Officially mentioned for the first time in August 2012 by Elon Musk, Director of Tesla Inc., the Cybertruck was unveiled on November 21st. A look back at the key features of the vehicle and the challenges facing Tesla’s new model.
With its angular stainless steel monocoque bodywork, Tesla’s latest addition, the Cybertruck, hit the headlines last Thursday in Los Angeles.
The vehicle has an atypical design that one would think is straight out of a video game or science fiction movie (by any chance, Blade Runner). It also stands out for its surprising capabilities for an electric vehicle.
Capable of carrying almost 1.6 tonnes of payload, the pick-up is 5.9 metres long, 2 metres wide and reaches a height of 1.98 metres. These characteristics allow it to have a sedan interior as well as a bucket to transport materials in the rear.
On the performance side, the Cybertruck will be sold in three different versions with variable price and autonomy. The first one is at $39,000. For this price, the Cybertruck is composed of a single engine (single motor) with a rear transmission and a range of about 400 kms (250 miles). The vehicle can go up to 177 km/h and go from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. It can also tow 3.4 tons.
The other two versions have all-wheel drive. The mid-range Cybertruck will cost $49,000. It will have a dual engine with a range of 480 km, will go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and its speed will be limited to 193 km/h in addition to a towing capacity of 4.5 tons.
The three-engine version, finally, should achieve impressive performance, as Elon Musk said the Cybertruck would be better than Ford’s future F-150, and faster than a Porsche 911.
For $79,000, the model would have a range of 805 km, would go from 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds and would wait for 209 km/h, in addition to being able to tow 6.35 tons.
Finally, each model will have the opportunity to own an autopilot for an additional $7,000 to the bill.
On 27 November, six days after the presentation, Elon Musk announced 250,000 bookings on Twitter. This information coming from the Director of the American firm is still to be taken with a grain of salt. The pre-order of the Cybertruck is possible by spending only 100 euros, and these are fully refundable. It is therefore difficult to estimate how many of these bookings will result in concrete purchases. Production will start at the end of 2021 for the single- and twin-engine models, while the three-engine model will only go into production in 2022.
Tesla therefore leaves an opening for competitors such as Ravian and Ford. The former plans to market its R1T in late 2020, about a year before Tesla starts selling its first models. As for Ford, it will enter the competition by offering its electric F-150 in the same year as Tesla. A delay and competition that could prove tough on the U.S. market. The pick-up remains the best-selling vehicle category in the country and an electric and more ecological offer could attract a large number of motorists sensitive to sustainable development as early as 2020.