Tesla is set to unveil its first all-electric pickup truck in 2022, the Tesla Cybertruck, but will it be able to conquer one of the most popular segments in America with its futuristic model when Ford and General Motors reportedly will have their own electric trucks on the market within the next two years?
What is dubbed the Tesla Cybertruck will come in three different models:
- the least expensive with one motor
- the mid-level model with two motors
- the most expensive with three motors
with prices ranging from $39.9k – $69.9k.
Although all three models have all-wheel drive, the models will differ in their acceleration, top speed, driving range, and towing capacity based on the number of motors they have. All three will have an adjustable air suspension, be able to haul 3500 pounds and provide 100 cubic feet of volume in their cargo bed, be able to seat up to six people, and have a slide-out tailgate that doubles as a four-wheeler or motorcycle ramp. While the least expensive model will have a maximum tow rating of 7500 pounds and provide 250 miles per charge, the most expensive model will be able to pull 14,000 pounds and be able to provide over 500 miles on a single charge. The specs on the two engine model fall between the other two models. But don’t expect a showy interior; the Cybertruck has a spartan cabin that has a slab-like dash dominated by one large 17-inch touchscreen. Not surprisingly, the truck will feature Tesla’s self-driving Autopilot feature and Tesla will offer a Full Self-Driving option for $7,000. All models will come with a Limited Warranty which covers 4 years or 50,000 miles and a Powertrain Warranty which covers 8 years, regardless of miles. None of the models will be offered with complimentary scheduled maintenance.
But how will Tesla fare in the world of trucks where things are highly competitive and difficult to enter, and the big hitters Ram, Ford, and Chevy are typically sold to repeat customers? According to IHS Market (via Bloomberg), Detroit brands control almost 92% of the half-ton truck segment. Futhermore, customers who own Ram pickups are more loyal than owners of any other model line in the U.S.. The Ram loyalty is followed closely behind by brand loyalty to Ford or Chevrolet.
The problem gets even tougher for Tesla with Ford and GM setting their sights on producing their own electric trucks in the upcoming years. According to Bloomberg, “Ford has vowed to start selling hybrid-electric and battery-electric versions of the F-150 starting in 2020, and GM has committed to producing plug-in pickups at a plant it had been planning to shutter in the Detroit area.”
One of the final obstacles for Tesla to overcome is the hotly debated design of the vehicle. While many, including Telsa owner, Elon Musk, have compared it to something out of Blade Runner, others have criticized it’s overly simple, impractical, militaristic design.
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