Tesla hopes to unveil semi truck this year, pickup by 2019

You'd think Elon Musk would be focused on the Model 3, but he's always thinking several years ahead.

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Tesla is soon to undergo its most difficult period to date as its mass-market Model 3 enters production, but it seems CEO Elon Musk has enough bandwidth to start discussing two different planned Tesla trucks.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted that Tesla will show off its plans for a battery-electric semi, called the Tesla Semi, in September. He sounds pretty proud of it, promising it will be "next level."

Musk brought up the Tesla Semi back in the summer of 2016, when he unveiled his "master plan." He said it would be "really fun to operate," but further information hasn't materialized, whether through official channels or leaks.

As part of that same master plan, Musk promised a "new kind of pickup truck." A Twitter user asked about this in a reply to Musk's Tesla Semi status, and Musk responded that Tesla would show off its pickup truck in "18 to 24 months."

Tesla isn't just developing trucks willy-nilly. The current head of Tesla's semi-truck efforts, Jerome Guillen, used to helm Daimler's Cascadia truck program. Guillen was also in charge of the Model S program for a spell. As Electrek points out, based on Guillen's time at Tesla, the company should only be a couple years into the truck program by the time of its intended reveal.

In all likelihood, if something does make an appearance in September, it won't be available for a long time to come. Tesla showed off a very early version of the Model 3 last year before announcing that production was upward of a year away. In fact, we still haven't seen the production version of the company's most affordable car to date.

Journalists and analysts I've talked to think that the whole truck discussion is a bit premature, as the company has yet to prove its ability to mass-produce the Model 3, a car that Tesla is holding hundreds of thousands of reservations for. The Model 3 should be the company's top priority, absolutely -- but that doesn't mean there isn't room to preview Tesla's other plans for the future.

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