Remember when Elon Musk said the Tesla Cybertruck would be the first all-electric pickup truck on the market? And then he faced a few (cough) bumps and delays? And then the Rivian R1T snuck up from behind and went on sale first?
Well, now the Cybertruck’s entire existence is in question as Tesla has scrubbed all the previous specs and pricing from its website. In-the-know electric-vehicle website Electrek discovered that over the weekend. And you can see for yourself, any reference to $39,000 Cybertruck or the three battery variants are now gone from Tesla’s website. You don’t even see Cybertruck in the top navigation anymore — you have to go to a side menu to access the scant information (and order now button) for the truck.
Since the 2019 launch, Tesla has touted the Cybertruck would have three configurations including a single rear-wheel-drive motor with 250+ miles of range, a dual all-wheel-drive motor with with 300+ miles of range and an AWD tri-motor with 500+ miles of range. It appears that Tesla may have scrapped those specs, and uncertainty prevails at the moment what configurations the Tesla Cybertruck will have and when it will be available.
Tesla also made a big hullabaloo over the less-than-$40k price for the Cybertruck. That for sure seems like pie-in-the-sky at this point — especially since the base Model 3 saw a price increase to $42,000. Price of the Cybertruck now is one of the many uncertainties surrounding the all-electric “truck.”
Musk is active on social media, and many of his fan boys are quick to come to his defense. Musk and the Teslarati have touted a number of around one million pre-orders for some iteration of the Cybertruck. This meant people putting down a $100 fully refundable deposit, essentially handing Musk a $100 million interest-free loan.
So, with the specs pulled down and nobody really knowing what is going on with the Cybertruck, how many of those alleged 1 million deposits will ask for a refund?
That’s a great question. And it will be interesting to see how the stock market reacts as Tesla has been a Wall Street darling over the years, despite so much uncertainty and numerous delays regarding the Cybertruck.
Musk’s prediction of Cybertruck being the first electric pickup truck on the market was false, despite it being the first one to be revealed two years ago. Since that time, both Rivian and Ford have revealed and started production on their variants, and General Motors has revealed the all-electric rebirth of the Hummer EV pickup truck as well as an upcoming Silverado EV.
It’s not surprising that GM and Ford have avoided the production pitfalls, since they’ve been successful automotive manufacturers for more than a 100 years, but Rivian being able to get its R1T truck out before anyone else, was the big surprise. Rivian is the underdog against the Detroit Three and Tesla and yet was the first one out with a real electric truck.
The F-150 Lightning is expected to make a big splash during the first-part of 2022 and is likely to win a lot of “of the year” awards as well. The impact of the Lightning, not the Cybertruck, will drive the pickup truck industry. If Ford is successful – and remember success is determined by consumer interest and profit margins– then the rest of the industry will jump head first into the segment.
Tesla may have spurred on the competition and raised the bar, but as such, the Cybertruck is looking like a bust while Ford, GM and Rivian (and even Stellantis!) just seem to be busting ahead with viable, interesting and, most important, available electric pickup trucks.
There should be a lot of upset Cybertruck customers from hearing this news. Allegedly, one million of them. Yet, the cult-like following of Tesla, Musk and the Cybertruck continues to confound. Despite repeated delays and bad news regarding the Cybertruck, it seems like the fans just stand by the company.
We have no problem with that type of loyalty. What Musk and Tesla should be taken to task on is the uncertainty of the Cybertruck. A little transparency would go a long way from staving off the criticism and the use of the word “bust.”
Certainly, the range of the Cybertruck and the price is now up in the air. Tesla, who is a leader in electric vehicles, should do better with the Cybertruck. They had a chance to really impact the pickup truck segment, but instead turned it into a circus with a goofy-looking, futuristic truck that looks impossible to produce. And now seems like it won’t be produced — at least not for a long while or with the original specs.