What’s up with Tesla’s Cybertruck? Everything to know about much-hyped electric pickup | TechCrunch

Tesla is moving forward with the long-awaited launch of its Cybertruck electric pickup.

The boxy vehicle is Tesla’s first new model since 2020, when it started delivering the Model Y. Yet, Cybertruck’s initial debut predates that moment; Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off an early version of the pickup at a memorable 2019 event, when it accidentally smashed two windows while attempting to demonstrate Cybertruck’s durability.

Here we’ll answer some questions we figured a brave explorer such as yourself might ask (err… type in a search bar) about Tesla’s Cybertruck, including details on the vehicle’s specs, availability and design ahead of the first shipments of the vehicle. Those shipments will come alongside a live-streamed Tesla event Thursday that will kick off the vehicle’s journey towards success, or failure.

What is the Cybertruck?

The Cybertruck is a steel-clad electric pickup truck made by Tesla. According to Musk, the vehicle measures fewer than 19 feet long and features a bed longer than six feet. It has four doors and room for six adults.

Tesla shared Cybertruck specs in 2019, promising three variants of the vehicle. That included a $39,900 single-motor version with rear-wheel drive and a 250-mile range. But this was eons ago, figuratively speaking. At least one variant is reported to weigh about as much as a Hummer.

To that point, unknowns about the final production vehicle (as of November 29, 2023) include its price range, battery range options, weight, towing capacity options and longterm delivery schedule.

Why does the Cybertruck look like that?

Also referred to as Cybrtrk in an early trademark, the Cybertruck’s name, neon logo and exterior evoke a sort of cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic aesthetic. Why? Because Elon Musk wants it to.

The electric pickup is made of steel, a tough material that resists rust but is hard to shape. The material’s rigidity influenced the EV’s starkly geometric design; it also led to launch delays and panel gaps on Cybertruck test vehicles.

Musk has described the tank-like vehicle as “an armored personnel carrier from the future — what Bladerunner would have driven.” Crucially, while Bladerunner is a stunning film, it depicts a horrific dystopia.

Is the Cybertruck for sale yet?

Tesla expects to mass produce Cybertrucks starting in 2024, but unless you’re a wealthy early adopter with special Tesla connections, securing a Cybertruck won’t be easy early on. You’ll need to get in line behind the folks who reserved the truck as far back as 2019.

That said, you may be able to jump ahead for a price: Apparent Cybertruck reservations have appeared on eBay for $10,000. Proceed with caution. I’m not sure how easy it’d be to verify if the offers are legit, and Musk has threatened to punish resellers in the past.

Can I resell my Cybertruck?

Tesla indeed threatened to punish early Cybertruck resellers, but it seemed to walk back its previously published rules in a November 2023 update to its U.S. order agreement page. The rules once stated that Cybertruck customers couldn’t sell their vehicles during their first year of ownership without permission from Tesla. The rules also said the company would seek $50,000 in damages from early resellers. But such language is gone from that particular page, at least for now.

Can I fit a bike in a Cybertruck’s bed?

That depends on the size of the bike and how you store it. From what we can tell, you’ll probably need one wheel hanging over the tailgate.

Elon Musk has promised that Cybertrucks will feature beds longer than six feet. From the end of one wheel to the opposite end of the other, adult bicycles are typically longer than six feet. (On a related note, the city of Los Angeles recommends bicycle parking spaces be a minimum of six feet long, as does South Carolina’s Palmetto Cycling Coalition. Regardless, it’s a tight fit.)

A motorcycle would probably be trickier. This isn’t a Silverado.

Is the Cybertruck good for the climate?

Generally speaking, electric vehicles are better for the climate than their gas-guzzling counterparts, because they don’t have tailpipe emissions. Still, all cars are pollutive. That includes consumer EVs, since they require lithium, release tire particles into the air and demand more energy than more efficient means of getting around, such as public transit, cycling and walking. Battery material mining is also linked to worker exploitation. 

What about the Cybertruck’s size? Experts have raised red flags over the ballooning size and weight of vehicles in the U.S. Extra large vehicles typically require more energy, and thus more battery materials, which drives up their environmental cost. As far as collisions go, bigger and heavier vehicles are less safe for everyone around them, especially pedestrians.

Among EVs, vehicles with smaller batteries are generally better for the environment.

Stay tuned

We have a lot more questions and we expect Tesla to share more details during its November 30 delivery event. How does the Cybertruck compare to other Teslas? What about electric pickups from the competition, including Ford or GMC? When will Tesla release the cheaper, single-motor Cybertruck variant it promised back in 2019? Check back for updates as we learn more.

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