What’s the next big thing for electric vehicles? Probably pickup trucks. Ford is doing it and so are startups like Rivian. But Elon Musk isn’t about to be outdone, and tonight at the Tesla Design Centre in Los Angeles, the electric automaker unveiled something truly different.
Earlier today Tesla finally unveiled its long awaited futuristic pickup, the Cybertruck. The metal beast looks like something straight out of a dystopian sci-fi novel. But while it looks indestructible, with Musk himself talking up how tough it was, a stage malfunction proved otherwise.
Tesla chose to unveil this here and now because Musk loves Blade Runner. And to date, he’s made some wild claims about what it can do: out-truck a Ford F-150, outperform a Porsche 911, be “literally bulletproof” and ideally start under $US50,000 ($73,674). It’s also “the official truck of Mars.”
The man’s a lot of things, but modest isn’t one of them.
“Trucks have been the same for a very long time,” Musk said tonight. “We wanted to show you something different... and we need sustainable energy now.”
What we see tonight is a wild design, something that looks more like a kit car or a concept than an actual truck you can buy—made of angular stainless steel, said to be resistant to hammer blows and even bullets.
Musk said the glass is impact-resistant, but this was clearly proven false during a dismal demonstration on stage. “We’ll fix it in post,” he said.
Anyway, here’s the alleged specs: a 14,000-pound tow claim, a 3,500-pound payload claim, three ranges (200 miles, 300 miles and 500 miles), adaptive air suspension and a base price of $US39,900 ($58,792). The max range version, with three electric motors, is said to be $US69,900 ($102,996).
Production is said to be coming in late 2021, and the tri-motor version is happening in 2022, Musk said.
For the most part, this has been a pretty good year for Tesla. The third quarter was profitable, the critical Shanghai Gigafactory started producing cars, the Model Y crossover was unveiled and despite not really being $US35,000 ($51,572) as promised, the Model 3 sedan is doing well. But Tesla has to keep the momentum going somehow.
Then again, as with anything Tesla, some scepticism is justified. We’re still waiting on the Semi, the new Roadster and widespread adoption of the Solar Roof, to name a few.
And after watching this presentation—much of which felt awkward and incredibly half-baked—I was left wondering one thing: What did I just watch? Is Musk for real, or were we all just taken for a ride?
Even by Tesla standards, this one’s a leap. We’ll see if Musk proves us wrong, I guess. But if you saw that and were left scratching your head, I think it merely means you are still sane.
This is a breaking news post. More to come.