Cybertruck Is a Prank? Here’s What You Need to Know


Cybertruck Is a Prank?

When Tesla CEO announced his company’s futuristic Cybertruck in November 2019, even the most ardent Tesla enthusiasts thought they were being pranked. After all, the steampunk-style video that circulated across social media of Musk touting his electric “truck” that looked more like a trapezoidal alien buggy from a sci-fi movie sure felt like a publicity stunt. But is the Cybertruck really a prank?

The Cybertruck is not a prank; it is Tesla’s first attempt at an all-electric pickup truck. However, as with any groundbreaking technological release, there are many questions surrounding the vehicle.

Tesla has collected roughly one million orders and deposits for Cybertruck to date, with the first production run set to be delivered to a few homes in late 2021 and mass production beginning in 2022. Nonetheless, until the Cybertruck can effectively prove its mettle in the highly competitive pickup landscape, it will continue to be met with a torrent of doubt.

Is the Cybertruck a Prank?

Cybertruck is not a prank; it is Tesla’s effort to bring their vanguard EV technology into the world of heavy-duty vehicles. With its new gigafactory in Austin, Texas up and running as of May 2021, the company is set to deliver a handful of its earliest orders to households in late 2021.

While Musk claims to have received so many orders for the Cybertruck that the company has “stopped counting,” crowdsourced research estimates that there have been over one million orders for the futuristic pickup.

Why Do People Say Cybertruck Is a Prank?

Although a basic Internet search will reveal that Cybertruck is a real thing and that the company is full steam ahead with its development of the electric pickup truck, there are still some people who have their doubts about whether or not the Cybertruck will ever hit the market. There are several good reasons behind the conspiracy theorists’ suspicions.

Elon Musk’s Reputation

Despite being the wealthiest man in the world and the driving force behind the company that made electric cars economically viable, anything that Elon Musk says will immediately polarize large segments of the global population.

While Musk frequently gets chosen for “if you could have dinner and pick the brain of just one person,” with millions of people viewing Musk as a visionary innovator, there is also a large crowd who view him as a braggadocious swashbuckler of the technological revolution who is more hot air than substance. Some reasons for this include:

  • His social media affinity – Musk is well known for his use of social media, especially Twitter, to provide news and updates. Despite social media’s widespread adoption in 2021, many people are still inclined to take what they see on social media with a grain of salt, with many viewing it as “fake news.” 
  • His involvement with SpaceX – In addition to Tesla, Musk is also the founder of SpaceX, a company that looks to bring sustainability to space exploration through reusable rockets. Many people have doubts about space exploration, still believing that the moon landing more than 50 years ago was nothing but a hoax.
  • His waffling on cryptocurrency – Musk has been in the news more for his dubious position on cryptocurrency than his work with Tesla in recent months. The inconsistency of his messages has caused some people to view him as a “pump and dump” scam artist, saying one thing publicly then doing another behind closed doors.

While none of these issues relate directly to the design and release of Cybertruck, the combination of Musk’s reputational factors helps demonstrate why many people are choosing to take a “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach to the Cybertruck.

The Physical Appearance of the Cybertruck

If people are inclined to believe that Cybertruck is a prank, then the physical appearance of the vehicle likely serves as proof that Musk is trolling everybody with his claims to enter the realm of heavy-duty consumer vehicles.

To pickup truck purists, the Cybertruck is a truck only in the sense that it is labeled as such by Musk. It has few of the physical features that typically define a pickup truck, such as a rectangular cabin and long, open bed for hauling oversized items. Instead, the Cybertruck looks like an oversized trapezoid on wheels, with the unusual appearance sure to take some getting used to for even the staunchest Tesla supporters.

While there have been myriad attempts to describe the hideous aspect of the Cybertruck, with Musk himself trying to position the vehicle next to the Blade Runner film franchise, one publication hilariously described the Cybertruck as “an 80’s film director’s idea of what a dystopian future looks like.”

The Cybertruck has several features that define it as unique in the exciting new sphere of electric vehicles:

  • Durable exoskeleton – In an industry that has long championed efficiency, the safety of EVs in the event of a wreck has long concerned potential adopters of this technology. The stainless steel exterior will give drivers unprecedented confidence in the safety of their ride
  • Performance – Despite their efficiency, EVs have long been lamented for their inability to haul heavy loads. With its larger frame and ability to power multiple motors, Cybertruck has the potential to be the first EV to surpass traditional ICE engines in terms of power and range performance.
  • Design – Although unusual and unappealing to many, the unique shape of Cybertruck can help usher in the future and put an entirely new type of vehicle on the road.

