Edgy Electric Tesla Cybertruck Boasts Rapid Acceleration, Long Range
Tesla storms into an electric pickup segment as a futuristic, high-performance vehicle that can tow up to 14,000 pounds
The Tesla Cybertruck rocked the automotive world when the prototype was unveiled in November 2019. Its brash, edgy design is unlike any vehicle that has been produced, seeming to draw inspiration from children’s building blocks and the DeLorean DMC-12. It boasts big numbers, with sports car–like acceleration, heavy-duty-truck-grade tow capacity, massive 500-mile range, and the overpromising Full Self-Driving driver-assistance features.
It will compete with the Chevrolet Silverado Electric, GMC Hummer EV, Ford F-150 Lightning, and Rivian R1T.
The company has several major barriers to overcome first. Delivery is estimated to be late 2022 at the earliest.
Musk repeated a now-familiar saying during the earnings call: “It is easy to make prototypes, hard to do mass production.” He did state that engineering is complete, and the Cybertruck is moving into a beta phase this year. It will be built at a new facility in Texas that is still under construction, and the Cybertruck assembly line will start after the updated Model Y begins production there.
Among the challenges Tesla faces is solving its chip shortage. Company officials stated that this hurdle affects when the Cybertruck and Semi tractor-trailer truck will begin production. Another roadblock is getting its next-generation 4680 batteries built at a sufficient volume. Tesla’s own descriptions of the challenges in doing so point to these promising batteries being a real factor with timing.
Musk has indicated that the production Cybertruck will be a hint smaller than the prototype, whose key dimensions were a near-match for the Ford F-150 crew cab, making it more compatible with the subterranean tunnels created by the related Boring Company to help vehicles move under busy cities.
It is still hard to believe that the company truly intends to produce such an angular product, but the U.S. Design Patents filed show a design that very much resembles the Cybertruck prototype. Clearly the styling and specifications have garnered a large following, with reports pointing to more than a million refundable deposits made on the Cybertruck. Even a fraction of that would be stunning, given the radical design and how little is known about the final product.
More details will emerge as the countdown to production continues. Here is what we know so far.