Tesla reveals Cybertruck, its electric pickup

Pras Subramanian
Producer/Reporter

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said “it doesn’t look like anything else.” And he was right... boy, was he right.

The Tesla Cybertruck pickup looked beyond the “cyberpunk” vision Musk once said inspired him, in fact it looked downright alien. It has all hard lines, including a triangle-shaped bed with a retractable cover. The Cybertruck looked nothing like anything Tesla, or for that matter any automaker, has ever created. It’s a driveable triangle.

People take pictures of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

The reactions from car fans and journalists were mixed to say the least. Polarizing, yes, but it did have some qualities that are noteworthy.

The skin of the truck is so hard that a sledge hammer couldn’t dent it. It’s the same cold-rolled steel that SpaceX will use for its Starship. Very impressive. The Tesla “armored glass” that Musk touted did withstand some punishment during a heavy ball bearing drop test but not when that ball bearing was actually thrown at the windows of the Cybertruck, shattering the glass but not breaking it. It was a fail that did give Elon a laugh. 

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the shattered windows of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Now here are some of the Cybertruck’s vital stats:

  • There will be 3 types of models: single-motor RWD, dual-motor AWD, and tri-motor AWD

  • A 6.5-foot long bed

  • Payload: 3,500 lbs

  • Towing capacity: up to 14,000 lbs

On-road performance was quite impressive, at least for the tri-motor AWD version:

  • 0-60 seconds - 2.9 seconds

  • 1/4 mile 10.8.s

Tesla estimates the following ranges per full charge for each of the three models:

  • 250 mi (single-motor RWD)

  • 300 mi (dual-motor AWD)

  • 500 mi (tri-motor AWD)

In terms of energy storage stats, Tesla revealed the Cybertruck is 250+kw capable with 110v/220v on-board outlets for ancillary usage. Given that the truck had its own air suspension system, Tesla is allowing users to use that system as an on-board air compressor for other purposes (power tool use, etc.).

All versions of the truck will have Tesla’s self-driving auto-pilot feature as an option.

Now for the truly crazy part. The entry-level single motor RWD version starts at $39,900. Yes, you read that right, well below the $50,000 price point Musk had mentioned earlier. In fact, the dual-motor AWD version will start at $49,900, but the range-topping tri-motor AWD version will start at $69,900. This is very competitive pricing when compared to potential electric competitors like the Rivian R1T pickup.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Musk also noted in a slide that buyers could lease the dual-motor version for around $570 a month. However, there was no mention of whether that included a down payment.

Now the big “IF” Musk did not mention is when the Cybertruck would be available. Prospective buyers are able to order a Cybertruck now with a $100 deposit, but buyers will complete the order configuration “as production nears in late 2021,” with tri-motor AWD production expected to begin production “in late 2022.” Tesla analysts and buyers are correct to wonder how Tesla plans to build these trucks when Tesla’s Fremont factory is already straining to produce the Model S, X, 3, and upcoming Model Y. Perhaps the Gigafactory in Nevada may be an option.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk speaks in front of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck with shattered windows, after a failed resistance test, at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Finally, following in Steve Jobs’ and Apple’s traditional footsteps, Musk revealed an electric ATV that can go right into the truck’s bed. The on-stage demo showed the air suspension lowering the truck’s bed, which then deploys a built-in ramp to allow easy loading of the aforementioned ATV or any kind of small vehicle. Pretty cool stuff.

You can learn more about the Tesla Cybertruck and put down a $100 deposit if you are so inclined, here.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.

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