As a result, with a physical appearance so radically different from any consumer vehicle currently on the market, many people are inclined to believe that Musk is just having fun and seeing what he can get people to buy into with his plans for the Cybertruck.

The Bizarre Unveiling Ceremony

The Cybertruck was announced in a steampunk-style video that circulated across the Internet in November 2019. Although many people were startled by the vehicle’s appearance, they were willing to overlook its unique aspect and the overall bizarre nature of the unveiling ceremony to hear Musk out, especially as he lauded the safety and durability of the vehicle.

In an attempt to prove that the Cybertruck would hold up in the face of a collision and keep passengers uniquely unharmed, a sledgehammer was taken to the driver’s side door of his model Cybertruck. The sledgehammer rebounded right off the door, leaving viewers amazed at the absence of any visible damage to the vehicle. Then, to prove the durability of the windows, Musk had lead designer Franz von Holzhausen threw a steel ball at the “armor glass” panes.

Astonishingly (or, perhaps, unsurprisingly), the steel ball shattered the windows, to which Musk uttered, “Oh my f****** God,” under his breath. He then proceeded to give his Cybertruck presentation with both the front and rear passenger windows severely maimed.

Musk has since gone on to identify the source of the malfunction, stating that by bashing the side of the car with the sledgehammer first, the base of the windows became cracked, allowing the steel ball to do damage when introduced to the glass. Still, the performance did little to comfort viewers into believing that Musk had a working electric truck model in place, especially when the durability and safety of the vehicle was one of the features that the CEO lauded during the unveiling. 

Doubts About EV Potential to Perform as a Pickup Truck

Even if Musk’s bravado, the unusual physical appearance of the Cybertruck, and the bizarre unveiling ceremony are not factored into the equation, there is still general doubt about whether or not EV technology, as it currently stands, is sophisticated enough to perform the basic functions users require in a pickup truck.

In general, pickup truck owners are fans of large, powerful vehicles capable of hauling large payloads and pulling heavy trailers. This contrasts significantly with the ethos of the EV, which focuses on efficiency. Even in a world in which nothing in the technological world seems out of the realm of possibility, it is hard to envision a vehicle where these two ideals can intersect to satisfy both markets.

The Cybertruck vs. Energy Efficiency

The problem with EVs, as it pertains to the all-important truck function of hauling heavy loads, is one of energy density. As battery technology currently stands, it is impossible to store sufficient energy into a small enough lithium-ion battery to make it a realistic fit in vehicles.

The battery used in regular Tesla sedans weighs a whopping 1,200 pounds, larger than the combined weight of the engine and transmission in an ICE vehicle. Despite this large size, a standard Tesla sedan would only be able to pull a 5,000-pound trailer about 100 miles before depleting its battery. However, to store more energy, the battery would need to be larger, which would be impractical for fitting into a normal-sized car.

As an overall larger vehicle than a Tesla sedan, the Cybertruck can house a larger battery. In fact, Tesla advertises that its base model will tow 7,500 pounds for 250 miles. While this is certainly an improvement over a standard Tesla, it is still not as good as diesel engines that can go over 400 miles on a tank of fuel when towing. Therefore, for electric pickup trucks to achieve widespread adoption, they must be able to match the towing range of similar ICE vehicles.

While battery technology is rapidly improving, with exciting innovations in the realm of solid-state batteries allowing for smaller electrolytes to pack exponentially more energy at a fraction of the weight, it is not at the point of being commercially affordable for most people, leaving doubts about whether electric pickup trucks can currently be considered by anyone other than the ultra-rich.

It Has Not Been Tested by Everyday Drivers Yet

Surprisingly, the first Cybertruck model that will supposedly be delivered in 2021 is the most powerful Tri-Motor AWD. This contrasted an earlier report that said the base Single Motor RWD would first be released in 2021, with the production of the powerful Tri-Motor AWD beginning in late 2022. However, Musk has changed this production schedule, giving the most powerful version priority over the two more modest options, which will be released en masse in 2022.

There has been speculation as to why Tesla changed production priorities for its model releases. The prevailing sentiment is that, as other auto manufacturers begin unveiling their versions of electric trucks, the company wants to prove that it is a premier player in the field by showcasing its model with the most extensive range, prioritizing performance over affordability.

