Photo: Martin Hajek/Behance
Electric vans have been a topic of discussion at Tesla for some time now. This kind of transport was mentioned in "Master Plan, Part Deux" and also during the discussion of transport for The Boring Company tunnels in Las Vegas. Now Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company will definitely make an electric van at some point.
During the Q4 2020 Earnings Call, Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets Joseph Spak reminded Musk that he tweeted in 2018 about electric vans and how exciting it would be to work with Daimler and Sprinter. Based on this, he asked if Tesla was going to develop an electric van. Musk replied that the company would make the van at some point, though not in the immediate future.
"I think Tesla is definitely going to make an electric van at some point."
He explained that there is a fundamental limitation: batteries. Batteries are the main reason the company is not pushing to as rapidly launch new products, even such as the Semi. Even though Tesla has built prototypes of batteries, it still takes a lot of effort to scale the production up. Only after this bottleneck is resolved will it make sense for the company to develop a new product.
On the other hand, we can trace Musk's intention to make a van for five years now. In 2016, in Master Plan, Part Deux, he wrote:
"In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year."
In addition, in the summer of 2020, it became known that Tesla, together with the Boring Company, are developing electric vans to carry 12 passengers and their luggage. This development may become the beginning, and later lead to the start of, the mass production of electric vans that can transport passengers or goods--not only in the Boring Company tunnels, but also on the surface of the earth.
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.