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Tesla’s e-pick up ‘cracks’ under pressure on debut
Tesla Inc unveiled its electric pickup, a truck with a futuristic angular body in gunmetal gray that resembled an armoured vehicle and takes aim at the heart of Detroit automakers’ profits.
Starting from $39,900, the Cybertruck is less expensive than initially flagged but its polarizing design could limit sales in a popular segment symbolic of a rugged, practical American lifestyle.
At a launch event in Los Angeles, Tesla boss Elon Musk said other versions will be priced at $49,900 and $69,900 with the most expensive offering a range of more than 500 miles (800 km). By comparison, the current maximum range of a Tesla car is 370 miles for its long-range Model S sedan. Production is expected to begin around late 2021. Made from ultra-hard stainless steel which Musk claimed was bulletproof, the four-door six-seater truck’s sharp geometric body was set atop massive tires. Its tinted windows were made from armoured glass, while a single strip of white light wrapped around the truck’s front, replacing headlamps. “Trucks have been the same for a very long time, like 100 years,” he said, as an audience of Tesla fans chuckled at a slideshow of pickup truck designs throughout the decades.
Musk’s assertion that the Cybertruck’s exterior “won’t scratch and dent” appeared to be borne out after it was hit with a sledgehammer. But in a snafu that invited much mockery online, the armoured glass windows cracked like spider webs when metal balls were thrown at them. “Room for improvement,” Musk said, although he noted the glass had not completely broken. Reactions on Twitter ranged from love to hate.