Electric Mobility

Tesla's Cybertruck Launch: Navigating Delays, Bold Design, and High Stakes in the Electric Pickup Revolution

But now that Tesla has changed the industry, there is a much more maniacal focus on what they’re coming out with.

SMEBRNovember 30, 19:29
Tesla's Cybertruck Launch

The much-anticipated debut of Tesla's Cybertruck is just around the corner. A momentous occasion, analysts say, given the vehicle's history of delays and setbacks.

The Cybertruck's public image suffered a setback during its inauspicious debut in a 2019 product demonstration. Tesla CEO Elon Musk invited a customer to test the "unbreakable" glass by throwing a bowling ball at it, only to react with a curse as the window shattered. Over the past four years, the vehicle has faced multiple delays attributed to various supply chain pressures. Additionally, competition has intensified, with Ford and Rivian beating Tesla to the market by introducing their own electric pickups.

This marks the electric vehicle maker's initial foray into the lucrative pickup market. As of 2023, the three top-selling vehicles, as reported by Car and Driver, all belong to the pickup category, with Ford's F-series maintaining a dominant position.

The introduction of an all-electric pickup is viewed as a direct challenge, especially aimed at Ford and GM, according to Dan Ives, a senior analyst at investment firm, Wedbush. This makes Thursday's product launch a closely watched spectacle, symbolizing a significant move in the ongoing competition.

“In previous years, Tesla would do things, and the auto industry would dust it off like a mosquito,” Ives said. “But now that Tesla has changed the industry, there is a much more maniacal focus on what they’re coming out with.”

The event set for Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time at Tesla's Austin factory signifies the moment when the first Cybertruck will be delivered. Although the company has showcased the vehicles at various stores nationwide and provided glimpses online, there has been limited information about the specifics of what will unfold on Thursday.

The company is also anticipated to reveal the latest product specifications, including information on battery range, towing capacity, and pricing.

The event will be streamed on Musk's X social media platform.

Featuring a distinctive angular structure constructed from cold-rolled stainless steel, the Cybertruck stands out from electric counterparts like the F-150 and Silverado models, which closely resemble their gas-powered predecessors. Tesla claims that this "almost impenetrable" exoskeleton is designed to reduce dents, damage, and long-term corrosion.

The truck's appearance is perhaps its most notable feature, described by Autotrader.com executive editor Brian Moody as "futuristic from a 1970s perspective," drawing parallels to the 1976 classic "Logan's Run."

“I think it’s ugly, but that doesn’t matter,” he added. “Everyone seems to want a pickup, and at the same time everyone seems to want a Tesla.”

Projected from its 2019 specifications and analyst estimates, the tri-motor flagship vehicle is anticipated to boast a towing capacity exceeding 14,000 pounds and a battery range reaching up to 500 miles. This surpasses the capabilities of typical electric sedans and even outperforms Ford's Lightning. Tesla has previously promoted a zero-to-60-mph acceleration of 2.9 seconds, positioning it in competition with high-performance sports cars from a decade ago.

The pricing details for the truck are still unclear. In the 2019 announcement, the company set the price for the lower-tier, single-motor version at just under $40,000, with the most expensive variant selling for around $70,000. However, given the significant inflation in component prices across the industry since then, there are uncertainties about how affordable the Cybertruck will be.