The air around Tesla has been particularly charged with anticipation recently. The EV company has been teasing its upcoming pickup truck heavily, ahead of its alleged November debut. But beyond a vague price range and a design supposedly inspired by Blade Runner, little concrete info has come forth. But if you want an electric pickup truck, you don’t have to wait. At least one person didn’t. YouTuber and maker Simone Giertz didn’t want to wait for an official Tesla pickup—so she made her own.
Simone describes herself in her build video as “the Queen of Shitty Robots”. She’s made electronic gadgets, a manicure robot, and a toothbrush helmet, among other things. She’s also a regular in Adam Savage’s Tested videos. Suffice to say, she’s got some soldering (and welding, grinding, etc.) skills. Oh, and she’s beaten brain tumors. Twice.
Simone wanted a pickup truck but didn’t want to support any oil companies. However, no EV carmaker had a pickup on sale. Not even Tesla. Thus, the Tesla pickup build, aka, “Truckla”.
Even with all her dedication and skills, she knew something as complicated as a homemade Tesla pickup would take a lot of time and effort. So, as both Jalopnik and CNET reported, she drafted a dream team and spent a year planning it all out.
How Truckla Got Built
The team decided to buy a new Tesla Model 3 to use as the base. It was actually cheaper to buy new than used, and the steel chassis was significantly easier to work on. Initially, they were just going to chop the Model 3 in half and put a flatbed on the back. But Simone didn’t like the look of that. She wanted to retain as many parts of the Model 3 as she could, and keep its lines intact. Therefore, the team went for something more difficult.
First, Simone removed everything in the interior behind the front seats. Back seats, interior door panels, airbags, trunk lining, rear window, etc. Even at this stage, they had to deal with Tesla’s over-the-air connectivity. Removing the back seats caused the Model 3 to send an error report, and refuse to start.
But, once the team had the rear stripped down to wires and metal, they could figure out where to cut. Because the roof provided structural support, they had to weld in metal tubing (think ‘partial roll cage’) so the car wouldn’t buckle.
After that, a donated Ford F-150 bed and Chevrolet Colorado rear window (the heresy!) were fitted. A cut-down roof rack with fog lights completed the build.
Simone’s video documents the full journey, and it’s clear the whole team pored a lot of effort into building the pickup. In fact, Simone was so proud of the Truckla, she even made a commercial for it.
Truckla, the Tesla Pickup, Today
Although the pickup was driveable, it was still a little rough around the edges. There were fiberglass shards in the interior, for instance. In fact, because making Truckla required cutting into the roof, some of the interior roof trim had to be removed. So, there was exposed wiring. But apparently the Chevy rear window improved rear visibility significantly. Simone is actually still tinkering with Truckla. She recently tweeted about rewiring the rack lights.
Some may sneer at the Truckla, and say it’s not a truck. But they’re wrong. What Simone and her team made is a Tesla ute, like the Chevy El Camino, Subaru Baja, and Ford Ranchero. Those are all trucks, which makes the Truckla a true Tesla pickup.
No need to wait for Elon. Simone’s got you covered.