Tesla’s Cybertruck is like nothing you’ve seen before
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the company’s long awaited electric pickup truck. But all of the demonstrations didn’t go as planned.
Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY
Elon Musk’s Tesla will be delivering its first long-awaited Cybertrucks on Thursday, with a live stream to highlight the milestone starting at 3 p.m. Eastern.
First unveiled in 2019, the model is Tesla’s first truck but looks little like the competition with an angular stainless-steel frame and armored glass. Tesla said the vehicle is made for “ultimate durability” and passenger protection, despite a demo in 2019 in which the glass touted as being bulletproof shattered on stage when hit with a metal ball.
Ten cars are expected to be delivered Thursday, according to a quote from Tesla’s global product design director Javier Verdura quoted by the Mexican newspaper Milenio. Musk said during the 2023 New York Times DealBook Summit Wednesday that he expects it to be “the biggest product launch of anything by far on earth this year.”
What time is the Cybertruck delivery event?
A live stream of the delivery event will be available on Musk’s social media platform X, formerly Twitter, at 3 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.
The broadcast will also be available on Tesla’s website.
How much will the Cybertruck cost?
While Tesla originally said the truck’s starting price point would come in below $40,000, experts expect the company to unveil updated pricing on Thursday.
“($400,000) is not a realistic price point in 2023,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ head of insights, in a Wednesday statement. “The reality is that no full-size truck, electric or gas, transacts anywhere near the $40K mark on average.”
Data from Edmunds shows that the average MSRP for the full-size truck segment is $65,158 and $76,281 for heavy-duty trucks.
A Tuesday note from Wedbush Securities technology analyst Dan Ives said “whisper numbers” for the Tesla’s single motor truck are in the $50,000 range, with prices for the dual and tri-motor variants likely to fall between $60,000 and $80,000.
Who is buying the Cybertruck?
Musk in October said over 1 million people have reserved the Cybertruck so far.
Caldwell said the Cybertruck’s first customers will likely be early adopters “who care more about being first to flash the shiny-new, angular toy than the price.”
“The Cybertruck should perform well in sales early on as a niche vehicle with an instant, overwhelming response, though Elon has already hinted at production challenges that might make demand a moot point,” Caldwell said in the statement.
During Tesla’s October earnings call, Musk said he expects “enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertruck.” The vehicle is not expected to be cash-flow positive for another 12 to 18 months, and Musk said Tesla won’t be able to ramp up to producing 250,000 Cybertrucks annually until 2025.
“Long term, this feels like a true test for Tesla since it represents the brand’s first entry that feels legitimately risky from a product perspective and has the added challenge of an established competitor set,” Caldwell said. She added that while full-size trucks traditionally have high margins, the Cybertruck’s design and production challenges “leave Tesla unlikely to reap those rewards the way legacy automakers have.”