AUSTIN(Texas): US-based electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla delivered its first electric pickup “Cybertruck” on Thursday, reported German news agency (dpa).
Company boss Elon Musk personally handed over several of the vehicles to their owners.
“I think it’s our best product. I think it’s the most unique thing on the road. And, finally, the future will look like the future,“ said Musk during the event in Austin, Texas.
When the Cybertruck was unveiled four years ago, a production start date at the end of 2021 and a price range of between US$40,000 and US$70,000 were promised. Now, the cheapest version costs US$61,000 - and the most expensive version US$100,000.
It remains unclear how much the first Cybertruck buyers paid for their vehicles.
With the Cybertruck, Tesla is entering an extremely lucrative market segment in the US, as pickups are among the most popular vehicles there. Last year, the Chevrolet Silverado was the best-selling model in the country; in recent years, it has often been Ford’s F-Series.
The US car giants now have their own electric pickups on offer. However, they have not sold well. The major manufacturers attribute this not only to initial bottlenecks in production, but also to the current generally lower interest in the more expensive electric vehicles.
Tesla wants to build up to 250,000 Cybertruck pickups per year - but is unlikely to reach this mark before 2025, Musk said recently.The Cybertruck, a large stainless steel triangle, looks very different from traditional pickups.
This has been criticised or ridiculed by some car design experts. The unusual angular shape is due to the fact that the steel alloy specially developed for the Cybertruck is so hard that it can only be bent to a limited extent, emphasised Musk.
Tesla’s Head of Design Franz von Holzhausen repeated the demonstration of the strength of the Cybertruck’s windows that went wrong four years ago. On Thursday, a steel ball thrown by him actually bounced off the window. At the time, the windows showed cracks. Tesla also previously demonstrated how the bodywork withstood bullets from a Thompson submachine gun.
However, experts emphasised afterwards that the Tommy guns were designed more than 100 years ago - and that the vehicle would be more vulnerable with more modern weapons.–Bernama-dpa