Tesla Cybertruck: An intriguing electric pickup with a long ways to go

Chances are anything you’ve heard about the Tesla Cybertruck is probably critical. Maybe you heard about the odd aesthetics, a failed on-stage demonstration during the announcement event, or perhaps you’ve just seen thousands of jokes on Twitter about how weird the whole vehicle is.

That’s perfectly understandable. There has been a lot of strange discussion surrounding Cybertruck, Tesla’s first fully electric pickup truck.

Also read: Ford F-150 Lightning launched: The best electric truck for most people?

We’re here to clear up the rumors, provide some insight into the vehicle’s technical details, and tell you what the heck the Tesla Cybertruck actually is.

Tesla Cybertruck overview

Let’s cover some of the basics first.

The Tesla Cybertruck is a fully electric vehicle announced by Tesla in late 2019, with two of the three customizable models set to begin production in late 2021. The three available models are a single motor rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck, a dual-motor all-wheel-drive make, as well as a tri-motor all-wheel-drive model. The single motor version is set to begin production in 2022.

All Cybertruck models come equipped with an ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless-steel “exoskeleton” which Tesla claims ensures significantly better protection than the average pickup. On top of that, the windows are constructed from Tesla armor glass.

The truck will be about 80 inches (2.03 m) in width and 232 inches (5.89 m) in length. Cybertruck will fit in an average single-car garage as it’s about the same width as a Ford F-150.
Cybertruck will start at $39,000 for the single motor build, but this is without full self-driving capabilities. The electric pickup can cost as much as $79,900 for the tri-motor model and self-driving. But, Tesla does tend to offer a wide variety of customization options for each unit, so it’s not unreasonable to assume the price could run even higher once those choices become available.

Tesla Cybertruck models and prices

As we’ve already mentioned, there are three models of the Tesla Cybertruck: single, dual, a tri-motor.

The single motor model is the least expensive version of the Cybertruck, but it won’t have the same mileage, towing capacity and acceleration as the other models. The single motor Cybertruck can travel over 250 miles with a single charge, tow approximately 7,500lbs and go 0 to 60mph in under 6.5 seconds. This model will only have rear-wheel drive. The single motor Cybertruck will cost $39,900.

The dual-motor Cybertruck can do 300+ miles on a single charge of the battery, tow about 10,000lbs, and do 0 to 60 in less than 4.5 seconds. This Cybertruck will have an all-wheel drive. This model will go for $49,900.

Finally, the tri-motor Cybertruck, the most expensive and powerful model, will be able to drive over 500 miles on a single charge, tow over 14,000 lbs, accelerate from 0 to 60mph in less than 2.9 seconds, and will also have an all-wheel drive. The tri-motor model will cost $69,900.

The jump in specs from the dual-motor to the tri-motor is bigger than the difference between the single and dual-motor models. The tri-motor Cybertruck is the only one that can hold a candle to other popular pickups, but we’ll touch on this comparison more later on in this article.

Each version is compatible with a $10,000 full self-driving upgrade. This means that the most expensive version of the Cybertruck, a self-driving-enabled tri-motor model, will cost $79,900.

Related: The most expensive electric vehicles available today

Tesla Cybertruck release date

The two most expensive models, the dual and tri-motor, will begin production in late 2021, while the single motor Cybertruck won’t start production until 2022.

This makes sense as Tesla wants to make its most expensive products easier to get a hold of than its cheaper alternatives. This will in turn lead to more profits for Tesla.

So far, if this is indeed their strategy. It seems to be working.

According to Elon Musk in a 2019 tweet, about 42% of customers ordered the dual-motor Cybertruck, 41% ordered the dual-motor and only 17% ordered the single motor model. This certainly suggests that the vast majority of consumers are looking for an electric truck with better specs than the entry-level model provides and that people want their Cybertrucks as soon as possible.

How big is the Cybertruck?

The Tesla Cybertruck is significantly taller than the average man at 6 ft 3 in (190cm), but this is just about the same as other average pickup trucks, so it’s really nothing out of the ordinary.

The truck will be about 80 inches (2.03 m) in width and 232 inches (5.89 m) in length. Cybertruck will fit in an average single car garage as it’s about the same width as a Ford F-150.

The bed of the truck will be 6.5 feet in length and will have 100 cubic feet of storage space. There will be a lockable cover for the bed that provides extra protection for any cargo being transported.

