By Molly Cerreta Smith
After much hint-dropping and hype build up via social media and interviews, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed a prototype of the new “Cybertruck” on November 21, the last day of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Tesla’s first ever truck has been a longtime coming. Musk has taken to Twitter to tease the electric pickup truck release (which he first announced way back in 2013) and earlier this year, Musk teased fans with a mysterious image of part of a truck that could either be interpreted as a hood or the bed of the pickup with a sleek, matching tonneau cover on board.
The Tesla CEO got fans buzzing through other hints that his latest vehicle would be inspired by the movie Blade Runner, and he also claimed that the truck would be “something quite unique, unlike anything.” Not one to shy away from tooting his company’s own horn, Musk referred to the “cyberpunk truck,” as Tesla’s “best product ever” and even boasted in an interview with Recode last year that the new release is “…Gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be amazing. This will be heart-stopping.”
The reveal was certainly heart-stopping… or perhaps jaw-dropping is a better word. Musk spend upwards of 15 minutes hyping the Cybertruck one final time prior to its reveal. However, not all claims may have been thoroughly tested prior to the reveal. While Musk’s claim that his new truck was “bulletproof” (at least to smaller firearms) panned out — as a demonstration of sledgehammering the sides resulted in no damage to be seen, the demonstration of the truck’s “unbreakable” metal glass windows didn’t go quite as well. When a metal ball was thrown at the first window, it shattered immediately. Musk said the throw was “too hard,” but the glass cracked on the second attempt too. Musk stood by his claim noting, “But it didn’t go through.”
Reactions lit up the social media world following the reveal. Some comments likened Tesla’s new truck to a drawing a kindergarten might have drawn. With the Cybertruck hype, Tesla has enjoyed a hearty rise in stock over the past few months — up 63 percent since August. But it will be interesting to see what kind of demand the truck, which will be sold in the fall of 2021, will attract in terms of actual buyers. Musk had admitted in one interview, “I actually don’t know if a lot of people will buy this pickup truck or not.”
One thing’s for certain, Tesla has created a unique cult-like following with its brand and adding a truck to the fleet is certainly an inclusive move for the company. While this might not be a truck for the masses, Musk had also said at one point, “If there’s only a small number of people that like the truck, I guess we’ll make a more conventional truck in the future.”