For some time now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been telling everyone that the coming pickup truck would be unlike anything else, saying it had a cyberpunk feel to it. He put his money where his mouth is when it was revealed calling the new offering the Cybertruck.
The new truck is very angular – almost a trapezoid – with no soft edges anywhere, and is unlike anything else on the road currently. In fact, the truck is so unlike other pickups, Musk seemingly had to remind people that it’s a truck — which means it’s tough.
To show its toughness, he had Chief Designer Franz Von Holzhausen whack it repeatedly with a sledgehammer, claiming it was basically bulletproof. However, that claim went out the window when Von Holzhausen hit a window and shattered it.
“We’ll fix it in post,” joked a clearly surprised Musk, who also took a few jabs at Ford during the presentation. In fact, he clearly made the automaker’s best-selling vehicle a benchmark, showing a video of the Cybertruck in a tug-of-war with the F-150.
Musk is known for adding one little surprise during these reveals. When he was nearly done, he promised “one more thing,” and out rolled an electric all-terrain vehicle, designed to roll up into the back of the Cybertruck.
While the show is impressive, what matters is the product. In this case, Cybertruck will have an estimated range of 250 miles with options to push that to 350 and 500 miles. It will run from 0 to 60 mph in just under 6.5 seconds, and perhaps most importantly, it will tow 7,500 pounds.
The new truck, which won’t begin arriving until late 2021, has a starting price of $39,900 for the single motor rear-wheel drive model. It jumps to $49,900 for the dual motor all-wheel drive version and up to $69,900 for the tri motor all-wheel drive version.
Want a self-driving truck? Add another $7K. However, pay it now and that locks the price in as it could go up.
Future owners can place an order for the new truck with a $100 fully refundable deposit. You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in late 2021. Tri Motor AWD production is expected to begin in late 2022.
The Cybertruck has plenty of conventional competition between the aforementioned F-150 and the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Dodge Ram. However, it’s not just going to have to fight with trucks with internal combustion engines for sales.
Ford recently rolled out a battery-electric F-150, which towed a train. GM agreed to produce an electric pickup in a Detroit plant as part of its recently agreed-to contract with the UAW. Additionally, Rivian has rolled out its full-size all-electric pickup and Bollinger is prepping its pickup as well. However, the EV maker may be able to carve out a profitable slice of that pie.
“The pickup market is really big, it’s about 3 million units in the US and that’s about 65% of the size of what we think the addressable market is for the Model 3 and Model Y,” Toni Sacconaghi, Senior Technology Research Analyst at AB Bernstein told CNBC, referring to Tesla’s most mainstream car, an electric sedan, and forthcoming crossover SUV. He said if Tesla’s product was niche, it could at least be made at one of its existing factories in the U.S.