When Elon Musk jumps on Twitter, he just can’t stop. Yesterday brought four new tweets with information on four areas of interest to Tesla fans. First and foremost was the announcement that the Tesla Semi will be unveiled in September — which means sometime before Christmas in Elon-speak. Electric trucks for hauling freight could go a long way toward cutting the nitrous oxide and particulate emissions that spew forth from the smokestacks of diesel powered tractors every day.

Model 3 News

Tesla Model 3

That one announcement would be enough for most titans of industry but Musk had more to say. In one tweet, he let it be known that the final reveal of the much anticipated Model 3 will happen in July. That happens to be the same month when production is scheduled to begin. The first cars will go to Tesla employees, which is sort of brilliant. Tesla is going straight to production without building a small fleet of beta test cars. Instead, its employees will do the beta testing for them. Any issues they discover can be addressed immediately at the factory level before cars for the general public begin shipping.

Before any cars get built, the customers need to complete the ordering process in what Tesla calls its Design Studio. And before the design studio goes live, Tesla has to figure out how much it is going to charge for the car, what options will be offered, and how much they will cost. Up till now, all we know is that the Model 3 will begin at $35,000 and have at least 215 miles of range. We can assume from Musk’s tweet that customers will be able to go online to complete their orders once the final reveal takes place.

The Tesla Pickup Truck

Tesla Pickup Truck concept via YouTube

Tesla pickup truck concept via YouTube

Elon also had something to say about the upcoming Tesla electric pickup truck, a vehicle that will be essential to completing the company’s range of automotive offerings. Its time is coming but not as quickly as some might have hoped. Again, no specifics are available. People naturally want to know about things like payload and towing capacity. Those are the things that make building an electric pickup truck such a challenge.

Unless Tesla is going to build a boulevardier — a soft roader for hauling golf clubs to the country club or a pound of finish nails — it will need to have the ability to lug around a half ton of bricks or tow the family RV to the mountains. Tasks like that take a lot of battery power, which in turn makes an electric pickup truck expensive compared to the competition. No doubt Elon has an answer to that conundrum, we just don’t know what it is yet and probably won’t until 2019 at the earliest.

The Tesla Roadster, Part Deux

Tesla Roadster concept Peisert

Tesla Roadster concept by Jan Preisert via Inverse

The Tesla Roadster is the car that started it all. Back in 2008, it drew hoots of derision from the motoring press. A car powered by thousands of laptop batteries? Ridiculous! People who bought Tesla stock around that time are laughing all the way to the bank today. That car was based on a Lotus chassis and featured technology that is almost 2 decades old today. While it is a collector’s item now, it really was not that terrific a car. Tesla is working on a second generation Roadster, but it’s a low priority item and is still several years in the future.

Yesterday, Elon told his Twitter followers that the Roadster 2 will be a convertible. That’s a surprise to some but shouldn’t be. Every sports car nut ever born knows a roadster has a top that goes down for open air motoring. The next Roadster will also be wicked fast. Elon has hinted several times that it will be the fastest Tesla ever built when it gets here. He has even picked out the name for its performance mode — Maximum Plaid.

Musk watchers know Elon is fixated on certain elements of popular culture that may be opaque to average people. For instance, the volume on the sound system in Tesla cars goes to 11, a sly nod to a line in This Is Spinal Tap. Musk is also a fan of the Mel Brooks spoof Space Balls, which mocks the iconic hyperspace mode in Star Wars by going it three better — Insane, Ludicrous, or Maximum Plaid. Tesla has already outfitted its high performance models with an Insane and a Ludicrous mode. The second generation Roadster will have the honor of being the first Tesla to offer Maximum Plaid mode and it will be wicked fast.

Sending Elon A Tweet

As you can see, all of the announcements yesterday from Elon came in response to questions on Twitter from other people. Musk only follows 39 people but has 8.2 million followers. He reminds me of the character in the Joe Walsh song Life’s Been Good who croons, “So I got me an office, gold records on the wall. Just leave a message, maybe I’ll call.” Send Elon a tweet. There’s a one in 8.2 million chance he will tweet you back.

Source: Cleantechnica