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Tesla Pickup Unveiled, But Will It Be First to Market?

Sejuti Banerjea

Tesla TSLA CEO Elon Musk has finally unveiled his pet project after talking about it intermittently for years.

Cybertruck as it’s called is kind of conical or triangular in shape, with an ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel body and armored glass windows with 100 cubic feet of storage space. The 6.5 foot vault will have a 4-inch suspension on each side. The touchscreen sitting in the middle of the dashboard measures 17-inches.

The flashy demo included strikes with a sledge hammer and bullets that the beast could withstand. However, it didn’t end well as the windows pretty much cracked in a thousand directions when struck with a metal ball, which “didn’t go through” though.

There will be three models, the cheapest of which, at $39,900 has a 7,500-pound towing capacity, a range of 250 miles and a startup speed of 0-60 mph of less than 6.5 seconds. This is a single-motor vehicle.

The range, capacity and start speeds are bumped up to 10,000 pounds, 300 miles and 4.5 seconds in the mid-range model, which is priced at $49,900. This is a dual-motor vehicle.

The top-of-the-rung vehicle with triple-motor all-wheel drive can do 14,000 pounds, 500 miles between charges and start up in 2.9 seconds. This one costs $69,900 and will only start production in 2022.

The pricing structure is interesting given that most truck-buyers don’t mind spending something around $50,000 (JD Power VP, as quoted by The Verge). So the mid-range model is poised to challenge the Fords F, General Motors GM and Fiat Chryslers FCA out there. But in case anyone wants to play safe (since there’s nothing to compare this with exactly), or thinks the design is wanting, they can try out the cheaper version. The last category is for the really big users, mainly for work.

In Musk’s own words, "We need sustainable energy now. If we don't have a pickup truck, we can't solve it. The top 3 selling vehicles in America are pickup trucks. To solve sustainable energy, we have to have a pickup truck." That’s why this project has really been close to his heart.

We don’t have a launch date yet and anyway, Tesla has been better at missing rather than meeting deadlines thus far. Of course, with the China factory coming online, sales to China should be more manageable now. But Tesla also has the Model Y coming up, so it’s really hard to tell.

Competition is building up in the meantime with Ford prepping its all-electric F-150, General Motors entering the market in 2021, and Ford and Amazon AMZN-backed EV startup Rivian bringing something as early as next year.

Tesla shares carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


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