Musk Hails 'Most Unique Thing on the Road'

Tesla says Cybertruck prices will start at $60,990
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 1, 2023 4:59 AM CST

With manufacturing kinks still to be worked out, Tesla delivered the first dozen or so of its futuristic Cybertruck pickups to customers Thursday, two years behind the original schedule amid uncertainty over when large-scale production will begin. CEO Elon Musk showed off the angular electric trucks in an event at the company's factory outside of Austin, Texas. The ceremony started with Musk driving the truck on a stage in darkness and hopping into the bed to talk about it. "It's the most unique thing on the road," he said. "Finally the future will look like the future." Musk showed videos of the truck beating a Porsche 911 in a quarter-mile race—while the Cybertruck was towing another Porsche on a trailer.

The truck is aimed at the most profitable part of the US auto market that's now controlled mainly by Ford, General Motors, and Ram truck maker Stellantis, the AP reports. But since Musk unveiled it four years ago, all three Detroit automakers have shown electric trucks of their own. Ford, GM, and upstart Rivian already have trucks on sale, and the electric Ram is due out early next year. Musk said the Cybertruck's body is made of a stainless steel alloy developed by Tesla. The body panels had to be angular because they can't be stamped by a conventional press, he said. Stainless steel, he said, has no corrosion and doesn't need paint, but can still be mass produced.

On its website, Tesla said the a rear-wheel-drive version of the truck would start at an estimated $60,990. The top-line "Cyberbeast" would start at an estimated $99,990. Reservations can be made with a refundable $250 deposit. The trucks will have a single charge estimated range of 250 to 340 miles. When the truck was unveiled in 2019, Tesla said the base version would start at $39,900, with a tri-motor, long-range model costing $69,900. The truck was to have a range of 250 to 500 miles per electric charge. When Musk unveiled the truck four years ago, he said production would start in 2021.

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But on the company's earnings conference call in October, Musk lamented how hard it has been to produce the innovative truck with a body made of hard-to-bend stainless steel. "We dug our own grave with Cybertruck," said Musk, who added that he didn't think the company would reach its production target of 250,000 per year until 2025. During the ceremony, Musk repeated a stunt that went awry at the Cybertruck unveiling in 2019 when a Tesla executive hurled a softball-sized metal ball at a prototype's supposedly shatterproof windows. The glass spider-cracked. On Thursday an executive threw a baseball at the windows and they didn't crack. (Cybertruck purchase agreements include an unusual clause.)

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