just Lose the Battle for Electric Trucks?

Don't look now, but Elon Musk may have just lost the battle for electric trucks.

Earlier this month, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) CEO Musk pooh-poohed the idea that his company might be interested in building electric delivery trucks for parcel posters FedEx (NYSE: FDX  ) and UPS (NYSE: UPS  ) . Musk is still mulling the idea of attacking the consumer market for trucks, where Ford (NYSE: F  ) sells 60,000 units of its F-150 a month. But the 140,000-odd vehicle delivery fleets at the two giant shippers just aren't big enough to interest him.

Great! Then this latest news won't upset him a bit: Pretty soon, Musk may not have a choice. Pretty soon, he may be locked out of the delivery truck market entirely.

Tesla's had a good run in electric cars, and the road looks open to it, but .... Source: Tesla.

What's that in Tesla's rearview mirror?
Former General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, the man who pushed GM into the electric era by championing development of the Chevy Volt, took the stage at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles this past week to unveil his latest project. You guessed it: an electric truck.

Now a director at privately owned VIA Motors, Lutz announced this week that his new company will soon begin production of "the world's first full size, four-wheel-drive, electric pickup trucks and vans," the very vehicles that Musk was dissing earlier this month. And if Musk doesn't see the potential in these vehicles, Lutz very much does.

VIA, run by company President (and former GM exec) Alan Perriton, thinks that by putting Volt-like engine-plus-electric technology inside a basic truck or van chassis, it can generate enough savings on gasoline costs to quickly pay a buyer back for the pricier cost of the modified vehicle.

VIA's electric van. Source: VIA Motors.

VIA aims to begin producing its new electric van before the year is over. If successful, production will then ramp up, and two more electrified vehicles will be added to the lineup in 2014. At present, the company aims to produce:

  • A 4WD half-ton pick-up truck based on GM's Chevy Silverado crew cab.
  • A three quarter ton cargo van based on the Chevy Express.
  • a passenger van -- likewise derived from the Express.

VIA says it will be "working hand-in-hand with OEMs like General Motors" to take their basic internal combustion engine-powered trucks and vans, and "electrify" them with electric motors that can be supplemented with electricity generated by small, onboard gasoline engines -- much like the Volt.

What it means for Tesla
VIA says it already has a "backlog" of fleet orders that it can begin working on immediately. Thus, it sounds like the company has already begun marketing to the kinds of big commercial customers that Tesla put up for grabs. More troubling for Tesla, VIA says it will also begin taking orders for consumer sales next year. According to Musk, Tesla won't even begin thinking about electric truck sales for five more years.

By that time, the electric truck market may be lost to Tesla for good. 

Three guesses why this man is smiling. Source: VIA Motors.

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Read/Post Comments (52) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 9:32 AM, TheOstrich wrote:

    Musk is a minnow in with sharks. Instead of no competition paypal and spacejunk, he'll find out what competition is all about. I said it once and I'll say it again. No matter how smart you are or how much money you have, someone else will beat you.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 9:55 AM, drax7 wrote:

    With all due respect , Bob lust is not the future of the auto industry.

    Musks engineering and science background, coupled with business experience and proven success is a unique combination. Now he is increasing his critical mass to take him to the next step.

    I see a tesla market cap eventually surpassing 100 billion.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 10:38 AM, deeageaux wrote:

    Those dual purpose commercial/consumer vans is not the product segment Musk said he was not interested in but the Grumman Olson or Union City Body P-500, P-600, or P-800 step vans. These are not sold to the public. Those dual purpose trucks use the same underpinnings as the F150 or direct competitor Chevrolet Silverado. The same trucks must wants to go head to head with.

    However, Tesla can not become a full line manufacture overnight. They don't have the capital nor does the world have the Li-ion battery production capacity to make 10M plus vehicles using Tesla battery packs. Tesla is currently constrained by how many batteries it can buy.Much higher margins on luxury sedans and CUVs than commercial trucks anyway. That is where it is focusing on and should focus on.

