Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the stage in Austin, Texas, on Thursday to reveal details about the company’s new and unconventional Cybertruck pickup, a day after appearing in a bizarre interview at the DealBook Summit in New York. At that earlier event, Musk boasted, “It will be by far the biggest product launch ever on Earth this year.”
In a dimly lit event room at the company’s headquarters, Elon Musk thrilled fans in attendance by saying, “We have a better truck than a truck and at the same time a better sports car than a sports car in the same package.”
Musk said the Cybertruck’s hard steel body is bulletproof and its windows are “rockproof.” He said it can tow over 11,000 pounds, accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and features a “super-tough” composite bed that’s six feet long and 4 feet wide. He added that the vehicle would “change the look of roads” and that “the future finally looks like the future.”
The Tesla CEO did not directly mention pricing and battery range for the Cybertruck. Tesla’s website shows that the price of the base rear-wheel-drive model for the Cybertruck is now about 50% higher than the original target of $40,000, before tax breaks or other incentives.
He then presented several “series cybertrucks” to the beaming customers, who drove away with them.
In an earnings call in October, Musk was more cautious, saying, “There will be tremendous challenges in achieving mass production with the Cybertruck and then making the Cybertruck cash flow positive.” He also said at the time, “We have our own with Cybertruck Grave dug” and pointed out “unique challenges” in producing and bringing this truck to market.
According to Tesla’s website, the company will sell its base model of the rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck for an estimated $60,990 and a “Cyberbeast” version for $99,990, with deliveries for both trims beginning next year. According to the company’s website, Tesla also plans to sell an all-wheel-drive version of the Cybertruck starting in 2025 for $79,900.
The base model rear-wheel drive Cybertruck is said to have a battery with a range of 250 miles and will accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds, and the all-wheel drive Cybertruck is said to have a range of 340 miles and go from 0 to 60 miles per hour accelerates to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 112 mph. The top-of-the-line Cyberbeast would have the fastest acceleration and an estimated range of 320 miles with a top speed of 130 miles per hour.
Tesla first introduced the Cybertruck in November 2019 – with its angular and unpainted hard steel body. Previously, Tesla announced that production of the vehicle would begin in 2021 and the truck would be sold at a starting price of $39,900 for a rear-wheel drive version and around $69,000 for a three-motor version with the highest trim, which is far cheaper than the prices listed by Tesla on Thursday.
The company began accepting $100 refundable “reservations” for the Cybertruck after its launch, and the company said it has received more than a million reservations since its debut. According to Tesla’s website, customers now have to deposit $250 to place a Cybertruck order.
While Tesla unveiled its Cybertruck design in 2019, early Cybertruck production only began in July of this year.
Meanwhile, competitors like Ford, General Motors and Rivian began selling their more practical electric pickups. Earlier this week, Rivian, which, like Tesla, exclusively makes battery-electric vehicles, began offering a leasing option for select models of its all-electric R1T pickup truck.
The U.S. market for electric pickups hasn’t grown as quickly as some thought when the Cybertruck was first introduced. Several start-ups have now either brought vehicles to market or have had little success, such as Lordstown Motors. Both GM and Ford have announced plans to reduce, delay or cancel electric vehicle products and investments, including some related to electric trucks.
Tesla shares closed down about 2% on Thursday and were flat in after-hours trading.
—CNBC’s Mike Wayland contributed to this report.
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