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Tesla's Musk Creates New Expectations Around the Cybertruck

TheStreet 2/1/2023 Luc Olinga
© Provided by TheStreet

The vehicle, due to start production this year, is Tesla's first truck/pickup.


It is the vehicle that in recent years has created the most expectations among buyers, market players and everyone else with an eye on the auto sector. 

Tesla's Cybertruck is the object of endless speculation

Futuristic vehicle, some call it. Sci-fi vehicle, some enthused fans of Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report and CEO Elon Musk say. And whatever it is, it's arriving late, having been unveiled more than three years ago, everyone says.

What is also certain is that this vehicle is prompting huge enthusiasm among those who dreamed about driving a vehicle that looks as if it came directly off the motor-racing circuit.

Since its introduction in November 2019 at a promotional event in Los Angeles, the Cybertruck has captured the hearts of Tesla fans. Musk said at the time that he had been "influenced partly by 'The Spy Who Loved Me'" and the amphibious Lotus Esprit S1 featured in the 1977 James Bond film. 

The vehicle also has been described as something out of the films "Mad Max" and "Blade Runner." 

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Musk's Favorite Car: 'an Incredible Product'

Its presentation was marked by a rather unfortunate demonstration of the vehicle's shatter-proof and purportedly bulletproof window. That presentation went askew after an aide hurled a metallic ball at the front window and shattered it.

This incident ended up cementing the Cybertruck legend. Musk and Tesla originally expected production to start in at least 2022. But as always with Tesla's schedules, that deadline hasn't been close to met. 

Nevertheless, when Musk indicated last year that production would finally start in June this year, fans jumped. The billionaire on Jan. 25 confirmed that Tesla would start manufacturing the first units of the Cybertruck "late this year."

"So it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally," the billionaire told analysts during the fourth-quarter-earnings call. "It will be the car that I drive every day. I actually just -- I'm wearing the T-shirt with this matched glass."

"And it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."

In addition, he said, the pickup won't be a big contributor to Tesla's profits this year.

"To be clear, for 2023, Cybertruck will not be a significant contributor to the bottom line, but it will be next year," Musk warned.


The Techno King, as he's known at Tesla, is optimistic about how motorists will respond to the Cybertruck. He has even just created new expectations by hyping the vehicle a little more. 

Tesla already manufactures five models -- the Model 3 sedan, the Model Y SUV/crossover, the Model S luxury sedan, the Model X luxury SUV/crossover and the Tesla semi. And now this:

"I was just reviewing the production beta Cybertruck," the CEO tweeted on Jan. 31. "It is incredible."

The post immediately sparked a fresh rush of excited comments among Twitter users.

"Elon I have a model 3 and I really am ready to trade it in for a cyber truck. I NEED the cyber truck in my life," commented a self described Tesla owner.

"👀👀👀 Can't wait !" added another Twitter user.

"I’d like to swap my X for the truck asap. Can you move me to front of line," quipped another Tesla fan.

The available information about the Cybertruck is for now only fragmentary. 

According to Musk, the Cybertruck will come with Tesla's "Hardware 4" full-self-driving computer, the company's advanced driver-assistance system. The main difference between Hardware 3 and Hardware 4 is in security, Musk has said

"Let's say, for argument's sake, if Hardware 3 can be, say, 200% or 300% safer than human, Hardware 4 might be 500% or 600%. It will be Hardware 5 beyond that. But what really matters is 'are we improving the average safety on the road?'"

This will be the first major FSD update since the announcement of "Hardware 3" in 2019.

The Tesla Cybertruck promises as much as 500 miles of electric range, a maximum tow rating of 14,000 pounds, and a base price under $40,000. The truck will come in three versions, with ranges of 250 miles, 300 miles, and 500 miles. 

Buyers will also have to add the Tesla FSD driver-assistance system for $15,000.

Musk on Nov. 24, 2019, said Tesla had received at least 187,000 orders for the Cybertruck. That was five days after the vehicle was unveiled. 

Tesla is no longer taking orders for the Cybertruck in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. But the vehicle can still be ordered in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

People can reserve one of the vehicles for a refundable $100 deposit -- essentially no commitment for a vehicle that won't be cheap. 

The Cybertruck will arrive in a market where rivals include Rivian's RT1  (RIVN) - Get Free Report and Ford's F-150 Lightning  (F) - Get Free Report.


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