Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) is gearing up to unveil what CEO Elon Musk calls its “best product ever” Thursday night in Los Angeles.
The electric pickup truck, or cybertruck, as Musk calls it, is claiming related IP rights. Tesla has filed to trademark a “CYBRTRK” logo and has reserved the domain name cybrtrk.com to redirect to Tesla.com.
What Musk Said About Cybertruck
Musk has been working to hype the Street for months.
“It's going to be a truck that is more capable than other trucks,” he said on a podcast this summer. “The goal is to be a better truck than a [Ford] F-150 in terms of truck-like functionality and be a better sports car than a standard [Porsche] 911. That's the aspiration.”
Musk has described the futuristic Cybertruck as “Blade-Runner-esque” or like “an armored personnel carrier from the future.” It’s a feature that may not fly among consumers accustomed to traditional Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) or General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) rides.
There’s two different vehicles in the Cybertruck event invite picture. Left vehicle has two visible front wheels and overexposed high beams. Right vehicle has one visible wheel, but it exposes the front shape of the vehicle. The front will look something like the third picture. pic.twitter.com/ENYFp3R7eA
— Chris (@chrismodelsperf) November 15, 2019
Why Cybertruck Is Important
“We think [design] could carry the risk of not attracting traditional pickup buyers, leaving it a lower-volume niche product,” Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner wrote in a note.
U.S. consumers buy about 3 million pickups annually, and they’re fairly particular about their features. Last year, electric-truck startup Rivian scrapped a model after buyers rejected the headlight design.
Apart from design, little is known of the vehicle. Some suspect a charge range between 400 and 500 miles with a 240-volt outlet for power tools. Given that electric motors offer more torque than ICE competitors, some anticipate top-of-the-line speed and power. Musk claimed the Cybertruck can tow 300,000 pounds — about 10 times the max of gas-powered trucks.
Tesla is eyeing a starting price under $49,000 — nearing the top market rate for full-size trucks. Analysts expect a delivery date in 2021 — after Rivian rolls out its rival and just before Ford and GM release theirs. Most are certain it will delay until the Model Y has had its day.
“After the model Model Y launch fizzled on concerns this will cannibalize the Model 3, we expect a similar response to the truck,” Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin said.
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