Tesla presented its first pickup model, the Cybertruck, in Los Angeles. The model should reach a range of 500 miles (800 kilometres), be available from the end of 2021 and cost from 39,900 dollars. And it will polarize.
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This time Elon Musk was clearly right with one of his many announcements: Not everyone will like the Cybertruck. With its angular design, the Tesla Pickup looks incomparable in the truest sense of the word – nothing like it has left a factory building any time lately.
But Musk kept his word and unveiled the Cybertruck in a futuristic Bladerunner look. Some of the visitors and viewers to the livestream probably had an i3 moment: Yes, this is the serial car and not a concept or a unique piece for a science fiction film.
Since a lot has been written about the design and more will be written, we’ll stick to the technical facts. Tesla says he has also developed a new body that uses a kind of skeleton structure. “Starting with an almost impenetrable exoskeleton, each component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from the ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel structural skin to Tesla armour glass,” it says.
The interior of the Cybertruck will accommodate six people. The angular exterior design also continues there, with only a 17-inch touchscreen, similar to that in a Model 3. Even the steering wheel is no longer round but was adapted to the Bladerunner / Knight Rider look.
Tesla calls the loading area of the pickup, the “vault”. Two interesting details for pickup users: the loading area cover can be retracted. And the tailboard can not only be opened to the horizontal but can also be lowered further. This includes further extendable elements that can be used to form a ramp. So if you want to transport a motorcycle, quad bike or similar, you no longer have to take a separate ramp with you – everything is built into the tailgate.
Three different performance versions
Tesla has announced three drive options – with one, two and three motors. The entry-level model with a rear engine has a range of 250 miles (400 kilometres), an acceleration from 6.5 seconds to 60 miles and a top speed of 110 mph (177 km/h), a payload of 1,580 kilograms and a price of 39,900 dollars.
The all-wheel model has a range of 300 miles (480 kilometres), an acceleration from 4.5 seconds to 60 miles and a top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h), a payload of 1,580 kilograms and a price of 49,900 dollars.
The three-engine variant has a range of 500 miles (800 kilometres), an acceleration from 2.9 seconds to 60 miles and a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h), a payload of 1,580 kilograms and a price of 69,900 dollars. Tesla gave no information on the battery sizes of the three models.
What the investors are saying
The announcements about the Cybertruck were bold even by Musk’s standards. Sometimes it should exceed a Porsche 911 and sometimes a Ford F-150. Musk estimated the range in August 2018 to be at least 400 miles (650 kilometres). Perhaps the boldest claim: the Cybertruck should be able to pull 300,000 pounds (about 136 tons). However, the presentation showed that even the three-engine Cybertruck can “only” pull 6.3 tons. One of the few points where Musk may have exaggerated.
Musk will have convinced Musk fans without any problems, the markets and critics probably not. Unlike earlier announcements, the mood on the stock markets was less euphoric. The risk that Tesla could miss out on-demand with its daring design and ambitious announcements seemed too high to some analysts.
Additional offers and pre-order numbers
Update Nov 25:
According to Elon Musk, the electric ATV that Tesla showed on the back of the Cybertruck during the presentation will also be offered as an option with the electric pickup. Also revealed in a Tweet from Musk, Tesla will equip its Cybertruck with solar panels on request, which will generate electricity for around 15 miles (24 km) per day. Meanwhile, the Tesla Cybertruck hit 200k reservations!
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