Electric pickup trucks have begun to appear in nascent form over the last few years; witness the Rivian R1T and the Bollinger B2. Now, however, the big dog in EVs climbed into the field: Elon Musk has unveiled the new Tesla Cybertruck. Here’s what you need to know.
What does the Cybertruck look like?
Triangular — and like nothing else on the pickup truck market. Musk pledged to build something out of Blade Runner, and largely kept that vision intact. The question is whether buyers will think it represents the future…or a dated vision of the future from a 1980s sci-fi movie.
How capable is the Cybertruck?
Very. Musk promised a Tesla pickup that could deliver better towing and payload capabilities than the Ford F-150 and better on-road performance numbers than the base-model Porsche 911. He delivered. The top-tier Tri-Motor AWD Cybertruck can supposedly tow more than 14,000 lbs, carry a 3,500 lb payload and accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds. (Admittedly, not at the same time.)
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How far can the Cybertruck go on a charge?
A large truck should be able to carry more batteries than other Tesla vehicles, like the Model 3 we tested in California earlier this year. The single-motor version will achieve an EPA range of 250-plus miles, Tesla claims. The dual-motor version will supposedly go 300-plus miles, while the tri-motor will allegedly boast a range of more than 500 miles.
How much does the Cybertruck cost?
The base single-motor Cybertruck will start at $39,900 without incentives (Tesla’s federal tax credit allotment will have expired by the time it goes on sale). The dual-motor AWD version will cost $49,900. The tri-motor AWD will cost $69,900. “Self-driving capability” is an additional $7,000, and will be added at a to-be-determined date. Buyers can reserve a vehicle on Tesla’s website with a refundable $100 deposit.
How many people will the Cybertruck hold?
The Cybertruck holds six passengers. We did not get a demonstration to determine whether someone the size of former wrestler Andre the Giant — who stood 7’4” with a listed weight of 520 pounds — could fit in the driver’s seat, as Elon once claimed.
Will the Cybertruck face competition?
Yes. Tesla’s initial forays with the Roadster, Model S, Model X, and Model 3 opened up new markets for electric vehicles. With the Model Y and now the pickup, though, Tesla will face stiff competition. Rivian will debut its R1T pickup next year as Bollinger unveils its B2, and an electric version of Ford’s iconic F-150 and one of GM’s pickup trucks should be soon to follow. The Hummer name may return as an electric vehicle brand, as well.
When will the Cybertruck arrive?
Tesla says production will start in late 2021. The most powerful tri-motor version will reportedly start production in late 2022. Those, of course, are estimates — and Tesla isn’t always the most reliable when it comes to cranking out its products on time.
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