The Tesla Cybertruck Is Awesome, But Far More Expensive Than It Was Supposed To Be

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Tesla Cybertruck deliveries started today, approximately 4 years after the futuristic sci-fi truck from Tesla was first shown to the public. Naturally, being so dramatically different from anything before it, some people loved it on Day 1 and some people hated it, and more grew to love it once they got used to it a bit. There was plenty of enthusiasm from the beginning onward about the stainless steel, the gigacasting, the bullet-proof materials, and various design elements. But the factor that really thrilled many of us who were paying close attention was the cost-for-range calculus. The prices Tesla estimated were phenomenal for the expected range, especially considering that this is a beast of a vehicle. The cheapest Tesla Cybertruck was supposed to come in just under $40,000.

It seemed the widespread expectation was that Tesla was planning to cut battery costs so much that it was going to achieve massive progress in EV capability and costs, and that could extend to other Tesla vehicle as well. Well … none of that happened. We had signs of this long before today. At some point (I think a couple years ago), Tesla removed the price estimates from the Cybertruck page. This morning, when I wrote about what to expect from the Cybertruck event today, the second item I brought up was pricing, and I specifically said, “If the low-end version is actually $40,000, I stand by my assumption that it will be a very popular vehicle. But I don’t think it will be close to $40,000 — even as a bare bones base version. I’m expecting something more like $60,000–70,000 as a base price. We will see soon.”

It turns out the base price is just above $60,000. (Nailed it.) And that’s for just about 250 miles of range. (Not great.) Instead of disrupting the market on costs and vehicle pricing, Tesla fell right in line with the rest of the market.

Aside from the 2019 target price of $39,900 for the base Cybertruck, the dual-motor Cybertruck was originally supposed to start at $49,900, and the tri-motor version was supposed to start at $69,900. Instead, as you can see above, the pricing for the three versions is $60,990, $79,990, and $99,990. In the case of those first two options, the price is more than 50% higher than the original estimate.

So, yes, I’m disappointed — but I also expected it. Getting past the price disappointment, though, this truck is awesome in several ways. Here are some of the standout specs and features:

  1. The high-end Cybertruck, dubbed the Cyberbeast, can accelerate from 0–60 mph in just 2.6 seconds. That’s insanely fast for any vehicle class, but for a large truck?!?! (Just note that the estimated starting price is $100,000!)
  2. 11,000 pound towing capacity with all-wheel-drive version of Cyberbeast.
  3. 340 miles for the AWD version ($80,000).
  4. Up to 136 miles of charge added in 15 minutes of Supercharging.
  5. Steer by wire and rear steering.

Most of the appeal of the truck is simply in its design and stye, though. It doesn’t jump over boulders. It just looks quite cool and has a ton of power.

Did I leave anything out that you found particularly compelling or interesting?


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