The Cybertruck Won’t be Tesla’s iPhone
The iPhone revolutionized the world in more ways than one. It was both a game-changer for Apple (and is still its most lucrative product) and the pioneer of the smartphone segment. An increasingly popular rallying cry for Tesla fans is that the Cybertruck will be the automaker’s iPhone. This is simply not true. Teslas iPhone is in the works but in an entirely different segment.
The most revolutionary thing about the Cybertruck is its looks
Unlike the iPhone, the Cybertruck will not be pioneering a new segment. Rivian offered the first electric pickup truck, followed by the Hummer EV and the Ford F-150 Lightning. But years before these trucks showed up in dealerships, the proliferation of electric cars made it evident that it would only be a matter of time until we saw an electric truck. So unlike the smartphone–which surprised many consumers–the Cybertruck’s development is surprising few people.
In addition, even Tesla does not expect the Cybertruck to be its bestseller. On March first, 2023, Tesla held its quarterly investor day. The automaker predicted the eventual market cap of its third-generation chassis would be 700 million units while the runner-up will be its Model 3/Model Y platform, will be 380 million.
The Cybertruck may pioneer some new materials. But when asked about its impact, even Elon Musk said that the uniquely styled truck will “change the look of the roads,”–according to MSN.
An entry-level Tesla aims to be the next Ford Model T
With the introduction of the iPhone, Steve Jobs essentially put a computer in everyone’s pocket. Not only was this a game-changer for Apple, but it shifted our culture forever. We’re likely generations away from discovering how much this revolution will change everything from our gig economy to how we socialize.
The iPhone of internal combustion cars was the Ford Model T. With this affordable vehicle, Ford put an automobile in the hands of millions of new consumers. At one point, 9/10th of cars on the road were Model Ts.
Tesla is indeed planning a more accessible vehicle. Elon Musk is targeting a $25,000 price point for the entry-level car on its third-generation chassis. To achieve this it is opening a new factory in Mexico and engineering electric motors without any rare earth metals.
Find out why some consider the Ford Model T the best selling car of all time.
Tesla’s taxi mode may make EVs cheaper to own than any traditional vehicle
Electric vehicles are expensive. Lithium is not cheap to mine, batteries are difficult to produce, and EVs are often twice as expensive as their internal combustion counterparts. They may achieve a slightly cheaper price per mile to drive, but it will still take decades for this to offset their cost.
During his March 2023 “Investor Day,” Musk speculated that the demand for Tesla vehicles might as well be infinite because the number of people who want a Tesla outstrips sales by such a high margin. He added that the limiting factor for most drivers is their ability to afford a Tesla. He plans to address this by offering a vehicle with a lower MSRP.
Elon Musk also hopes to roll out a “taxi mode” once self-driving is safe. This will allow your Tesla to earn money whenever you are not using it, driving the cost of owning the vehicle even lower. This could make a new $25k Tesla cheaper to own than any vehicle in the world.
The iPhone came at a critical time for Apple. In 2008, many might have called the computer company a niche manufacturer whose days of innovation were behind it. But because of the iPhone, millions of people who wouldn’t have bothered paying a bit extra for a Mac laptop lined up to buy an Apple product, and Apple became one of the largest computing companies in the world. Tesla fans who claim the Cybertruck will be the automaker’s iPhone may simply be arguing that Tesla’s brightest days are still ahead. We’ll just have to wait and see if they’re right.
Next, get the scoop on Tesla’s Mexico factory or watch a recap of Tesla’s latest Investor Day in the video below: