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The ‘Truckla’ DIY Tesla pickup truck is still trucking

The ‘Truckla’ DIY Tesla pickup truck is still trucking


Four years later, YouTuber Simone Giertz shares the status of her custom Tesla pickup truck. It’s been her daily driver, and she’s made some improvements.

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Simone is in the truckla pulled up and sticking her head out and looking at the camera, the side of the car has improved chrome trimmings.
Simone Giertz pulls up in her freshly detailed and upgraded Truckla.
Image: Simone Giertz

Remember that Tesla Model 3 that was chopped up to make an all-electric pickup truck many years ago? Well, it’s still alive! Inventor and YouTuber Simone Giertz — the self-described “queen of shitty robots” — uploaded a new video on Thursday with an update on how her custom Truckla’s been doing (via Boing Boing).

In the video, Giertz says it’s been four years since the Truckla was built, and since then, she’s been using it as her daily driver. It was never completely finished, though: the custom truck bed was never weather sealed, some trim was still unfinished, and the removable tailgate stopped working.

“She’s a little bit rattle-ly, because the truck bed isn’t welded in,” Giertz explained in the video. She also has to baby the car when rainstorms come, sometimes running out in the middle of the night to cover it. “Other than that, she’s great,” Giertz said jokingly.

Years later, Giertz decided it was time to take it to a shop and finally give Truckla the finishing touches it deserved. One of Giertz’s witticisms is that she never quite finishes any project (she says she finishes about 80 percent), so letting someone else complete the Truckla allows her to keep that habit rolling.

At the shop, it was determined that the Truckla miraculously doesn’t have any major problems, including water damage under the bed. So the shop added a fresh new tailgate that can pull out, fold down, and support up to 500 pounds. They also fixed the side chrome trim, which looks really good now, and raised the car a bit, too.

rear of the model 3-based truckla showing the unfinished tailgate with six drawer slides sticking into the custom truck bed and metal wires holding the tail as it’s opened downward.
The new tailgate was engineered with drawer slides that go under the truck bed.
Image: Simone Giertz
Simone Giertz sits on the end of the Truckla bed while it’s fully extended
It can hold up to 500 pounds, perfect for a couple of friends to sit on and chill.
Image: Simone Giertz

As a side mission, Giertz is also involved with robotics company Viam. It’s building another robot that, like Tesla’s snake charger prototype from years ago, can automatically plug in a Tesla for charging at home. The very rough prototype (dubbed “Chargla”) moves freely on a rolling platform and is hilariously clumsy, but it seems to work. The project is open source, so you could build it yourself, if you’d like.

All in all, Giertz’s wild Tesla pickup truck project is an amazing long-term success story, and I would totally love it if Tesla made one just like it. Of course, Tesla announced the Cybertruck in 2019 and may finally ship it this summer. But in that time, it’s the Truckla, not the Cybertruck, that’s been roaming the streets for years — with windshield wipers.