Cybertruck will likely weigh somewhere between 5,000lbs and 6,500lbs, but at the moment this is merely an estimate. This is considerably heavier than an F-150 which caps out at about 5,014lbs.

Cybertruck exterior

Oh, man, there is a lot to say about this.

At first glance, the Cybertruck doesn’t even look like a road vehicle. The sharp angular designs, the sloped roof, and odd dimensions make this electric pickup look like something out of a cyberpunk fever dream.

If you can handle the wacky aesthetics you’ll be treated to a hardy and “nearly impenetrable” (according to Tesla) exterior. The ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless-steel exoskeleton withstood several sledgehammer hits at the Cybertruck reveal event, and can theoretically withstand bullets from some weaker guns.

The stainless steel is only 3mm (⅛ inch) thick. This will allow for a much roomier interior.

Musk confirmed in a tweet that customers would be able to wrap the stainless-steel exoskeleton of the Cybertruck in a variety of patterns and colors. This could open up endless possibilities for the personalization of Cybertrucks.

The Tesla armor glass used for the windows of Cybertruck is made from a polymer-layered composite and can supposedly withstand bullets completely.

However, evidence from the Cybertruck reveal event does contradict these claims.

There will also be 110 and 220-volt outlets in the bed of the truck which will allow for the use of power tools and other electricity-consuming devices to be operated without the need for an extra generator.

Cybertruck interior

The interior of the Cybertruck is a combination of a typical pickup truck and the modern, sleek design of other Tesla vehicles.

The same boxy design that defines the exterior of the truck also makes an appearance inside of Cybertruck. The seats, dashboard, and even steering wheel all incorporate an industrial squareness in their designs. The steering wheel in particular is shaped like a rectangle and seemingly doesn’t have an upper half — this kind of design is actually referred to as a steering yoke. This is an odd aesthetic choice, but it does fit the theme of Cybertruck.

The interior’s dominating feature is the 17-inch vertical touchscreen that sits in the middle of the dashboard. This is a common aspect of all Tesla vehicles, so it’s no surprise that it makes an appearance in the Cybertruck as well.

This touchscreen is used to interface with every aspect of the vehicle. It displays important information to the driver, but can also be used to engage full self-driving, play music/TV/movies, and control other aspects of the vehicle like interior temperature and navigation.

What happened at the Cybertruck announcement event?

A better question might be, what didn’t happen at the Cybertruck announcement event?

The truck was driven on stage by a group of people dressed in futuristic, dystopian clothing and then a series of demonstrations were conducted, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed the Cybertruck’s specifications.

The first demonstration featured the lead designer of the Cybertruck, Franz von Holzhausen, taking a sledgehammer to the door of a regular pickup truck and then using the same sledgehammer on the door of the Cybertruck. As expected, the regular door was severely dented, while the Cybertruck appeared to be completely unharmed.

The next demonstration did not go as smoothly.

To demonstrate the durability of the windows, a metal ball was dropped from various heights onto a piece of Tesla armor glass. The ball bounced off the glass, astonishing the audience. Next, Holzhausen threw a metal ball at the window of the Cybertruck.

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The entire front side window of the Cybertruck cracked, leading to palpable awkward tension and forced laughs from both Holzhausen and Musk. Holzhausen insisted on throwing the ball at another window, but that proved to be a mistake as that window smashed dramatically as well.

As if that didn’t make the event awkward enough, Musk seemed to forget to announce the Teslas ATV that was being released alongside the Cybertruck until someone off stage reminded him.

After the presentation, Musk theorized that the windows broke because the sledgehammer hits to the Cybertruck earlier in the show cracked the corners of the glass

Tesla Cybertruck performance: What kind of punch does it pack?

One hell of a punch.

The tri-motor AWD model of the Cybertruck can go from 0 to 60 pmh in less than 2.9 seconds. That’s faster than the Tesla Model 3 Performance and the 2020 Porsche 911.

While you might not be having drag races with your friends in your Cybertruck, you’re probably going to want to haul some materials, pull a trailer, or maybe explore some rougher roads. The tri-motor model of the Cybertruck will allow drivers to tow over 14,000 lbs. It will also have all-wheel drive and 16-inch clearance to ensure that it can traverse even the rockiest terrain.

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The tri-motor model also packs a battery that will allow the truck to travel over 500 miles with a single charge. That means that you’d nearly be able to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back on a single charge.

