When Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduced his company’s first electric pickup truck in Los Angeles yesterday, he said, “It doesn’t look like anything else.”
He got that right. The Cybertruck is Tesla’s sixth vehicle and definitely its most bizarre…but so was the presentation. When Musk asked Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen to throw a metal ball at the truck to demonstrate its toughness, Franz shattered a window. Twice.
Well, the Cybertruck has nowhere to go but up. The starting price is $39,900 and it can go zero to 60 in about 2.9 seconds, according to Musk. The truck has three battery ranges, the top of which can last 500+ miles per charge.
The backstory: Musk outdid himself with the pre-launch hype.
Yesterday he tweeted, “Tesla Cybertruck (pressurized edition) will be official truck of Mars.”
“I think the Tesla side of the truck is our best product ever,” he told investors on the company’s last earnings call.
So why get into pickups?
What if we told you that the three top-selling vehicles in the U.S. are the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Ram 1500.
Last year, full-size truck sales grew to almost 2.5 million units—the rest of the new car market was basically flat, reports The Drive.
Full-size truck owners are the most loyal out of any vehicle category.
Pickups and SUVs currently account for seven out of 10 U.S. vehicle sales.
And you already probably knew this in your gut, but people buy trucks even when they don’t really need them. 75% of truck owners tow something one time a year or less, according to Strategic Vision data cited by The Drive.
Sounds like an opportunity for Tesla, but there’s still product-market fit to worry about. After all, making an electric pickup truck is like topping an Impossible Burger with bacon—who’s your target customer?
Only 4% of truck buyers say they’d pay extra for a more fuel efficient vehicle.
Bottom line: Musk has been able to change the conversation around electric vehicles before. This could be his biggest challenge yet.