“What the hell is that?” was the first thought that crossed my mind when I first laid eyes on Tesla’s recently unveiled Cybertruck. A few days later, I’m still not sure what I think about the unconventional and unabashedly futuristic design. On the one hand, I think it’s cool that Tesla is willing to roll the dice with a completely polarizing design, something completely different from what we’re accustomed to seeing on the streets. On the other hand, the Cybertruck is arguably an eyesore with limited mass appeal. Here’s a fun fact: If you type in “Cybertruck is” into Google, the first autocomplete suggestion reads: “Cybertruck is hideous.”
The market will ultimately decide whether or not the Cybertruck will take Tesla to new heights of profitability or go down as a case-study of a disastrous, if not embarrassing, product launch. From what we can gather so far, though, it appears that the Cybertruck — despite an avalanche of critiques and tweets mocking its design — is off to an encouraging start. Pre-orders for Tesla’s new pickup truck jumped to 146,000 just 48 hours after launch. Three days after launch, the number of pre-orders rose to 187,000. Late on Sunday, Elon Musk took to Twitter and relayed that Cybertruck pre-orders have since reached 200,000.
Musk’s tweet was to the point:
As a point of comparison, Tesla’s Model 3 hit 276,000 pre-orders in two days and 325,000 pre-orders after just one week. At a quick glance, it would appear that Tesla has another hit on his hands. And while that may very well be true, one huge difference worth noting is that it only costs $100 to place a pre-order for the Cybertruck. What’s more, the $100 is refundable if you end up changing your mind. In other words, it’s not exactly instructive to compare Cybertruck pre-order numbers with the Model 3 which required a more hefty initial investment of $1,000. Meanwhile, the deposit required to order a Model Y checks in at $2,500.
While it remains to be seen what percentage of Cybertruck pre-orders translate to actual sales, early evidence suggests that the uniquely designed pickup truck might actually generate some traction in the market. It’s also worth reminding folks that Tesla has yet to release a vehicle that can be accurately categorized as a dud. Sure, there have been no shortage of build-quality issues with Tesla vehicles — with the Model X being a prime example — but that hasn’t stopped consumers from buying them in droves.
The design of the Cybertruck aside, the pricing matrix Tesla announced is reasonable — with the entry-level model going for $39,900. Further, the specs are rather impressive and give potential buyers quite a bit of bang for the buck.
If all goes according to plan, Tesla anticipates that production will begin sometime in 2021.
Lastly, Musk couldn’t help but post the following video to Twitter yesterday.