Elon Musk has promised to unveil Tesla's first-ever electric pickup truck by the end of this summer. But at least one Tesla fan was too eager to wait — so, she made her own.
Simone Giertz is a Swedish-born YouTube host known mostly for making comical online videos chronicling her attempts to build what she calls "sh---y robots." Giertz, whose channel has over 1.6 million followers, regularly builds robots that perform everyday tasks less than adequately, like a helmet that sloppily brushes your teeth or an alarm clock that wakes you up with a rubber hand smacking your face.
But on Tuesday, Giertz posted a new video to YouTube that shows her latest engineering effort — converting a Tesla Model 3 sedan into a pickup truck — and it actually appears to be a success.
The 31-minute video shows Giertz, along with mechanic Marcos Ramirez, designer Laura Kampf and car refurbisher Rich Benoit (of the YouTube channel "Rich Rebuilds"), removing the electric sedan's rear window and literally cutting through the Model 3 frame to remove the back end of its roof.
Giertz and her team of engineers and designers then strip out the Tesla's backseat and trunk in order to install a pickup bed in the now-open back of the car. Giertz says they spent over a year planning the project, which included buying a new Model 3 (which has a base price of $35,000) from Tesla.
"One of the initial designs we had was to essentially strip everything from the midway and back, and just put in a flatbed," Giertz told Wired, "But I didn't like the look of that. So we decided to salvage as much of the back half as possible and try to build it into more of an El Camino. pickup truck," referring to the famous Chevrolet model.
After adding a metal frame of reinforcement beams that double as a roof rack to the pickup bed, along with floodlights strapped to the top of the car, Giertz dubs the resulting vehicle "Truckla." In the video, Giertz notes that, when she began this project, she wasn't sure "if this was going to be the smartest or the most stupid thing I'm ever going to do."
Giertz also makes it clear that this project is more than just a YouTube stunt, as she plans to drive the converted pickup truck, which she says is currently "usable" but it will be "fully drivable" by July, after she makes some more minor improvements to the car's body and wiring. She even calls the "Truckla" her "absolute dream car."
Giertz even produced a fake, nearly two-minute car commercial for "Truckla," which describes the vehicle as "the truck the world didn't know it was waiting for" and advertises the pickup as "available nowhere."
Musk and Tesla have not yet commented on Giertz's creation. The company did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It's request for comment.
But, the electric automaker is reportedly still moving ahead with plans to reveal its own Tesla pickup truck as soon as in the next few months (though, when the truck would actually go on sale is still unknown). Meanwhile, Musk has been busy setting ambitious goals for his company's planned pickup, including saying earlier this month that Tesla's electric pickup "will be a better truck" than Ford's best-selling F-150 truck models with a starting price under $50,000.
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