    BTW Visa, MasterCard et al in financial services offered plenty of competition for Paypal. Just not good enough while Musk was there. LOL

    SpaceX competes against Russia, China, European Space Agency, and Arianespace

    While Arianespace charges $200M to launch a satellite SpaceX charges $56M. I would not invest in Arianespace LOL.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 10:50 AM, Riggerwo wrote:

    Telsa is a "flash in the pan"...not ready to play with the big boys!

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 10:50 AM, Jackson100Furst wrote:

    The company that pulls off producing a full-sized fully electric pickup that can compete with the Ford F-150 will make boat loads of money because truck buyers will embrace them BIG time. I absolutely love my pickup, but the gas mileage is becoming increasingly painful as gas prices slowly eek upward.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 11:23 AM, steelkickn wrote:

    Sorry, the Volt is not an EV. It's a hybrid. Get it straight. When Tesla makes their trucks, they will destroy everyone in the market. Making weak-ass delivery vans in not the Tesla mission. It is about making high performance EVs that, very soon, will be affordable to a mass market of consumers.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 11:36 AM, zbigb wrote:

    Musk knows his business mode land knowing what not to build is as important as knowing what to build. As far as competing with GM in the electric arena, let's compare the real EV1 and Volt against the Tesla. The Volt was advertized as the 150mpg car until GM actually sold a few. The Volt drive train is a sorry excuse for Hybrid technollogy with it's lack luster performance. The new truck is a Hybrid, not an electric. Musk is not in the Hybrid business.

    Bob Lutz is responsible for the non stellar Volt and GM for the decision of moving battery building from the A123 plant to the LG plant in Korea. More of the same from the big GM. Now they are going to take the sorry Volt design and put it in a bigger vehicle. This will just be a bigger mistake. No accountability for the poor decisions, just doing it the same way.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 11:49 AM, duuude1 wrote:

    Hey Ostrich, "No matter how smart you are or how much money you have, someone else will beat you."

    Head in the sand again?

    So you're not much for American entrepreneurship huh? American entrepreneurs designed and built cars despite the fact that EVERYONE had horses, buggies, harnesses, barns, hey - the whole infrastructure was built around a cheap self-replicating multi-purpose transportation vehicle. Why the heck bother with noisy polluting gasoline cars?

    American entrepreneurs designed and built airplanes despite the fact that EVERYONE traveled by horse, car or train - firmly and safely on terra firma. Who the heck needs to go up in the air to travel - only birds fly!!

    American entrepreneurs designed and built radios and TVs despite the fact that EVERYONE was entertained by live shows - who's going to enjoy staying home and watching or listening to someone perform miles away??

    American entrepreneurs designed and built optical cable transmission infrastructure despite the fact that EVERYONE watched free over-the-air network programming - who the heck is going to pay for private cable programming??

    American entrepreneurs designed and built nuclear reactors despite the fact that EVERYONE got energy from coal-fired plants - so why go with an energy source associated with Hiroshima??

    Everyone of consequence started as a "flash in the pan" that no one believed in.

    The folks who win are the folks who invest in the small, unproven companies with smart, driven, passionate entrepreneurs.

    Never, ever, ever (ever) side with the naysayers. They are always wrong. Every single damn time.


  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 11:50 AM, ashaskevich wrote:

    Bad article.

    Volt is not comparable to the Tesla Model S.

    Volt is a Hybrid.

    Model S is fully electric ( no gas engine or tank).

    Now former GM exec takes bad Hybrid design to next level.

    VIA motors making Hybrid trucks, not electric.

    Bad inputs = bad outputs.

    No wonder GM went Bankrupts.

    Lesson here? Buy more Tesla stock.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 11:55 AM, normgarry wrote:

    An Electric truck would be a far better vehicle than a diesel truck...IF ELECTRICITY DIDN'T RELY ON FOSSIL FUELS. I'd love to see chargeable trucks, but the simple fact is that they'd be far more expensive to run than diesels and far more expensive to buy in the long run. An EV truck would need to carry 3 times the battery storage of the Model S (if not more) and would be difficult to field. I hope they can figure it out and make it work.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 11:59 AM, teslaman wrote:

    "Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, the man who pushed GM into the electric era by championing development of the Chevy Volt,"

    Ummmm, Bob Lutz will tell you that he was spurred into developing the Chevy Volt by Elon Musk and Tesla Motors. Bob didn't push G.M. into anything, Elon did.

