In the market for a new truck but looking for something a little different? Consider the Tesla Cybertruck. Unveiled just a few months ago, the uniquely designed pickup will be available in 2021 and 2022 (depending on the model). The good news is that buyers can reserve one now with very little money down.
Tesla’s new Cybertruck
CEO Elon Musk and Tesla launched the Cybertruck at the Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. It has been controversial and generated lots of both criticism and support due to its unconventional appearance. The truck has gotten plenty of laughs on Twitter due to its futuristic design. It was compared to retro video games, a doorstop, the vehicle in the movie Total Recall, and something a kid would draw.
It has an angular design and a stainless-steel body, which you could sledgehammer if you wanted without damaging the truck. Its tailgate features a pull-out panel that converts it into a ramp. Its windows are made out of Tesla armor glass and theoretically are bulletproof. This didn’t show well at the unveiling, though, since a metal ball thrown at the window cracked the glass.
There are three versions of the Cybertruck with different motors. The base model will have a single motor, rear-wheel drive, and it can tow 7,500+ pounds. It starts at $39,900. The two-motor all-wheel-drive model will be able to tow 10,000 pounds. It starts at $49,000. The top version will include three motors and have all-wheel drive. It will be able to tow up to 14,000 pounds. It will also accelerate from zero to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds and be able to drive more than 500 miles before being charged again. It starts at $69,900.
Lots of people reserved a Cybertruck
Within days of the unveiling, people had placed 146,000 reservations for the Tesla Cybertruck. In a November 23, 2019 tweet, CEO Elon Musk shared the breakdown, saying that 41% of the reservations were for the tri-motor version, 42% were for the dual-motor version, and 17% were for the single-motor version. Musk tweeted updates the next day that the reservations had climbed to 187,000 and then 200,000, generating $20 million in deposits.
Reserving a Cybertruck only takes a $100 fully refundable deposit, so some of those deposits may not convert to actual truck orders. The $100 deposit is much lower than deposits for previous Tesla releases. It took $1,000 to reserve the Model 3 sedan and $2,500 for the Model Y SUV.
Business Insider has suggested a couple reasons why the reservation deposit is so low. It thinks having a lower financial commitment now could improve the odds that people follow through and buy later. A high number of reservations might make investors feel more optimistic about Tesla, and a low fee maximizes the cash coming in to Tesla today.
The Cybertruck’s effect on Tesla’s stock
There is a bit of a wait before the Cybertrucks are manufactured, but people who reserved a Cybertruck will be able to configure theirs in late 2021. Production of the dual-motor and tri-motor models is expected to start in late 2021. The single-motor version will begin production in late 2022.
Despite the many reservations, investors didn’t appear as enthusiastic as consumers and suggested the truck at the unveiling appeared to be more of a concept truck than a finished design and might have trouble making a dent in the existing truck market. The breaking of the shatterproof Cybertruck window at the launch didn’t help. By the end of the week of the truck’s launch, Tesla’s stock price had dropped more than 6%.
However, Tesla’s stock price was $338 at the end of November and much higher than its competitors (General Motors around $36, Ford around $9, and Fiat Chrysler around $15), showing optimism for the company. Following losses early in 2019 and a low stock price of $178.97 on June 3, 2019, Tesla stock closed at $524.86 on January 13, 2020. Helping Tesla’s standing with investors was their announcement at the end of 2019 that it had delivered 50% more vehicles in 2019 than it did in 2018.
If this futuristic truck is for you, get out your $100. If you make your reservation now, you’ll still have almost two years to think about it to be sure.