Before there was Cybertruck, there was Truckla. Affectionally named by her creator, Simone Giertz, Truckla was the first all-electric Tesla pickup… technically. Giertz massively altered the body of her Tesla Model 3, removing the rear seats and doors and putting in a truck bed. Already Internet famous for building crazy and silly robots, Giertz’ fame hit the stratosphere when mainstream media caught wind of Truckla.
Four years later, Giertz has given us an update on her YouTube channel about Truckla. Much like the rest of us amateur wrenchers, she admits Truckla was only 80 percent done when it debuted. And it basically stayed that way for the last four years.
The bed was never welded in so the truck rattled loudly going down the road. It also wasn’t watertight, so when it rained, Giertz had to run outside to cover it. And lastly, the tailgate was never finished; if you wanted it down, you had to take it off entirely.
So Giertz used the occasion of the car’s fourth anniversary to finally finish the last 20 percent. That required a trip from her home base in Los Angeles, California to Northern California where her friends Marco and Ross would take it across the finish line. Indeed, she learned her limits the first time around and decided to let the professionals put the finishing touches on Truckla.
Truckla returned from NorCal looking like a million bucks. Marco and Russ had cleaned up a lot of unfinished trim work and even raised the car a couple inches. Their most impressive achievement, though, was the custom tailgate solution. Because the Model 3’s rear end was never designed for a tailgate, the guys engineered a clever design that slides out and away from the car’s body before tilting down like a normal tailgate.
While waiting for Truckla to be done, Giertz left the guys to work on another project: building an autonomous charging robot for her famous truck. Tesla itself had once designed an autonomous charger that looked like a snake, but Giertz hooked up with one her sponsors, Viam, to develop a completely different solution. What they came up with looks more like a Martian rover or bomb disposal robot.
Yet like most of Giertz’ robots, the autonomous charger they built got the job done… after making everyone in the room laugh. While its very first attempt to connect to Truckla’s charge port was successful, the performance was a bit R-rated. Giertz even gave the charger its own name: Chargela.
Giertz deserves a ton of credit for still having the most impressive custom build of a Model 3, even after four years has passed. The upgrades she debuted in this fourth anniversary video put Truckla that much farther ahead of other builds we’ve seen. And unlike the Model 3 with 10-foot-tall wheels, it’s still her daily driver.