Tesla Robovan: Elon Musk hints at a new model


It’s been hinted at for years, but could Tesla finally be working on an electric van?

Ben Zachariah


Tesla could soon have an electric van to add to its line-up.

In a tweet over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk put feelers out for a Robovan “for people & cargo?”, suggesting we could see a new model from the US carmaker in the future.

As part of his Master Plan Part Deux – published six years ago this month, detailing the company’s future strategy – Musk hinted at a people-mover being under development at Tesla.

“In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle [sic] 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.”

While the Cybertruck wasn’t revealed until late 2019, weeks after the Master Plan Part Deux was published Musk wrote on Twitter that it “probably makes sense to build [a van] off the pick-up truck chassis”.


These digital renderings by Brazilian artist Kleber Silva imagine how a Tesla people mover could look – albeit based heavily on a US-market Chrysler Pacifica ‘minivan’.

Like a Volkswagen Transporter – which forms the basis of the California campervan, as well as the Multivan and Caravelle people-movers – the Tesla Robovan could be pitched to multiple buyers like delivery drivers and campervan owners.

Full-time campervan living has exploded in popularity in recent years, with a new generation of so-called ‘vanlifers’ taking advantage of fast mobile internet, remote work arrangements, and advances in technology like solar.

In 2020, Tesla rival Rivian unveiled its fully-electric delivery van designed specifically for Amazon in the US, offering more than 240 kilometres of driving range. Rivian says the vehicle will spawn a smaller van which is expected to be made available to the public.

Mercedes-Benz Vans has promised to bring its electric EQV, eVito Tourer, and eVito panel van to Australia in the coming months, while Ford’s E-Transit is also set to arrive in the second half of 2022.

Ben Zachariah

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is considered an expert in the area of classic car investment.

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