EletiofeTesla’s Cybertruck Is Here and It Costs $61,000

Tesla’s Cybertruck Is Here and It Costs $61,000

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Two years after Tesla was due to deliver its first electric trucks, the Cybertruck is really, truly here—and the base model costs $61,000. That’s about $21,000 more than CEO Elon Musk promised when the Cybertruck was first introduced four years ago. And that cheapest model won’t be available until 2025.

Want one of these one-of-a-kind vehicles for your own? Deliveries to reservation holders started onstage at the Austin, Texas, event today, with Musk himself doing the honors. Tesla’s webpages say that two other versions of the Cybertruck, an all-wheel drive model (estimated at $80,000) and a “Cyberbeast” premium model (estimated at $100,000), will be available next year.

Musk said last month that Tesla will really start churning out the trucks in 2025, when he expects to hit 250,000 produced a year. But anyone who hasn’t already made a reservation yet—as Tesla says more than 1 million people have—might have to wait longer. Tesla more than doubled the price of a (refundable) reservation today, to $250.

Another crucial stat: 250 miles per charge for the base model Cybertruck, and 320 for the premium Cyberbeast. Compare that to plug-powered competitors including the Rivian R1T (which gets 270 to 350 miles a charge) and the Ford F-150 Lightning (which gets between 230 and 320 miles), and that’s not as impressive as some were hoping.

The Cybertruck is powerful, though, as Musk emphasized during the Austin event, which included footage of the truck’s premium model outpacing a Porsche 911—while towing another Porsche 911.

The base model, which has a single-motor and is rear-wheel, will go from 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds. The all-wheel drive middle model, available next year, can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The premium pick, also due in 2024, will be able to hit top speeds of 130 miles per hour, go 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds, and tow a fairly beastly 11,000 pounds—more than the Ford F-150 Lightning, and about on par with the Rivian R1T.

In 2019, Tesla and Musk launched a thousand memes when the carmaker’s head of design, Franz von Holzhausen, tried to prove the strength of the Cybertruck’s windows by throwing a metal ball at it. The glass shattered. Today, Tesla went a bit easier on its truck. Von Holzhausen went after the windows with a baseball. The Cybertruck survived.

The Cybertruck is a big deal for Tesla. It’s the first new vehicle the electric automaker has produced in three years. In a business built on novelty—traditionally, automakers pump out new features and makes almost every year—that’s a long time to wait for something new. Plus, it’s Tesla’s first entrant into the popular and high-margin pickup truck business. How the Cybertruck performs for the carmaker will help determine how easily the world, and especially the United States, transitions to electrics.

Beyond the Cybertruck, Tesla is both doing very, very well and yet somehow always in crisis. The company is the most valuable automaker in the world, and one of the world’s most valuable companies of any kind. Its last new vehicle, the Model Y, is the top-selling electric vehicle in the US and the best selling vehicle, period, in five US states. Tesla has four factories up and running around the world and is due to open another, in Mexico, in 2025. It has completely upended the way the car business thinks about software and manufacturing.

But Tesla also ran into two years’ worth of delays as it raced to get out the Cybertruck, many of them self-inflicted. The vehicle’s unorthodox design and use of stainless steel appear to have created obstacles for the engineering team, which must eventually produce many trucks with great precision. By early 2022, WIRED has reported, Tesla was still struggling with the basics with an early preproduction version of the truck: with braking, handling, noise, and leaks.

Plus, CEO Elon Musk is constantly in the news, and not always in a good way. Just yesterday, the also-X CTO and owner told advertisers to “G-F-Y” from the stage of a New York Times conference.

During the event, Musk took a similar screw-the-haters approach. “We have a car here that experts said was impossible,” he said onstage in Texas. “Finally, the future will look like the future,” he said, referring to the truck’s untraditional design.

Tesla’s stock price fell on the news of the rollout after the event, down by 1.8 percent by late Thursday afternoon.

When will buyers get their Cybertrucks? Musk said last month that over 1 million people placed $100 (refundable) reservations for the vehicle. They’re first in line. But even those folks might not receive their trucks until 2025, when Musk has said the Cybertruck production line will really hit its stride, pumping out 250,000 a year. Which is all to say: If you haven’t gotten in your reservation yet, expect a wait.

Updated: 11-30-2023, 4:25 pm EST: This article was updated with additional information about the Cybertruck and to correct the price of the base model.

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