Tesla rendering shows a gynormous flatbed but Musk is talking about something not much bigger than a Ford F-150.

Palo Alto, Califiornia - Elon Musk has promised an electric bakkie “right after Model Y”, the Tesla compact crossover he’s been talking up in recent months.

The Model Y will be based on the Model 3 platform, to shorten its development time, although that’s a moot point in view of the problems Tesla has had ramping up production of the mass-market Model 3, which is desperately needed to put the carmaker on a sound financial footing.

Musk thanked the Tesla faithful in a Boxing Day tweet for their patience, saying he already has the core design and engineering elements in mind for a pickup and is “dying to build it”.

This is not the first time we’ve heard about Musk’s bakkie ambitions - he showed a rendering of a gynormous flatbed during the reveal of the electric semi truck in November, but says now the real thing will be about the size of a Ford F-150, or perhaps a little bigger to allow for “a really game-changing feature”.

Daunting task

He posits a one-tonner with the performance of a sports car but more towing capacity than a comparable petrol or diesel bakkie - but to make it a reality will be a daunting task, even if the technology is already in place.

He must first sort out the problems with the Model 3 (and that is crucial because the same problems, if not solved, will render the Model Y a non-starter), get the crossover into production, find somebody to build the semi truck and, set up a production line for the Roadster - all at the same time, over the next few years.

We predict that one of two things is going to happen: either the Pretoria plutocrat is going to take the entire automotive industry by the scruff of its neck and drag it into the 21st century, or he’s going to crash and burn in spectacular fashion while others, coming after him, reap the benefit of his vision and courage.