Why the Cybertruck isn’t a bestseller, but it can still tow, as Musk pointed out in Investor Day at the LHC
The demand for the Cybertruck has been so far off the hook, you can not even see it, Musk said on March 1 at Investor Day. But landing even 15 percent of the reservationists seems optimistic because the vehicle is running late and isn’t global—Cybertruck won’t be for sale outside of the US, Canada, and Mexico for some time, and doesn’t appear to meet safety regulations in the European Union and Australia anyway.
Another crucial stat: 250 miles per charge for the base model Cybertruck, and 320 for the premium Cyberbeast. Compare that to plug-powered competitors including the Rivian R1T (which gets 270 to 350 miles a charge) and the Ford F-150 Lightning (which gets between 230 and 320 miles), and that’s not as impressive as some were hoping.
The Cybertruck is powerful, though, as Musk emphasized during the Austin event, which included footage of the truck’s premium model outpacing a Porsche 911—while towing another Porsche 911.
In 6.5 seconds the base model will go from 0 to 60. The all-wheel drive middle model, available next year, can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The premium pick will have a top speed of 130 miles per hour, go 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds and tow 11,000 pounds, more than the Ford F-150 Lightning and less than the R1T.
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The head of design of the Cybertruck tried to prove that the windows were strong by throwing a metal ball at them. The shattered glass was in front of me. Today, the company made it a bit easier on its truck. Von Holzhausen went after the windows with a baseball. The Cybertruck survived.
The price bump will also be a drag on demand. The cars picked up by 10 or so people yesterday were not the same ones you’ll find in the stores, but they were $10,000 more expensive than the base model that was promised in November. The world has moved on since, with a number of competitors selling traditionally-shaped products.
The F-150 Lightning is the battery-powered version of the truck that has dominated the pickup segment for decades. GM will soon roll out its $52,000 electric Chevy Silverado, and Stellantis is readying its $58,000 RAM 1500 REV. Rivian’s R1T is $73,000 and can be bought by people who want a look-at-me e-candy truck.
Tim Simcoe is a business professor at Boston University and he says 15 percent of those preorders would equal unit sales of Toyota. There are challenges to scaling up production and a sufficient flow of paying customers.
A Blade Runner–inspired electric pickup, with an estimated 2 million pre-orders from self-styled “Reservationists”), could make the world’s most well-off man even wealthier. If half of those $100 refundable deposits stack up, that’s revenue of more than $65 billion, based on a newly inflated $61,000 price tag—up $21,000 from what was promised four years ago.
It’s stupid. It’s very Divisive. Fugly. The Hummer shouldn’t have sold so many. Might Elon Musk pull off a similar trick with the stainless steel Cybertruck?