- Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled Cybertruck, the company’s first passenger truck, on Thursday night.
- The truck is made of a heavy-duty stainless steel and armoured glass and advertises three configurations: single-motor rear-wheel-drive, dual-motor all-wheel-drive, and tri-motor all-wheel-drive.
- It can seat up to six passengers and travel up to 500 miles on a single charge, Musk said. It starts at $US39,990 – rising as high as $US76,900 – and is expected to begin production in late 2021.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the electric-car company’s newest vehicle, the Cybertruck, on Thursday night.
It’s the company’s first passenger truck.
“Trucks have been the same for a very long time,” Musk said in his opening remarks, while images of a variety of conventional passenger trucks flashed by on a screen behind him. A caption on the screen said “100 years of the same.”
Soon, the Cybertruck rolled onto the stage, boasting an angular industrial shape, a single headlight that runs the width of the front end, and a matching tail light out back.
The Cybertruck is made of a heavy-duty exterior shell made from “ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel” and armoured glass, according to Tesla. Musk took pains to show the Cybertruck as being unlike any other production passenger truck on the road, punctuated by a 100-cubic-foot cargo area and up to 14,000 pounds of towing capacity.
Notably, Musk said, the Cybertruck employs the same alloy metal used in Starship, the stainless-steel rocket SpaceX is developing to be used for travel to Mars.
But it still comes with some conventional features like two rows of seats that can fit up to six passengers, an adaptive air suspension, and Tesla’s Autopilot semi-self-driving technology.
Musk says the Cybertruck will be available in three range varieties: single-motor rear-wheel-drive with a range of 250 miles, dual-motor all-wheel-drive with a range of 300 miles, and tri-motor all-wheel-drive with a range of 500 miles. It starts at $US39,990.
But the reveal was not without hiccups. The demonstration hit a snag when its “armour glass” windows got smashed during the demonstration. On stage, Musk had Tesla’s lead designer, Franz von Holzhausen, to test the left-side windows by throwing a silver metal ball at them.
After von Holzhausen smashed the front-left window with ease, Musk exclaimed: “Oh my f—ng God. Well, maybe that was a little too hard.”
“It didn’t go through – that’s a plus side,” he said.
Von Halzhausen then tested the back-left window, which also smashed. “Room for improvement,” Musk joked.
“We threw wrenches, we threw literally the kitchen sink at the glass and it didn’t break. For some reason it broke now … I don’t know why.”
The truck underwhelmed investors
Investors didn’t seem to be as wooed by the truck’s reveal as the audience. Shares of Tesla fell more than 3.5% overnight following the reveal. Some analysts said the truck could lack mass appeal.
The vehicle “will be a hit with the company’s fanatic EV installed base globally as Musk & Co. are clearly thinking way out of the box on this model design” Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said in a note to clients.
“Investors will question if this is a mass market pickup going after Ford and GM with ~3 million pickup trucks sold annually in the US, or a more niche “wow factor” model that will be more limited in demand/production scale and scope.”
But there’s a long way for Tesla to go in order to catch Ford, which Musk was quick to throw shade at in his presentation. Ford’s F-150, the best-selling truck in the United States, sells roughly 1 million units every year. Telsa could likely produce up to 175,000 in its first full year of production in 2020, Ives estimates.
“In a nutshell, we believe this next generation Cybertruck model could help Tesla expand its market opportunity outside its core customer base over time,” Ives said, “although gaining market share with stalwarts such as Ford and GM entrenched in this landscape will be a difficult task for Fremont.”
Bill Bostock contributed to this report from the UK.
More from Tesla’s cybertruck reveal:
- Tesla’s Cybertruck launch went off the rails when its ‘armour glass’ windows were easily smashed twice in a live test
- Tesla’s Cybertruck is inspired by a 1977 James Bond spy car which Elon Musk loved so much he bought the real one in 2013
- Elon Musk’s Cybertruck is getting roasted on Twitter, and people thinks it looks like something out of a badly rendered video game
- Tesla stock falls after its Cybertruck’s shatterproof windows break in a live demonstration
- Elon Musk took shots at Ford’s F-150 and other automakers during Tesla’s Cybertruck reveal
- Tesla’s new Cybertruck might be able to turn into a ‘Cybercamper’ with a tent for sleeping in the back
- Elon Musk’s Cybertruck is getting roasted on Twitter, and people think it looks like everything from badly rendered video games to rubber doorstops
- ‘Oh my f—ing god’: Watch Elon Musk’s reaction after Tesla’s lead designer cracked a window on the Cybertruck that Musk suggested was stronger than normal car glass
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