    "Lutz announced this week that his new company will soon begin production of "the world's first full size, four-wheel-drive, electric pickup trucks and vans," the very vehicles that Musk was dissing earlier this month."

    Huuhh? Did I read that right?

    Elon has never "dissed" pickup trucks and vans. In fact. the Model X - going into production in a few months - is designed to compete in the minivan market.

    Perhaps the author is not clear on the difference between pickup trucks, vans, and delivery trucks. A delivery truck is large, boxy, ugly, and not meant for families or individuals for personal transportation.

    "Lutz announced this week that his new company will soon begin production of "the world's first full size, four-wheel-drive, electric pickup trucks and vans,"

    And in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE:

    "VIA, run by company President (and former GM exec) Alan Perriton, thinks that by putting Volt-like engine-plus-electric technology inside a basic truck or van chassis, it can generate enough savings on gasoline costs to quickly pay a buyer back for the pricier cost of the modified vehicle."

    So, we find out that the van is not "electric" at all! Rather, it is primarily and internal combustion vehicle with basically "ZERO" electric range when compared to a true electric like the Model S, which gets a range of 265+ miles.

    All that being said, I applaud Bob Lutz for making an attempt toward electrification and I TRULY hope he makes as big of a contribution as Tesla has.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 12:21 PM, johngfrank wrote:

    When are people in America going to stop confusing sucessful corporate businessmen with inventors and engineers? Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk the list goes on. Musk got an undergraduate degree in physics, but his primary focus was a business degree from the Wharton school. He quit his PHD after 2 days to pursue business interests. Near as I can figure his only true invention was a Blastar program when he was 12. Elon's brother has basically the same credentials, yet he is considered an Entrepreneur, while Elon is considered an inventor and engineer. The Tesla was engineered by Franz von Holzhausen not Elon Musk. I just hate it when the business types not only breeze through college, and get paid 10X as much, but when they start stealing the credit is when I get mad.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 12:25 PM, aktundra wrote:

    So VIA is using a decade+ old GM platform from the Express/ Savanah vans for a NEW electric vehicle? Good luck with that.

    Until Tesla builds a car that is actually affordable to anyone other than the 1%, it simply is not a force in the industry. Additionally until the reliability of Tesla cars can be proven over more than a couple of years of actual real life use, I wouldnt advise spending 100K on one. Its a total joke when Consumer Reports listed the Tesla Model S and the Chevy Impala as the best new can they even compare?!

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 12:27 PM, imDanielle2 wrote:

    More than half of the electricity in this country is produced by water, nuclear and natural gas so the idiots who keep repeating BS about EV's being worse than ICE vehicle because they all run from electric created from fossil fuels are "fool" of BS! Stop repeating your right-wing propaganda... Please just welcome the fact that there are more and more alternatives being developed!

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 12:39 PM, TG1956 wrote:

    It was recently reported that Honda will drop it's Ridgeline pickup. People don't want a truck with limitations. A Tesla pickup would fail for the same reason. A lot of people buy trucks to tow and haul heavy payloads. Even Toyota and Nissan can't compete with the big three because they don't have models with comparable payload and towing.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 12:39 PM, mikeim wrote:

    Just to clarify a misconception I see in a couple of the comments. The Volt is an electric car, not a hybrid. It does have a gasoline motor on board, but it does not power the vehicle directly, it just runs a generator to extend the range. This is tried and true technology used on trains for decades.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 12:52 PM, teslaman wrote:

    Sorry, while technically, the Volt is not a hybrid, it would NOT DRIVE but a few measly miles if you disconnected the fume-belching internal combustion engine from the generator, which directly powers the batteries..

