Tesla Has taken Aim At One Of The Most Popular Vehicles In the US, The Pickup Truck, Challenging A Core Product Market Of The Established Detroit Auto Manufacturers. The Big Question Is If This Polymer-Layered Composite Sci-Fi Pickup Will Be Able To Make A ‘Dent’ In the Hugely Important Pickup Segment!
The California based electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla, Inc. is not only challenging the incumbent automotive leaders in regards to technology i.e. electric vehicles versus internal combustion engine (ICE) pickup trucks, but also firmly challenging the fundamental notion of the design of trucks.
On November 21st 2019, Elon Musk revealed the electric pickup truck at a ‘stunts-filled’ event, which maybe mostly remembered for the ‘broken-glass’! Despite the glitch, the futuristic looking sci-fi battery electric vehicle (BEV) certainly has caught everyone’s attention. It has been dominating the news and all social media channels and like ‘Marmite’ it is either loved or detested in fury and has certainly polarized commentators. Within a week of the launch, Tesla received more than 250,000 pre-orders for the ‘blade-runner’ inspired electric pickup. However, at US$ 100 for a deposit, it is yet to be ascertained as to how many of these ‘pre-orders’ will translate to sales when deliveries commence.
To say the Tesla Cybertruck is ‘different looking’ is an understatement. My first reaction was ‘is it destined for Mars?’
The very angular designed truck has an exoskeleton ‘an exterior shell’ made for ultimate durability and passenger protection, to include:
- Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin
- Armoured glass
- Polymer-layered composite
The green truck will be available in three motor options:
- Single Motor RWD
- Dual Motor AWD
- Tri Motor AWD
The Single Motor RWD (rear-wheel drive) can achieve 0-60 mph <6.5 seconds with a zero tailpipe emission range of 250+ miles. The Dual Motor AWD can achieve 0-60 mph <4.5 seconds with a zero tailpipe emission range of 300+ miles. The Tri Motor AWD can achieve 0-60 mph <2.9 seconds with a zero tailpipe emission range of 500+ miles.
The towing capacity for the Single Motor RWD is 7,500+ LBS, for the Dual Motor AWD is 10,000+ LBS and for the Tri Motor AWD, 14,000+ LBS. Ground clearance for all three variants is up to 16″.
The pricing commences at just under US$ 40,000 for the base model (250 miles range and 7,500 pounds towing capacity). The next model (300 miles range and 10,000 pounds towing capacity) is priced at US$49,900 and the top of the line model is priced at US$ 69,900 (500 miles range and 14,000 pounds towing capacity).
For those early adopters with an appetite to ‘stand out’, the Cybertruck will not disappoint. The eco-friendly truck can fit up to 6 individuals.
The all-electric truck is expected to commence production in late 2021, with the Tri Motor AWD production to commence in late 2022. You can pre-order on the Tesla website and have the option to also choose the ‘full self-driving’ option.
It is difficult to predict if this radically designed pickup truck will be accepted by a more ‘tradition belt’ of pickup drivers. My initial sense is that it will be challenging to truly make an impact that challenges the current dominance of the traditional automotive companies in this segment.
Once again, Elon Musk has been able to position himself at the centre of attention during a crucial week for the global automotive sector at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show!
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