But, although we are getting closer to the official release of the first Cybertruck, it is still just a concept at this point. Everything surrounding the vehicle will be highly speculative until large amounts of users can test it over time.

News About Other Electric Trucks Increasing in Strength

Finally, the Cybertruck may be written off as a prank due to a general cooling in the news regarding its release. While the Internet was buzzing about the Cybertruck in late 2019 due to Musk’s infamous demonstration video, news surrounding the Cybertruck cooled significantly throughout 2020, despite the continued stream of orders.

Although part of this may be attributed to the issues mentioned above, it can also be argued that Cybertruck fell into the background due to other brands pushing news about their plans to go electric. Pickup truck owners are some of the most brand-loyal customers in any industry, so news that the Ford F-150 Lightning is set for release in early 2022, along with ICE bastion GM stating that it plans to be all-electric by 2035, has likely stolen the spotlight from the Cybertruck.

In addition to the F-150 Lightning, the following are a couple of rivals against whom Cybertruck is set to compete:

  • Rivian R1T – With investors such as Amazon, Ford, and Cox Automotive, the Rivian R1T is a type of luxury electric truck. Starting at $70,000, owners can expect to get 750 horsepower and over 400 miles of range from this vehicle
  • Bollinger B2 – Pricing at a whopping $125,000, the Bollinger B2 is like a hybrid truck/jeep/hummer that purports to offer a wide array of features, such as DC fast charging and hydropneumatic suspension, albeit with a range of a paltry 200 miles.

This will be a continued uphill battle for Cybertruck. Due to its unique design, there is the chance that it may do more harm in cannibalizing existing Tesla customers than actually drawing competitors away from other brands, who now have the option to buy their favorite models in all-electric versions. Even Musk admits that there is a chance that his Cybertruck designed by “aliens from the future” has a chance to flop in a category used to consistency.

Is the Cybertruck Real?

Cybertruck is a real thing, with Tesla set to deliver small batches of its earliest orders in late 2021. Despite prevailing disbelief surrounding the futuristic vehicle, Musk’s love for the vehicle is compelling him to push forward and deliver something unique in a landscape in which he views all pickup trucks to be clones of one another.

There are three distinct models of the Cybertruck: the Single-Motor RWD, the Dual-Motor AWD, and the Tri-Motor AWD.

Single-Motor RWD

This is the most basic of the Cybertruck models, with a price tag of $39,900. Despite being the most affordable option, it has only received 7.5% of the total orders. This is likely because it has a limited 250-mile range. This model will likely appeal to first-time truck buyers and does pose a threat to steal existing Tesla customers looking for more spacious vehicles.

Set for widespread delivery in 2022, some key features of this model include:

  • 0-60 MPH in under 6.5 seconds
  • Rear-wheel drivetrain
  • 100 cubic feet of storage
  • Vault length (similar to the bed of a truck) of 6.5 feet
  • Towing capacity of 7,500 pounds
  • Standard autopilot
  • Standard adaptive air suspension
  • Up to 16 inches of ground clearance
  • Approach angle of 35 degrees
  • Departure angle of 28 degrees

Dual-Motor AWD

The next best model of the Cybertruck is the Dual-Motor AWD. As with anything technological, you will pay more for the more powerful battery and dual motor capabilities, with the initial price tag starting at $49,900.

However, these benefits will give the owner more hauling capacity, with an estimated range of 300 miles. Set for initial deliveries in 2022, it is the most popular model for pre-orders, with 48% of buyers preferring this package. Some other key features of the Dual-Motor AWD include:

  • 0-60 MPH in under 4.5 seconds
  • Dual motor all-wheel-drive drivetrain
  • 100 cubic feet of storage
  • Vault length (similar to the bed of a truck) of 6.5 feet
  • Towing capacity of 10,000 pounds
  • Standard autopilot
  • Standard adaptive air suspension
  • Up to 16 inches of ground clearance
  • Approach angle of 35 degrees
  • Departure angle of 28 degrees

Tri-Motor AWD

The most powerful of the Cybertruck options, the Tri-Motor AWD carries a hefty price tag of $69,900. Despite this imposing figure, some 44.5% of all pre-orders have been for this model, thanks to its superior performance metrics.

