Rivian, Lordstown, Tesla try to shake up pickup market with fresh designs, features


When Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Cybertruck in 2019, the pickup’s style and specs were a blast. The angular, pyramid-like shape was so extreme that some Tesla fans thought Musk was playing a prank.

However, Tesla has backed the design and production is slated for later this year. Tesla originally promised the Cybertruck would be ready to deliver to customers in the second half of 2021. Reservations are believed to be in the hundreds of thousands or over a million, according to tallies compiled by fans of the EV brand. Tesla has not provided an official number.

The company describes the exterior by saying that the Cybertruck’s thick, unpainted cold-rolled steel cannot be easily bent. As such, the body panels that form the supportive exoskeleton structure are flat. The angled top allows for an aerodynamic shape that is critical for EV efficiency.

The Cybertruck has been modified from its prototype presentation, perhaps slightly smaller and potentially more expensive, but the company says it hasn’t backed out on performance promises.

Advantages over traditional 0.5-ton pickups include seating for six and a 6.5-foot bed with 100 cubic feet of lockable storage and a payload capacity of 3,500 pounds, according to Tesla. Depending on the trim, the Cyber ​​truck can tow between 7,500 and 14,000 pounds, says Tesla.

The automaker advertises a range of 250 miles to over 500 miles in some versions, with fast-charging capability of over 250 kilowatts.

The most notable number in Musk’s first presentation was the price. Musk has since said that the price has to go up because the cost has risen significantly during development.

In a presentation, Musk suggested that the Cybertruck’s cost of ownership would be about half that of a half-ton combustion pickup. Analysts can’t imagine wild cybertrucks proliferating on construction sites, but this could be attractive to commercial buyers.

“Commercial truck buyers are looking for traditional pickup trucks,” Fiorani said. “A battery-powered pick-up can provide a source of power for tools, which is very beneficial for many types of work. Also, the torque provided by the electric motor is ideal for towing and hauling. The Cybertruck appeals more to everyday drivers than commercial truck buyers.”

But Tesla, which opened a factory in Texas to make its pickups, could be a powerhouse when it comes to availability. Tesla also has strong relationships with its battery manufacturers and even produces its own batteries. This makes the Cybertruck the biggest wild card among electric pickups.

“I don’t think we have a million reservation holders,” said DeGraff. I think there is.”



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