Before the Tesla Cybertruck, there was another Tesla electric pickup truck: the Truckla. YouTuber and creator Simone Giertz wanted an electric pickup, but the Cybertruck wasn’t out yet. So, she took a Model 3 and turned it into a truck. But now the uniquely-designed Cybertruck has officially been unveiled, although production won’t start until late 2021. And Simone decided to bring her Truckla to see how her vision compared to Elon Musk’s.
When Truckla met Cybertruck
Interestingly, Simone actually first jokingly reached out to Musk if Tesla would be OK with her brining the Truckla along to the reveal. Musk initially had no objections. But when the reveal date came, although Simone was invited as a kind of VIP, Tesla asked the Truckla stay behind. Most likely, the automaker didn’t want to risk people’s attention wandering over to the homemade ute.
But she decided to bring it along anyway. And based on her video, no one seemed to have any objections. In fact, as the rest of her video shows, there’s been a lot of love for the Truckla.
Do people still like the Truckla Tesla pickup truck?
Driving around San Francisco and LA, the Truckla kept getting attention. People would call out to Simone all the time. Some knew who she was, others (in the days before the Cybertruck reveal) thought she was driving some kind of Tesla prototype. In town, at a Supercharger, and even on the freeway, passers-by were constantly snapping photos or taking videos.
But it’s not just the social-media appeal. Simone talked with several Tesla owners at a rooftop Supercharger stations, explaining her build and the motivation behind it. Some expressed interest in buying a Truckla-style pickup. And another congratulated Simone on being the first with a Tesla pickup.
To be fair, as Simone herself acknowledges, the Truckla isn’t fully finished. It still needs to be fully weather-proofed. And considering the ute incorporates both Ford and Chevy parts, it’s clear some additional fine-tuning might be needed. But even so, and even after the Cybertruck’s reveal, the Truckla pickup is clearly a desirable truck. Or perhaps at the very least, an attractive one.
Other thoughts on the Tesla Cybertruck and Tesla truck appeal
Simone’s reactions to the revealed Cybertruck are best described as conflicted. On the one hand, she does remark that the truck’s straight lines would make it easy to turn into a sedan. But she also describes its looks as a blend between her ‘Cheese Louise’ Commuta car and a DeLorean. Regarding the windows or technical aspects of the stainless-steel design, she had no comment.
However, Doug DeMuro recently put out a video explaining his thoughts on the Cybertruck. He did praise its 0-60 time, the Autopilot features, and its towing figures. But on that last issue, he had a few qualifications. Yes, the Cybertruck beats out the F-150 and Silverado in towing—but only the most expensive, tri-motor Cybertruck does that. And at almost $70k, it’s priced more like a heavy-duty truck. And when Doug looks into what the heavy-duty F-Series and Silverado can tow, the Cybertruck comes up significantly short. As well as more expensive. So, in overall value, the Cybertruck seems like a difficult sell: it’s more capable than many light-duty trucks but significantly more expensive. Considering $5000 can make truck buyers switch brands, that’s a big deal. And when heavy-duty trucks come into play, the Cybertruck offers less for, well, more.
It’s difficult, in both Simone’s video and Doug’s, to determine if the Tesla Cybertruck will be successful among potential truck buyers. The same can also be said of the Truckla—yes, people kept taking photos, but how many would actually buy a Tesla ute? The interviewees at the Supercharger already had Teslas. Would either Tesla truck actually draw in a Ford or Chevy truck buyer?
That answer may have to wait until 2021.