Tesla unveils first-ever electric pickup truck

Daniel Fowler
November 22, 2019

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk has talked for years about building an electric pickup truck that would threaten the heart of the Detroit automakers' profits, and on Thursday he will finally take the wraps off the so-called cyberpunk truck.

Musk unveiled the Cybertruck at an event at Tesla's design studio which shares the same property as the SpaceX headquarters.

Demand for full-size electric pickup trucks in the near term may not be huge, however.

The electric truck market is becoming more crowded.

Musk has been wanting to build a pickup truck for years, and the Cybertruck will become Tesla's seventh passenger vehicle in development or production after the original Roadster, Model S, Model X, Model 3, and the upcoming Model Y small crossover and new Roadster.

General Motors, which is one of the top players in pickup segment, is going to develop and introduce an all-electric pickup.

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A focus on the high-performance end of the market is only natural given the success of Ford's 450-horsepower F-150 Raptor truck, which launched in 2009 and whose sales have since risen annually, according to Ford spokesman Mike Levine.

Other versions will be priced at $49,900 and $69,900 with the most expensive offering a range of more than 500 miles.

Tesla says production is expected to begin in late 2021. In December, Musk resurrected the idea, saying that Tesla might have a prototype to unveil in 2019.

The automaker didn't immediately respond when asked if this vehicle is the electric pickup truck GM mentioned during UAW labor contract negotiations.

Midsize trucks accounted for 3.7% of new vehicle sales through October, compared to 1.5% in 2014. And those margins could continue to increase if automakers can keep costs down. The Rivian truck will be able to tow 4989.5 kilograms, go from zero to 100km in three seconds and wade into just under a metre of water, the company said.

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