Is the Cybertruck actually worth it compared to other pickup trucks?

The tri-motor AWD model of the Cybertruck, the most expensive and powerful version of the vehicle, will cost $69,900, nearly double the price of the base model ($39,900) — and this doesn’t even include autopilot which will hike up the price by another $10,000. This means that, to buy the best Cybertruck (something that apparently 41% of people want according to a 2019 tweet from Elon Musk), customers will likely have to dish out at least $80,000, and this doesn’t even include any extra customizable features that are likely to be offered closer to production.

The most high-end Ford F-150 this year will likely cost somewhere around that $80k mark as well, so it seems relatively fair to compare these two vehicles.

The max towing capacity of the Ford F-150 is approximately 14,000lbs so the Cybertruck actually wins this battle as it can tow about 2,000 lbs more. During the Cybertruck unveiling, Tesla actually showed a video of the F-150 and Cybertruck going head-to-head, trying to tow each other in opposite directions. The Cybertruck did win that showdown, but that may have been in part because the Cybertruck weighs significantly more than the F-150.

The F-150 can do 0 to 60mph in about 5.9 seconds, so the Cybertruck completely dominates again in this field as it can do the acceleration same in about half the time.

In terms of mileage, the Ford F-150 claims to be able to go about 700 miles on a single tank, but the Cybertruck can only do about 500 miles on a single charge of the battery. While it’s a little unfair to compare an EV with a classic pickup truck in this capacity, if being able to go longer distances between stops is important, then the F-150 takes the cake here.

The Ford F-150 Lightning is slated to begin production this year as well, so how does Cybertruck compare to another new all-electric pickup?

Quite well actually.

When comparing the best Cybertruck with the best Lightning, Tesla’s offering packs three motors while Ford’s only has two. Lightning will max out at 300 miles per charge of the battery, whereas Cybertruck can muster a considerably better 500 miles per charge. That’s about 60% better.

In terms of towing capacity, the tri-motor Cybertruck can haul over 4,000 lbs more than the F-150 Lightning.

Finally, Cybertruck can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in over a second less than the Lightning.

While F-150 Lightning does provide a number of features that the Cybertruck cannot, it’s safe to say that overall the Cybertruck outperforms its competitor. Considering the price of the Lightning is over $10,000 more than the Cybertruck, the difference in value between these electric pickups becomes even more pronounced.

Who is the Cybertruck meant for?

A very niche audience.

Despite the fact that Musk claims the Cybertruck has sold over 200,000 units already, that number should not fool you. Since the Cybertruck was announced, the Ford F-150 has sold over one million units.

It doesn’t seem like the demand for the Cybertruck is going to eclipse the most popular pickup in America any time soon.

So who is the Cybertruck really meant for then?

Well, theoretically it’s for people who want a luxury pickup truck that is also capable of doing incredible racing speeds, while also being completely electric.

If you or anyone you know fits into that category, please let us know because we’ve struggled to find consumers who fit this niche.

This is all to say that, while the Cybertruck is certainly an intriguing step forward in luxury EVs, it seems more like a gimmick than a truck that the average person will be parking in their garage any time soon.

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Frequently asked questions

How can I get a Cybertruck?

The process as of now seems relatively simple. At the moment, to reserve a Cybertruck, customers must simply go to the Tesla website and make a $100 deposit. This deposit is refundable. Customers can choose which model of the Cybertruck they would like to reserve as well as whether they would like full self-driving capabilities. More details surrounding full configuration details are expected to be released later this year.

How much will Cybertruck cost?

The single motor model will cost $39,900. The dual-motor version will cost $49,900. And the tri-motor Cybertruck will cost $69,900. All models of the Cybertruck can have full-self driving capability added on for another $10,000.

Is Cybertruck bulletproof?

Well, kind of. The windows are supposedly fully bulletproof, the actual stainless steel exoskeleton is not guaranteed to be bulletproof. All this comes with the acknowledgment that “fully bulletproof” does not mean that it will be impenetrable to all firearms. Assault rifles and heavy-duty weaponry will probably be able to do serious damage to the Cybertruck. If you expect that you will need this kind of defence, you might want to look into a bodyguard service instead of a Tesla Cybertruck.

Is Cybertruck actually fully electric?

Yes! The Tesla Cybertruck is fully electric and will not have any features powered by fossil fuels.