It is the most anticipated vehicle of the past decade. And for many reasons.
The Cybertruck is Tesla’s TSLA first foray into the pickup-truck segment, the most profitable market in the U.S. automotive industry. Its arrival thus promises one of the fiercest competitions the electric-vehicle market has seen.
On the other side are the legacy carmakers, including Ford (F) – Get Free Report and its F-150 Lightning, the electric version of the bestselling F-150. General Motors (GM) – Get Free Report offers models developed by two of its brands: GMC’s Hummer EV and Chevrolet’s in-preparation electric version of the Silverado.
A battle of titans is looming and investors are eager to see which of the carmakers will best persuade Heartland America to switch to electric vehicles.
Tesla’s Cybertruck is particularly awaited because it promises a Copernican revolution in the design and perception of the pickup truck.
The new vehicle has been described as something out of the films “Mad Max” and “Blade Runner.” Chief Executive Elon Musk has said that the vehicle was “influenced partly by ‘The Spy Who Loved Me,” a reference to the amphibious Lotus Esprit S1 featured in the 1977 James Bond film.
Clearly, Tesla aims to push the pickup envelope, cementing the image of the company as being at the forefront of innovation.
Musk: Cybertruck a ‘Very Radical Product’
“This is really a very radical product. It’s not made in the way that other cars are made,” the billionaire, who is the best salesman for the products and services his many companies have developed, hyped last month.
“We’ve pulled people away from their kind of normal comfort zone and brought them something that’s just radically different and will be on the street radically different and, you know, if you’re not used to attention might be a little tough in the beginning,” Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s chief vehicle designer, said about the Cybertruck in January.
The problem is that almost four years after it was unveiled, in November 2019, the vehicle is still not marketed, prompting Musk’s detractors to wonder whether the Cybertruck is an Arlesian, or a sort of a ghost.
Musk has just responded by explaining that the delays in the development of this truck stem from its complexity. Tesla and its engineers have set the bar high, which translates into a lot of technical challenges to overcome.
“We’re working hard to get Cybertruck into production!” the CEO said on May 23, commenting on a post of a Tesla fan showing a 14-second video of the pickup truck. “This was a tough product to design & even tougher to build.”
“But it will be great …” he added.
The last part of the message suggests that Tesla is in the phase preceding the start of production of the model that will be sold to consumers.
The billionaire’s explanation reassured many Cybertruck fans.
“Thank you Elon and the Tesla team for working relentlessly to get Cybertruck to the market. IMO CT is the best product I have ever seen from Tesla to date. I and many cannot wait to get our hands on one,” one Twitter user said. “Never in my life I wanted a truck until the Cybertruck.”
“Worth the wait!” agreed another user.
How Much Will Cybertruck Cost?
“Thanks to you and the @Tesla team for the all the hard work on the future Cybertruck production line! I’m hoping to be one of the first Cybertruck owners in San Diego and help refer tons of future CT owners!” another user said.
Musk and Tesla have not yet disclosed the vehicle’s specifications or its price. The Austin carmaker has, however, indicated that it will deliver the first Cybertrucks at the end of the third quarter, i.e., toward the end of September.
A fleet of Cybertruck prototypes has been circulating for several weeks in California, according to videos posted on social networks. Musk himself often commented on some of the videos and has said the Cybertruck is the vehicle he will be driving every day.
The pickup is said to have a low center of gravity, which provides good traction control and torque, enabling acceleration from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. It’s range is estimated at as much as 500 miles.
In addition, Tesla said that it has up to 3,500 pounds (1,587 kg) of payload capacity, adjustable air suspension and 100 cubic feet of exterior lockable storage, including a tonneau cover “that is strong enough to stand on.”
The Cybertruck has a towing capability of more than 14,000 pounds (6,350 kg), the carmaker has said.
During Tesla’s annual meeting on May 16, Musk said the carmaker planned to produce a “quarter-million a year” but the figure could double.
“It might be 500,000. I don’t know, but we’ll make as many as people want and can afford,” he said, warning that the Cybertruck may not be widely affordable because of the manufacturing cost.
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