Reported to have an estimated range of over 500 miles, this revolutionary pickup will actually be the first model delivered at the end of 2021, with more widespread deliveries rolling out throughout 2022. Some other key metrics include:

  • 0-60 MPH in under 2.9 seconds
  • Tri-motor all-wheel-drive drivetrain
  • 100 cubic feet of storage
  • Vault length (similar to the bed of a truck) of 6.5 feet
  • Towing capacity of 14,000 pounds
  • Standard autopilot
  • Standard adaptive air suspension
  • Up to 16 inches of ground clearance
  • Approach angle of 35 degrees
  • Departure angle of 28 degrees

Does the Cybertruck Have Any Real Benefits?

There are many reasons to be excited about what Cybertruck brings to the table. In addition to completely eliminating the harmful emissions and hefty cost of refueling that plague traditional ICE pickup trucks, the Cybertruck offers the following benefits:

  • Superior strength and durability – Despite the windows cracking in the face of a steel ball, the fact that a person could take a sledgehammer to the side of the Cybertruck without causing visible damage is pretty impressive, especially in an industry where the aluminum design of many modern pickup trucks has led to horrible carnage during accidents.
  • Range – If you can afford it, the 500-mile range and 14,000-pound towing capacity of the Tri-Motor AWD is nothing short of astonishing, especially considering that most EVs can’t be trusted as more than commuter cars by most people. If the first iterations can meet these figures, which dwarf the performance of traditional ICE pickup trucks, mass adoption of electric trucks could happen sooner than expected.
  • Aerodynamics – Although unusual, the trapezoidal shape of the Cybertruck gives the vehicle elite aerodynamics, adding an element of efficiency in the heavy-duty vehicle industry that typically has few efficiency features.
  • Storage space – In addition to not being able to tow much, many traditional EVs are plagued by their overall lack of space. The Cybertruck can haul up to six passengers with ample leg space, with 100 cubic feet of storage space in the underbed and vault.
  • Solar charging – A vault cover composed of photovoltaic cells, the built-in solar charging component of the Cybertruck can add as much as 40 miles of range per day to the vehicle.
  • Off-roading abilities – Each model of the Cybertruck comes with 16 inches of ground clearance. They also have raised approach and departure angles, as well as standards adaptive air suspensions, that make off-roading challenges easily surmountable in this electric truck.
  • Standard autopilot – A hallmark of all Tesla sedans, the self-driving feature is also equipped in each of the Cybertruck models.

Another benefit of the Cybertruck is that it seems to be relatively affordable compared to the competition. The prices for each of the three models of Tesla Cybertruck are as follows:

  • Single-Motor RWD – $39,900
  • Dual-Motor AWD – $49,900
  • Tri-Motor AWD – $69,900


These prices compare favorably to the Ford F-150 Lightning. The base model of the F-150 Lightning prices at $39,974. This will provide a range of between 250 and 300 miles. The more equipped mid-series XLT prices at $52,974. However, the most powerful F-150 Lightning with the longest range and highest selection of features can surpass a whopping $90,000.

What Are the Drawbacks of the Cybertruck?

Despite the many benefits of owning a Cybertruck, there are a few drawbacks that buyers must consider before taking the plunge, including:

  • Cost – Although the $39,900 price tag of the base model is reasonable for a truck, its limited range and towing capacity make it a dubious choice for those needing a “real” truck, especially when a used diesel truck could be purchased for less than half of this cost.
  • Appearance – Although Musk purports to love the peculiar design of the Cybertruck, it will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea. At the very least, it will likely take years before it is considered to be a stylish ride.
  • Not bulletproof – Although the 30X cold-rolled stainless steel “exoskeleton” provides a very exciting chassis, the demonstration of the windows shattering proves that drivers must still be prudent when using the Cybertruck and should not be lulled into a false sense of security.
  • Large size – Even though it is a battery-powered vehicle, the Cybertruck is built a bit like a futuristic tank. This could give inexperienced drivers issues when trying to maneuver it in tight spaces.

Conclusion

The Tesla Cybertruck is not a prank. Despite some questions surrounding CEO Elon Musk’s motives and a bizarre introduction in November 2019, Cybertruck is on track for its first orders to be fulfilled in late 2021, with widespread production beginning in 2022. If the vehicle can deliver on its speculated benefits, it could be a game-changer in heavy-duty EV adoption.

Tesla Discounts:

Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

Recent Posts