Hear Us Out: It’s Actually a Good Thing That the Tesla Cybertruck Looks Ugly

Many people have been vocal about their thoughts on both Elon Musk and the Tesla Cybertruck. Both are controversial, but some of those controversies can help spark creativity. The Tesla Cybertruck might look ugly to some people, but that might actually be a good thing.

The Tesla Cybertruck and its controversial reception

The Tesla Cybertruck debut at the Tesla Design Center
The Tesla Cybertruck debut | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla launched the Cybertruck at the end of 2019. Since then, the electric truck has been the subject of strong feelings because of its unusual style. People suggested it looked like a kid’s drawing, a doorstop, something from an old video game, or a vehicle from the movie Total Recall.

The EV truck has a huge range of 500 miles. The tri-motor version of the Cybertruck can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. The tri-motor Cybertruck can also tow up to 14,000 pounds, says Kelley Blue Book. Additionally, all versions of the Cybertruck have a bed payload capacity of up to 3,500 pounds. The truck will have a stainless steel body, a 6.5-foot bed, and a 17-inch touchscreen.

The Tesla Cybertruck has a starting price of $39,900 for the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive version. The dual-motor, all-wheel drive version starts at $49,900. The tri-motor, all-wheel drive version starts at $69,900.

Elon Musk might be right about the Cybertruck

Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is no stranger to controversies, says Business Insider. He’s “incited lawsuits and SEC investigations.” He’s been fired as the CEO of PayPal and been the subject of a defamation lawsuit (for which he was found not guilty).

However, he might be right about the Tesla Cybertruck, at least in supporting its uniqueness. Musk recently tweeted, “I don’t care [if the Cybertruck flops]. I love it so much, even if others don’t. Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future.” His passion that comes through helps make this unusual truck possible.

Jalopnik points out that vehicle designs “tend to converge on a particular sort of generalized design of the era.” While most trucks today resemble each other in looks, build, and style, Tesla is experimenting with something different and stands apart with its unusual truck.

Unique vehicles of the past have often been remembered while other models were forgotten. Jalopnik mentions the Chevrolet Corvair and the Volkswagen Beetle. No matter how you feel about the Tesla Cybertruck’s appearance, having more Cybertrucks driving around might inspire car designers to try something new and offer buyers more variety.

Questions about the Cybertruck

While it’s great to have more variety out on the road, that doesn’t mean the Tesla Cybertruck will succeed. In a survey done at the end of 2019, 56% of respondents hadn’t yet seen the Cybertruck or weren’t familiar with it. Of those who were aware of it, 44% had a negative reaction, reports CNET. Another 27% thought the truck was amusing or weren’t sure about it. Only 29% had a positive reaction to it. While the poll wasn’t based on a large sample size, it raises questions about the truck’s likelihood of success.

Automobile designer Frank Stephenson points out that the Cybertruck may quickly feel dated, says Observer. Additionally, he claims the truck doesn’t have an organic feel to its futuristic style, and its triangular shape isn’t that revolutionary.

Some details of the Cybertruck used in the launch also raise questions. The truck has no side mirrors, and its headlights aren’t street legal, reports Wired. It also doesn’t have door handles and appears not to have a “crumple zone,” which collapses during a forward collision to protect the vehicle’s passengers. However, due to its simplified style, it’s possible that manufacturing will also be simplified, keeping costs down.

Delivery of Tesla Cybertruck preorders will begin in 2021, with production increasing in 2022. While it’s impossible to predict whether or not it will be successful in terms of its sales, its successes may come from expanding the possibilities for truck design.

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