The All-Electric Radical Tesla Cybertruck Revealed: Is It Destined For Mars?

tesla electric truck cybertruck

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.  

Apart from the incumbent pickup trucks, the Cybertruck will also need to compete against the Rivian R1T, Bollinger B2, Ford F-150, GM electric truck and more.  

tesla electric truck cybertruck
Tesla Electric Truck: Cybertruck (credit: Tesla)

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
tesla electric truck cybertruck
Tesla Electric Truck: Cybertruck (credit: Tesla)

The Single Motor RWD (rear-wheel drive) can achieve 0-60 mph <6.5 seconds with an zero-emission range of 250+ miles.  The Dual Motor AWD can achieve 0-60 mph <4.5 seconds with an zero-emission range of 300+ miles. The Tri Motor AWD can achieve 0-60 mph <2.9 seconds with an zero-emission range of 500+ miles.

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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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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