Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled his car company's first electric truck at an event in Los Angeles on Thursday, promising three versions of the odd, angular vehicle starting in late 2021. The Cybertruck is made of ultra-hard cold-rolled stainless steel and its windows are made of shatterproof "armored" glass. Musk called the truck "bulletproof" at the launch event, showing its durability by having chief Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen smash the side with a sledge hammer and throw a metal ball at the windows. Musk seemed surprised when the windows shattered.
The price for the entry-level Cybertruck is $39,900, less expensive than expected, and the three-engine, 500-mile-range model will run $69,900. The Cybertruck will give Tesla entry into the extremely profitable truck market dominated in the U.S. by Ford and GM — both of whom are also preparing to roll out electric trucks in 2021. Ford and Amazon have also invested in an electric-vehicle startup, Rivian, which plans to sell its electric truck by the end of 2020.
Tesla has the world's top-selling electric car, the Model 3, but while it is taking aim at Detroit's rich truck market, "Ford and GM are also gearing up to challenge Tesla more directly with new offerings like the Ford Mustang Mach E electric SUV as well as electric pickups," Reuters notes. Musk has said the Cybertruck's polarizing design was inspired by the Lotus Esprit used by James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me and also referred to it a "futuristic-like cyberpunk, Blade Runner" design. You can watch more of the Cybertruck's rollout in the video below. Peter Weber