Tesla Cybertruck deliveries begin after long delays

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CEO Elon Musk on Thursday unveiled the long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck at a live event at its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.

The futuristic-looking Cybertruck is the first electric vehicle Tesla offers that isn’t a sedan and marks the company’s entry into the growing EV pickup market, joining rivals like Ford and Rivian. One advantage Elon Musk promises the Cybertruck has over the competition? It’s bulletproof. 

Musk, who emceed the event, hyped the flatbed, which is over 6 feet long, has a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds and features windows that can repel live bullets. 

Shares of Tesla fell over 1% on Thursday. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 239.79 -4.35 -1.78%

Tesla shareholders of record were invited to apply to attend and then were selected via a drawing. Prices were revealed and are much higher than original estimates.

Pricing range from $60,990 to $99,900, higher than the rumored $50,000 range predicted by industry and Wall Street analysts. Potential Cybertruck buyers were initially able to place a reservation for a refundable $100 deposit.

For comparison, the starting price for the Ford F-150 Lightning currently starts at $52,000, while Rivian raised prices for its quad-motor R1T pickup last year from $67,500 to $79,500.

Two days ago, Musk said the highest-end model would have a range of 500 miles, but it’s actually 320.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR CO. 10.26 -0.33 -3.12%
RIVN RIVIAN AUTOMOTIVE INC. 16.76 -0.56 -3.23%

Tesla completed its first production candidate Cybertruck in July, roughly four years after it was first announced and two years after production was initially planned to begin. Last year, Musk cited supply chain shortages affecting the sourcing of components as a factor in pushing back Cybertruck production to 2023.

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Tesla had previously touted the stainless steel exterior as being resistant to dents and corrosion, while Musk said the Cybertruck is bulletproof. It also has “armor glass” that was famously broken on a prototype Cybertruck at its November 2019 announcement event during a demonstration gone awry.

Musk has said Tesla aims to make 200,000 units of its Cybertruck per year. He had previously said the company has the capacity to make over 125,000 Cybertrucks annually and that there is the potential to lift that total to 250,000 in 2025. It’s unclear how many Cybertrucks will be part of the first batch delivered or subsequent deliveries into early 2024.

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During a Tesla earnings call in October, Musk said he wants to “temper expectations” around the Cybertruck even as he thinks it’s “our best product ever.”

“I do want to emphasize that there will be enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertruck and then in making a Cybertruck cash flow positive,” Musk said. “This is simply normal when you’ve got a product with a lot of new technology, or for any new vehicle program, but especially for one that is as different and advanced as the Cybertruck, you will have problems proportionate to how many new things you’re trying to solve at scale.”

“It’s a great product, but financially it will take — I don’t know — a year to 18 months before it is a significant positive cash flow contributor. I wish there was some way for that to be different, but that’s my best guess,” he explained. “The demand is off the charts — we have over a million people who have reserved the car. So it’s not a demand issue, but we have to make it, and we need to make it at a price people can afford — insanely difficult things.”

FOX Business’ Joe Toppe contributed to this report.

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