    I drive a conventional Honda Civic. If I turn off the engine while I'm driving and I'm at the top of a hill, then, like the volt, my car will continue to move for a while, which, if you compare the Volts "electric" range to that of a true electric - like the Tesla Model S - then you'll find my Civic's coasting range might even be greater than the Volt's "electric" range.

    Put simply, the Volt is NOT electric. Without the gas guzzling internal combustion engine, IT WOULD NOT DRIVE very far.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 12:54 PM, DavidL40 wrote:

    What a stupid article...Rich based on your highly intelligent line of thinking there can only be one electric truck manufacturer. If in 5 years Tesla makes a good truck, it will sell. If its a lousy product no will buy it.

    I think based upon history, the world can support more than one car or truck company.

    Rich, why don't you change your email name to "Brainiac".

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:27 PM, dvargas wrote:

    I don't see any base for what the author claims. If anything I can see the bias of the author that for his own reasons dislike Musk or his company.

    Because somebody announces they are going to make something doesn't mean they already got ahead.

    Musk said several years ago he was going to make his cars and so did the big manufacturers, but the only one that came out with a real good electrical car was Tesla.

    We are again at the same point. Everybody saying they will do it. We will see who comes up in top in a few years.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:32 PM, enginesman wrote:

    i dont like elon musk at all, but he is very influential. people say he will fail in this game i doubt that. Electric motors has more torque than any gas or diesel powered engines out there. the on only problem with EV stuff is battery life. UPS, FEDEX USPS whatever use and abuse the vehicles on a constant bases they drive long distance to deliver in and around town. Now the greatest challenge for elon is to design a battery with just a single charge a day

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:35 PM, dannystrong wrote:

    Musk is obsessed with the narrow objective of beating the S-class (after being obsessed with the roadster, until that failed completely) -- and keeping his stock price up, so he can attract more money to his pyramid-scheme financing. He has no time for pushing even more complex and brittle truck designs -- he's busy pushing his 7,000 battery vehicle.

    Mr. Musk, if you build a good, useful product, it will sell itself. Using essentially religious arguments (just look at other comments on this simple article -- they are indistinguishable from those of religious fanatics) will make you friends with the shallow and the pretty, but will not change the world.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:38 PM, kingscrowmotley wrote:

    Tesla is so far ahead in the electric vehicles, I doubt if these other companies can catch-up. Furthermore, the quality of Tesla vehicles surpasses other manufacturing 100% fold. I do not know Musk personally but based on what I have heard this guys is really good in details and planing. Tesla will be the leader and others will follow.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:41 PM, TMFDitty wrote:

    The point about Volt -- and by extension, VIA's vans -- being more hybrid than an all-electric is valid. But I don't see this as being necessarily a bad thing. It eliminates range anxiety, something that all pure-electrics today must suffer from.

    I get that Tesla fans want to crucify Volt for deviating from all-electric orthodoxy. But the technology is primarily electric for daily use, and a valid solution to range anxiety on long trips. Volt won "car of the year" status for a reason.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:44 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    Elon Musk is nothing but a BS'er and sooner or later he will be exposed. Right now the media his hyping his Tesla car, but that hype can not be sustained. The big companies will bury Tesla. I predict Tesla problems are just starting and they will not be around in a few years at best.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:44 PM, Pixma25 wrote:

    Using the logic of the article, if Tesla is now 'closed out' from any potential success selling electric trucks, that means that the rest of the world is 'closed out' from selling an electric sedan. I say neither claim is valid.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:54 PM, Pixma25 wrote:

    A huge flaw in arguments made by writers such as this one is that they assume Mr. Musk is motivated by the desire to become powerful through riches. His statements and actions clearly demonstrate that his motivation is to hasten an end to use of fossil fuels. He doesn't care if Tesla has a monopoly on electric cars, he recognizes that the spirit of competition will increase production and speed adoption. He also knows that by creating a great product the complacent ICE automakers are being forced to adapt or face extinction.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 1:54 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    Most think because Tesla has bulit rockets that Elon Musk must be another Einstein. NASA has helped SpaceX do what would have taken decades to do without help. That does not make him another Einstein. What makes him is a BS'er is letting the public believe his fantasies.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:05 PM, TheOstrich wrote:

