Tesla’s Elon Musk proudly launched the new ‘Cybertruck’ in front of the world’s media last week, only to find that the distinctly breakable difficult-to-break windows were the main focus of media reports.
The new Tesla all-electric Cybertruck is a futuristic pickup truck / armoured vehicle which will not be manufactured until late 2021 and will retail for between $39,000 and $76,900. The Tesla website claims that the Cybertruck features “a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton” and that all of the components are “designed for superior strength and endurance”. For example, the truck features an “Ultra-Hard” 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin and armour glass (toughened glass). The smooth steel shell is intended to resist dents, damage and long-term corrosion as well as providing added safety to the truck’s occupants.
Tesla says that the new Cybertruck can accelerate from 0-60 mph in only 2.9 seconds, has up to 500 miles of range (thanks to improved Tesla batteries), a 3,500 pounds of payload capacity, offers 100 cu ft of “vault-like” storage, has adaptive suspension, and can seat six comfortably.
In addition to the futuristic exterior, the ‘cyber’ aspect of the truck appears to be focused around the 17” touchscreen with a new customized user interface.
That Glass Incident
The embarrassing aspect of the launch that international media outlets chose to focus on was when Tesla’s head of design, Franz von Holzhausen attempted to demonstrate how strong the window glass on the Cybertruck was by throwing a heavy metal ball at two different windows, only to find that both broke (although the ball didn’t end up inside the vehicle in either case).
Elon Musk tweeted on the Sunday after the Cybertruck’s (Thursday) launch that there had already been 200,000+ orders of the vehicle (with no advertising), but this figure appears to relate to pre-orders of the not-yet manufactured vehicle involving a commitment from potential customers of only $100 deposit (fully refundable). As any car salesperson could tell you, the small deposit coupled with the long wait for manufacture may be unlikely to produce anywhere near the same number of actual sales as pre-orders.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
There is no doubt that the major car manufacturers are committed to producing electric cars, and Tesla has achieved a great deal in establishing itself as a major player in this market, particularly with its Model 3. Much of the media attention for Tesla, however, has focused on the claims and behaviour of its charismatic leading light and often double-edged sword Elon Musk, who appears to be no stranger to controversy e.g. when he was sued by (and settled with) The US Securities and Exchange Commission for a “false and misleading” tweet about his plans for Tesla that was thought to have upset the market and investors.
Unfortunately, unpredictable and embarrassing events at the launch appear to have slightly overshadowed many of the positive aspects of the Cybertruck. Sir James Dyson also found that his ambition in the electric car market didn’t live up to reality as Dyson recently had to scrap its £2.5 billion ‘N526’ electric car project with Sir James Dyson announcing that it was “not commercially viable”. It remains to be seen if Tesla’s Cybertruck can achieve the same levels of popularity and approval as its Tesla 3 model.