Trucks & SUVs

Who Is Elon Musk Trying to Sell the Cybertruck To?

Amidst heavy rock music and flashy pyrotechnics, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s latest creation: the Cybertruck. The automaker had previously hinted about its first pickup truck earlier this year. Tesla stated that the truck would have a driving range of 500 miles and a supposed towing capacity of 300,000 pounds.

A towing demonstration wasn’t included in the reveal, but founder Elon Musk showcased the Cybertruck’s strength in other ways. The doors were impervious to hits from a heavy hammer. Its windows are also supposedly unbreakable, though they didn’t hold up in the onstage test.

All that aside, the truck definitely has the unique “cyberpunk” design that Musk promised. However, we’re not sure it will be appealing to the average truck driver. Which makes us wonder, who exactly Musk is trying to sell this truck to?

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk unveils Tesla's Cybertruck
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk unveils Tesla’s Cybertruck | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Cybertruck options

According to Tesla, the Cybertruck will be available in three different variations at launch. Tesla vehicles are known to cost upwards of $70,000 but the Cybertruck looks to be much more affordable. The base version will only cost $39,900. 

It has sa ingle-motor rear-wheel drive and a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. This is nowhere near what Musk promised initially, but it’s about average for a compact pickup truck. It will also have 250 miles of driving range.

The second option can tow up to 10,000 pounds and has dual-motor all-wheel drive. It will cost $49,900 and have a driving range of 300 miles. Both of these versions will be available by the end of 2021. 

The last option has the price tag of a typical Tesla car, at $69,900. This truck has a triple-motor all-wheel drive and a range of 500 miles. It can tow up to 14,000 pounds, more than popular contenders like the Silverado or the F-150

Another impressive feature of the triple-motor is its speed. Reportedly, it will be able to reach 0-60 mph in under 2.9 seconds. If this is correct, Tesla will have made the fastest pickup truck ever built. We’ll see how it holds up in real-world testing after its release in 2022.

Other interesting features

Tesla also states that each truck will have a maximum payload capacity of 3,500 pounds. The truck’s bed is 6.5 feet long, and the entire truck is designed to be bulletproof. Even though the “shatterproof” windows didn’t hold up during the actual demonstration, Musk backed up his claim with a video on his Twitter account. We’re not entirely sure who Musk is trying to target with these features, but it’s pretty cool none the less.

Niche marketing strategy

It’s easy to see why a regular truck driver might be turned off by the Cybertruck’s design. It has a pointy, unconventional roof and a truck bed that’s completely concealed. It also doesn’t appear to have any driver’s side mirrors.

However, some speculate that this is all part of Tesla’s marketing strategy. Tesla could have made a truck with a more conventional appearance, but it definitely wouldn’t have gotten as much attention.

The automaker probably hopes that the Cybertruck’s outlandish design will drum up enough interest for high initial sales. After all, paying upwards of $50,000 for a truck isn’t uncommon anymore.

Who should buy the Cybertruck?

On paper, the Cybertruck’s specifications would make it more than suitable as a work truck. If you don’t mind its odd design, you may want the truck for big towing jobs. However, there are plenty of alternatives that can tow almost as much as the third-motor Cybertruck for $10,000 cheaper.

One common annoyance about regular trucks is their appetite for fuel. Thanks to its all-electric motor, this wouldn’t be an issue. Some drivers may appreciate not having to sacrifice gas mileage for impressive towing power.

Love it or hate it, Tesla promised a shake-up and we definitely got one. Time will tell how this truck impacts future electric pickup models. For now, fans of conventional trucks will have to wait a little longer to get one from Tesla.