    How much energy does it take to haul around a ton of batteries? Tesla and ALL electric vehicles, until massive inroads are made in reducing battery weight, are energy losers. Tesla as presently built is a net loss when it comes to energy use.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:17 PM, bebomac5 wrote:

    A powerful electric motor can create more instant torque than is even possible with a gas engine. The technology behind Tesla's battery (capacitor)packs will continue to advance rapidly, enabling long range and fast charging, beyond what ICE vehicles are capable of. The big 3 have cause to be worried.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:25 PM, TheOstrich wrote:

    You TSLA guys are delusional. The S weighs 4600+ lbs. How much energy does it take to move that slug? Tesla is an energy hog and a loser. The laws of physics are just that LAWS. There isn't any re-interpretation of them. An ICE car weighing 2000 lbs less is WAY more efficient. TSLA with present battery technology is a FRAUD. It's just going to take time for everyone to get their head out of the sand.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:28 PM, alrotundo wrote:

    There's only one thing I know with absolute certainty, and that's that Elon musk is a helluva lot smarter than the guy who wrote this article. So guess who I'm betting on?

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:38 PM, duuude1 wrote:

    Hey Rotundo - I'm with ya - I'm betting with Elon - not with these birdbrains with their heads stuck in the sand!

    Speaking of stuck in the sand - Ostrich - are you a physicist? Are you even an engineer? What the heck are you???

    An ICE car weighing 2000lb is "WAY more efficient" than a 4600+ lb Tesla?


    It weighs less. Is that what makes something more efficient?

    Can you explain efficiency?

    Can you tell me what takes more energy - to get a car moving - or to keep it moving at 70mph?

    Show me your physics, duuude!

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:39 PM, teslaman wrote:

    I think everyone here will agree that it would be moronic to install a lawn-mower engine next to the blender on you kitchen counter so that it can connect to a generator and power the blender as well as the rest of the kitchen appliances.

    But imagine a cult of people who did such a thing.

    THESE are the kind of people who would point fingers and call you a religious zealot if you suggested the proper way would be to wire your house correctly, and at the very minimum, put the lawn mower engine and generator outside so they don't breath in the fumes anymore.

    Yet, some of the people commenting here are acting in the same exact way.

    Similarly, it is not proper to generate the electricity "onsite" in a vehicle such as the Chevy Volt using what amounts to a lawn mower engine. And just because the Volt does this like ALL OTHER CONVENTIONAL cars, it does not make this any less crazy.

    In a Volt, the fumes LITERALLY come out of the EXHAUST PIPE and go DIRECTLY into your lungs. You might as well install a rubber hose from the exhaust pipe leading back into the cabin and directly aimed at where your child-seat might be installed.

    The very design of the Volt itself PRECLUDES the possibility of EVER using plentiful, yet environmentally benign sources of electricity such as solar, hydro, geothermal etc, etc.

    The very design of the Volt itself DEMANDS AND PROMOTES the unabashed burning of atmosphere chocking fossil fuels.

    At the very minimum, the electricity should be generated elsewhere in the proper manner, such as with the Tesla vehicles. This way, if you are forced to use electricity that was generated using fossil fuels, at least you aren't forcing your kids to SIT NEXT TO THE TAlLPIPE!

    Talk about religious! That sort of behavior is no different than the cults and sects who deny their children any form of medical care because it is against their religion.

    If you can power your car cleanly, why not do the right thing. Tesla has proven it can be done. It is up to you to deny or not.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:53 PM, clutch1958 wrote:

    Great-now I don't have to worry about my packages catching on fire due to metal in the road.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 2:57 PM, clutch1958 wrote:

    Hey, imDanielle-news flash-Natural gas is a fossil fuel.

    Are you the same danielle that shills for Tesla while insulting others?

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 3:00 PM, clutch1958 wrote:

    Hey, teslaman-so you're telling us that diesel-electric LOCOMOTIVES are a stupid idea?

    CSX and the designers of said locomotives would beg to differ. And Volvo is experimenting with diesel-electric semis.

    Of course, with a name like Teslaman, you're biased, and probably rich to boot.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 3:23 PM, gjburton58 wrote:

    When will the idiots who do these articles pull their heads out of there behinds, and understand that Hybrid, and electric aren't the same!!!!!! Tesla isn't losing the race as long as we're looking at a hybrid truck. I for one would feel much better knowing that Elon Musk makes sure everything is right before it gets produced. Like the electric vehicle doubter's in here Government Motors, and Ford will drag their feet, because they are in love with the oil companies.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 3:56 PM, teslaman wrote:

    clutch, I would say diesel electric is an improvement on coal-fired trains, but they still belch fumes into the atmosphere at an unacceptable level.

    I'd like to see them all melted down and recycled into all-electric locomotives.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 5:12 PM, 1BigWoody2 wrote:

    Ok. Let Lutz go to the time and expense to create a market for his electric trucks (hybrid). When he proves there is a viable market, Musk will come in and do it right and take a fair market share as a true electric vehicle.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 5:21 PM, drawer77 wrote:


    You're the only one comparing Musk to Einstein

    Einstein is a physicist, Musk is an engineer and Bob Lutz is an ex-fat cat converted to Elon Musk's vision

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 5:25 PM, BarryObama wrote:

    This makes me giggle like a school girl.

    yeah.. sure.. GM puts some batteries in a truck and

    that is supposed to scare anyone off.

    Thats cool, if I wanted a truck I could build myself.

    This is like saying Tesla should be worried about GM because of the Volt.

    Chuckle Chuckle bo Buckle......

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 5:31 PM, BarryObama wrote:

    Dont forget. Bill Gates, an expert, said "who would want a tablet when you can have much more functionality with a netbook?"

    Naysayers do not know everything.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 7:54 PM, EdwardInFlorida wrote:

    When did Musk say he was interested in that market? His company (Tesla) has in the pipeline, the Model X for next year, the Model E in 3-4 years, and the reintroduction of the Roadster not long after that. Tesla has it's plate full but if they ever decide to go into building electric powered pickups and vans, I have no doubt they will be able to achieve market penetration right along side it's competition.

    Another side note is that the mainstream auto manufacturers are not capable of producing a legitimate competitor to the Model S. The Volt doesn't count, it's a plug in hybrid. And the Nissan Leaf is just not in the same league.

    It seems that Motley Fool has an agenda against Tesla, and waste no opportunities to take cheap shots at the company.

    No worries for Elon as the orders keep coming in at a rate of 500+ per week for the Model S. And the first several thousand Model X are spoken for too. When the Model E finally comes online, it'll get crazy!

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 8:02 PM, JackDoge wrote:

    @ TheOstrich

    You presented nothing concrete, no facts, just claims based off nothing; just poor understanding of science at the very least. ICE vehicles more efficient than an electric vehicle? Oh for goodness sakes, where did you go to school? LOL.

    The ability to move a lighter vehicle as opposed to moving a heavier vehicle doesn't make it more efficient. You don't even know what efficiency means! What an imbecile.

    Fuel itself has more energy for the weight, but to extract it and convert to mechanical work is another story. Using chemical to electrical energy for mechanical work is MORE efficient than fuel to thermal/combustion for mechanical work. If ICE ever reached the efficiency of EM, ICE cars would be getting 100 mpg+ easily.

