Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered some impressive pre-order numbers for the company's new Cybertruck pickup.
Initially, he tweeted pre-sales had reached 146,000, following the big reveal on Thursday night. Musk said 42% of pre-orderers are choosing the $49,900 dual-motor all-wheel-drive (AWD) with a 300 mile range, while 41% chose the $69,900 tri-motor AWD with a 500 mile range. The entry-level single motor Cybertruck, which costs $39,900 and has a 250 mile range, drew 17% of pre-orders.
Musk noted these pre-orders were achieved "with no advertising & no paid endorsement". And a few hours later he boasted pre-orders had reached 200,000, meaning fans have backed the Cybertruck to the tune of about $20 million in the first weekend of pre-sales: the $100 deposit is fully refundable.
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Not everyone likes the Cybertruck's hard-angle design, but Musk on Sunday also offered an explanation for this: the steel alloy is so strong that the pressing machines would break if Tesla went for a curved design.
Musk on Thursday said the body was made from the same "ultra hard, cold-rolled stainless steel alloy" SpaceX is using for the forthcoming Starship rocket.
"Reason Cybertruck is so planar is that you can't stamp ultra-hard 30X steel, because it breaks the stamping press," he wrote. "Even bending it requires a deep score on inside of bend, which is how the prototype was made." He also said that the pickup would be available in matte black.
Fans won't get their Cybertruck orders for at least one year, with production scheduled to commence in late 2021 for the dual- and single-motor models, while the tri-motor model won't reach production until "late 2022".
Musk additionally confirmed the Cybertruck will be available in matte black and on Sunday showed off the Cybertruck beating the Ford F-150 in a kind of muscle-motor stunt, with the two vehicles chained together at the tow ball and pulling in opposite directions. While Musk's metal ball test on the Cybertruck's windows didn't go to plan, in this case the Cybertruck came out on top of the F-150.
Musk last year claimed the Tesla electric pickup will be better than F-150 as a truck and a better sports car than a standard Porsche 911.
Cybertruck pre-orders are comparable to pre-order take-up of the Model S in 2016, although Model S pre-orders required a down payment of $1,000.