Tesla Unveils The Cybertruck Its ‘Bulletproof’ Electric Pickup

The Cybertruck has arrived and it looks nothing like any pickup truck you’ve ever seen. Years after first saying it was on the way, Tesla finally revealed the electric pickup truck at its Design Studio in Hawthorne, California, just outside Los Angeles.

When the truck initially drove onto the stage, many in the crowd clearly couldn’t believe that this was actually the vehicle they’d come to see. The Cybertruck looks like a large metal trapezoid on wheels, more like an art piece than a truck.

Instead of a distinctly separate cab and bed, the body appears to be a single form. The exterior is made from a newly developed stainless steel alloy, Musk said, the same metal that’s used for SpaceX rockets. That alloy enables the car to be “literally bulletproof” against, at least, smaller firearms, including a 9 millimeter handgun, Musk said.

A man with a sledgehammer hit the sides of the truck without damaging it. But a demonstration of the truck’s supposedly unbreakable metal glass windows backfired when a metal ball thrown at the windows did, in fact, break them.

“But it didn’t go through, ” Musk sheepishly pointed out.

The most expensive version of the truck, the Tri Motor All-Wheel-Drive, will be able to carry 3,500 pounds, tow up to 14,000 pounds and go from zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds. It will also be able to drive up to 500 miles on a full charge. Base models will have a range of 250 miles.

In addition to being able to carry cargo in its bed, the truck will have lockable storage spaces under the hood and in the sides of the bed. The bed itself also has a sliding cover.

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Tesla’s new electric truck won’t be without some stiff competition. It’s going up against the two market leaders in full-size trucks in America. Ford is developing its own electric F-series truck, while General Motors, which makes Chevrolet and GMC pickups, also has its own electric pickups in the works. Earlier Thursday, GM CEO Mary Barra said the auto maker expects to begin selling its electric pickup in the fall of 2021.

Tesla is also now up against another Michigan-based competitor, Rivian, a start up that plans to begin selling its own electric pickup next year. The company counts Amazon and Ford as major investors. Rvian founder, R.J. Scaringe, ranked third on this year’s just-released Motor Trend Power List, a largely subjective ranking of relative auto industry mojo. Musk ranked 24th. Rivian’s trucks will cost tens of thousands of dollars more then Tesla’s, but they will look far more like trucks.

Musk has said in the past that the pickup is something of a personal pet project and he doesn’t care much if few people actually want to buy it.

Chelsea Sexton, an analyst who covers the electric vehicle market, said she doesn’t believe the truck Musk showed is very close to the final production vehicle.

“From a specification standpoint, I believe that’s probably what they’re aiming for but, no question, that body style that is not a high volume product,” she said.

Production will begin in late 2021, with production of the Tri Motor AWD version of the Cybertruck beginning a year later, according to Tesla.

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