    Right now, EC is being held back by not being affordable to the average person; too much upfront. Range is another concern, but with progress and efficiency in design and more attention towards better chemistry, I won't be surprised if there is a new type of battery within a decade.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 9:29 PM, spaceman1 wrote:

    all the rich fat cats and good ole boys are going to tire of these battery powered cars the romance of the internal combustion engine cannot be denied vrroom.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 9:34 PM, sonofTesla wrote:

    The author is apparently unaware that Elon Musk is a bonafide genius, a once in a lifetime mind that has proven naysayers wrong in every stage of his life. What he is doing for humanity is simply awe-inspiring. Besides, he's always said he WANTS competition as competition will speed up the rapid implementation and adoption of electric vehicles. Elon will continue to run extremely successful companies because he is truly focused on the betterment of mankind and not profit margins. This guy cannot and will not lose anything he puts his mind to. Truly an honor to get to live and see such an amazing individual at work and to get to see the true spirit of entrepreneurship in action.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 9:42 PM, JPWhiteHome wrote:

    Lutz is after the commercial market. He feels they are ready to buy. Commercial fleet owners will calculate Total Cost of Ownership. The average buying public won't, which is what he found out when he developed the Volt.

    Lutz has been intent on doing this for a while, Musk's comments on a truck are very recent by comparison. Lutz will have the lead, but then again GM made vehicles for a century before Tesla did and Tesla are doing just fine for Johnny Come Lately's.

    When the timing is right Musk will make his truck. He won't find himself locked out. There's room for multiple gasoline/diesel truck makers, there's room for several at the well for Electric versions also.

    I wish both Lutz and Musk well in their EV Truck building endeavors.

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 9:51 PM, spaceman1 wrote:

    furthermore all these egg heads with their debates of energy production efficiency and delivery methods are making me sick. these most likely are the same people tailgating me at 80 miles per hour while i cruise in the slow lane

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 10:01 PM, spaceman1 wrote:

    lutz kinda reminds me of all these rich old ugly people who saved for their retirement and own all the beachfront property you know the geritol set what would really impress me if some young beautiful people would fill in for a cameo appearance

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 2:35 AM, mnfgman wrote:

    First of all truck buyers are the most brand loyal customers in the auto industry! Anyone living in Texas knows that. Toyota builds a great truck but they haven't been able to win over truck buyers in the large pickup sector since they started building them 15 years ago yet they own the small truck market partly due to the Ford Ranger exit.. hmmm what a gift. These companys all work together these days and trade information, knowledge, money, etc... for the benefit of taking out competitors. Well its no secret that Tesla/Lotus are and have been A Toyota creation. Lotus has Toyota engines and Toyota vested $50 million into Tesla. And Toyota doesn't normally spend money. A while back Ford had bought old Toyota hybrid technology that is no longer needed by Toyota and the two have previously worked on future truck endeavors. Mix in some NASA and Govt ties... Toyota builds both the Tacoma and tundra together yet they cant keep up at all with Tacoma inventories and they way over build tundras which don't sell and collect on lots of the company that created lean manufacturing in which toyota does NOT promote waste (inventory is completely against The Toyota Way) Do the math! just cause you claim to be the first to come out with it doesn't mean your going to succeed and have the best product! GM is both Toyota and Fords true competitor. The enemy of my enemy is my friend!

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2013, at 5:35 PM, TeslaLover wrote:

    If you disagree with the shareholder lawsuits filed against Tesla Motors and you might be apart of their proposed class, sign this petition:

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2013, at 10:33 AM, BigFED wrote:

    Regardless of what the use these "utility vehicles" are described as being for, all I can envision is the classic picture of that "geared up" vehicle motoring across some desolate stretch of geography with 5 or more spare 10 gallon fuel cans strapped to its roof, fenders, hood, tail, etc!!! I don't quite see that being handled with an all electric version!!! Four or five 2,000 pound (or more) battery packs strapped to the vehicle! And at swapping time??? Right!!!

    I can see the first all electric 18 wheeler now. One forty foot trailer that is all batteries and another one about the size of pickup truck bed for the cargo and it STILL has to recharge every 200 miles, IF it's lucky!!!

    AND, as one poster already pointed out, all these electric vehicles are STILL dependent on the standard electric power generation grid which is 0ver 70% dependent on fossil fuels!!!

    I thought the WHOLE idea of "ALTERNATIVE FUELS" and in the name of "CONSERVATION" was to move AWAY from fossil fuels!!!

    At least the old "rubber band" airplane ran on a "renewable" energy source needing only few "wind ups" once in a while! HEY, MAYBE...

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