Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, on Thursday unveiled the “Cybertruck,” an electrical pickup truck that the corporate hopes will rival Ford’s best-selling F-150 line.
Its design ensured it might definitely stand out on the highway. Wanting little like conventional pickup vans, the Cybertruck, which is able to begin at $39,900, has a stainless-steel exterior with a triangular roof.
“Vehicles have been the identical for a really very long time,” Mr. Musk mentioned at an occasion in Los Angeles. “Like 100 years, vans have been principally the identical. We wish to attempt one thing totally different.”
What did Tesla present?
The corporate unveiled three fashions: A single-motor rear wheel drive for $39,900, a dual-motor all wheel drive for $49,900, and a tri-motor all wheel drive for $69,900.
The most costly truck tows 14,000 kilos and may go as much as 500 miles on a single cost, Tesla mentioned. Mr. Musk mentioned the truck has the acceleration of a Porsche.
Orders have been instantly obtainable on the Tesla web site. Manufacturing will start in late 2021, Tesla mentioned.
Mr. Musk led demonstrations that he mentioned would show the vans have been “actually powerful, not pretend powerful.” Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s chief designer, smacked the door with a sledgehammer, leaving no dent. Mr. Musk mentioned the doorways may face up to a bullet from a 9 millimeter handgun.
An indication of window power didn’t go as nicely. Mr. von Holzhausen lobbed a metallic ball on the driver’s aspect window, which was instantly cracked. He tried once more on the again seat window. That cracked, too.
“Possibly that was just a little too laborious,” Mr. Musk mentioned.
He gave the remainder of the presentation with the cracked home windows behind him.
In interviews earlier than the disclosing, Mr. Musk acknowledged the truck’s look wasn’t precisely standard. On the “Ride the Lightning” podcast this month, Mr. Musk mentioned the truck would look “fairly sci-fi” and “type of like a Blade Runner truck.”
“It’s not going to be for everybody,” he mentioned, with attribute bravado.
“Once we unveil this factor, there will probably be some people who find themselves like, ‘Oh, that doesn’t appear to be a truck; I don’t wish to purchase it,’” he mentioned. “It’s like after they got here out with cars, individuals have been like, ‘Oh, I like a horse and carriage.’ Certain, O.Okay., you possibly can stick along with your horse and carriage, however you’re going to get an vehicle later. You simply don’t comprehend it.”
Are different firms making electrical vans?
In truth, they’re.
Common Motors introduced on Thursday that its first battery electrical pickup truck would go on sale within the fall of 2021. Ford Motor has said it should launch a hybrid F-150 subsequent yr, and the corporate is engaged on an all-electric model. (In an illustration in July, an F-150 electrical prototype efficiently towed greater than 1.25 million kilos of rail vehicles and vans for a brief distance throughout a functionality check.)
The beginning-up Rivian additionally launched an electrical pickup truck this yr. Rivian is taken into account a possible rival to Tesla, and has gotten a $500 million funding from Ford, in addition to backing from Amazon. Rivian’s truck and an electrical sport utility automobile are supposed to enter manufacturing subsequent yr.
Do analysts assume individuals will purchase Tesla’s truck?
Mr. Musk argues that electrical autos will ultimately substitute conventional ones. And Americans love pickup trucks. However no less than within the quick time period, some analysts are uncertain that conventional truck patrons would put money into early electrical fashions.
Karl Brauer, the chief writer at Kelley Blue Guide and Autotrader, predicted that the Tesla truck would enchantment extra to tech lovers than to conventional truck patrons.
“Every thing from its styling to its drivetrain will probably be a significant departure from commonplace pickup vans,” he mentioned in a press release. “As a know-how assertion for tech-oriented professionals and followers, this truck’s departures from the norm will probably be seen as belongings, not liabilities.”
What different fashions is Tesla engaged on?
The corporate sells two sedans and a sport utility automobile, and has a hatchback coming to market subsequent yr. Tesla can be engaged on a two-seat roadster and a semi truck, each of which it publicly unveiled two years in the past.
Tesla has turn into one of many high producers of luxurious vehicles in the US, rivaling manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Additionally it is among the many main firms growing self-driving vehicles, which have confronted powerful questions about safety. The corporate, based in 2003, has by no means turned an annual revenue.
Why is Musk within the information so usually?
Mr. Musk is a brash Silicon Valley billionaire whose firms and public feedback make headlines repeatedly. This week, for instance, a federal choose rejected Mr. Musk’s attempt to throw out a defamation lawsuit introduced in opposition to him by a British cave explorer whom Mr. Musk had accused of being a “pedo man.”
Mr. Musk also the chief of SpaceX, which launches rockets and spacecraft and has been employed to fly astronauts to the Worldwide House Station. NASA carried out a security assessment of SpaceX final yr after Mr. Musk smoked pot on the podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Tesla and Mr. Musk had gone by means of a period of turmoil beginning in August 2018, after Mr. Musk abruptly declared on Twitter that he hoped to take the publicly traded firm non-public. The occasions kicked off furor within the markets and ignited a federal investigation. He was fined $20 million by securities regulators and agreed to relinquish the chairmanship of Tesla for 3 years.
However when he was requested by a Twitter follower about the price of his tweet, Mr. Musk mentioned it had been “worth it.” Mr. Musk subsequently announced that he was taking a break from Twitter for just a few days, however he ultimately returned to the platform.