Tesla Cybertruck Shapes New Future for Pickup Truck Market

Tesla claims that the Cybertruck has more towing capacity than top-of-the market pickup truck models, such as the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and greater acceleration than the luxury sports car Porsche 911.

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Tesla claims that the Cybertruck has more towing capacity than top-of-the market pickup truck models, such as the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and greater acceleration than the luxury sports car Porsche 911.

Nicholas Hung and Aaron Sha

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Tesla’s newest release, the Cybertruck, left an impression with its uniquely geometric exterior and sports car-like capabilities. Bearing little resemblance to the traditional pickup truck with a joint cab and bed design, the Cybertruck debuted onstage at the Tesla Design Studio on Nov. 21.

“It doesn’t look like anything else,” Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk said at the unveiling. “The functionality I’m going to describe is within a space that is less than the most popular pickup truck in the United States, the F-150. So we didn’t cheat in either width, height or length, and we’re able to achieve much greater capability.”

The Cybertruck has a stainless-steel exoskeleton paired with Tesla armor glass, a 3,500 pound payload capacity and 100 cubic feet of exterior storage. There are three purchasing options: single motor rear-wheel drive at $39,900, dual motor all-wheel drive at $49,000 and tri motor all-wheel drive at $69,900. Prices vary with other add-ons, such as a self-driving system.

For the tri motor all-wheel drive option, the Cybertruck boasts a 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 2.9 seconds, a 500+ mile range and a towing capacity of over 14,000 pounds. However, its impressive capabilities alone were not enough to outweigh the futuristic aesthetic that turned many consumers off from the vehicle’s design. 

Plant supervisor Leo Diego drives a district-issued Ford F-250 and says that the most important thing for him is a truck’s basic functionality.

“I feel like it’s more of a luxury vehicle,” Diego said. “We need a big cargo bed and a good towing capacity…I don’t see anything wrong with Tesla, but for my initial impression from what I saw, I don’t think it’s going to work for what we do.”

Interested consumers can reserve their spot in line when Cybertruck production begins in 2021 with a refundable $100 pre-order deposit. Tesla has received over 250,000 pre-orders as of Nov. 27, only five days after its unveiling, despite not having any paid advertising, according to Musk. 

Senior Austin Truong’s family holds one of those many pre-orders.

“Compared to other pickup trucks, the Cybertruck is best in terms of safety,” Truong said. “They did live demos of how the truck is bulletproof and the glass is hard to shatter… My dad says the Cybertruck is just better at everything compared to the others, with better performance, utility, and price.”