(HAWTHORNE, Ca.) — On Nov. 21, 2019, Elon Musk unveiled his newest Tesla model: the Cybertruck. Visitors were introduced to the new model in a design studio located in Hawthorne, California. Musk also mentioned the Cybertruck is more capable than a Ford F-150 at hauling and towing, as well as a “better sports car” than a Porsche 911. Musk aspires to begin production of the base version of the Cybertruck in 2021, and the more expensive Tri Motor All-Wheel-Drive version of the truck in 2022.
The exterior of the truck is made of a stainless steel alloy, which is the same metal used to construct SpaceX rockets. Musk claimed that the vehicle will boast bulletproof windows, but faced some embarrassment during the durability test when a metal ball significantly damaged the supposedly impregnable glass. Musk laughed off the miscue and added, “There is always room for improvement.”
The base model of the Cybertruck will start at $39,900, which is only about $10,000 more than the base Ford F-150. However, the Cybertruck will look to compete with higher quality pickups like the Ford F-150 Lariat Super Cab. The Tri Motor version of the Cybertruck will feature all-wheel-drive capabilities, a hauling limit of 3,500 pounds, and a towing limit of up to 14,000 pounds. For the base version, a fully charged battery will last about 250 miles, while the Tri Motor version will last around 500 miles. Both models of the Cybertruck will feature lockable storage units under the hood and sides. Using an adaptive air suspension system, drivers of the Cybertruck will have the ability to adjust the ride height of the truck depending on the terrain.
Musk also presented an electric ATV to go along with the Cybertruck. Although not a part of the pre-order that is available for the truck, the ATV can charge directly from the Cybertruck’s bed. Production of the quad is said to begin in 2021 and will be available to those who pre-ordered the Cybertruck first.
Tesla isn’t the only company developing electric pickup trucks. Companies like Ford and General Motors, as well as startup automakers like Rivian and Bollinger, look to ride the electric pickup wave and have models in development. One of the major reasons automakers are paying attention to this trend is that a pickup’s low center of gravity and ability to easily accommodate large batteries makes the idea both possible and practical.