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Cybertruck: Tesla unveils first-ever electric pickup truck

Reuters|
​The Tesla Cybertruck is here!
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​The Tesla Cybertruck is here!

Tesla Inc unveiled its first pickup truck, delivering on a promise by Chief Executive Elon Musk to build an electric version of America's favourite vehicle and one that threatens the heart of Detroit automakers' profits.

In pic: Elon Musk unveils the all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California.

AFP
​Starting price
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​Starting price

At a launch event in Los Angeles, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said the truck, which looked liked a futuristic armoured vehicle, will have a starting price of $39,900 and a maximum range of 500 plus miles.

"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," he said.

Image credit: https://www.tesla.com/cybertruck

Agencies
​Design
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​Design

The truck uses a monoplane design with a body made from 'think ultra-hard stainless steel'.

Musk earlier tweeted the design was partly influenced by the Lotus Esprit sportscar that doubled as a submarine in the 1970s 007 film "The Spy Who Loved Me".

Image credit: https://www.tesla.com/cybertruck

Agencies
​Production
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​Production

Production is expected to begin in late 2021.

Image credit: https://www.tesla.com/cybertruck

Agencies
​First foray
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​First foray

The truck marks the first foray by Tesla, whose Model 3 sedan is the world's top-selling battery electric car, into pickup trucks, a market dominated by Ford Motor Co's F-150, along with models by General Motors Co, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

The pickup shifts Tesla more toward trucks and SUVs. The automaker has so far sold mostly Model S and Model 3 sedans, but also offers the Model X SUV and starting next year the Model Y compact SUV.

Image credit: https://www.tesla.com/cybertruck

Agencies
​Tesla's Ford-fighting pickup
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​Tesla's Ford-fighting pickup

A focus on the high-performance end of the market is only natural given the success of Ford's 450-horsepower F-150 Raptor truck, which launched in 2009 and whose sales have since risen annually, according to Ford spokesman Mike Levine.

While Ford does not disclose Raptor sales, Levine said annual demand is well above 19,000 vehicles and the No. 2 U.S. automaker has never had to offer incentives on the model, which costs in the high $60,000 range. Ford also offers the more expensive F-150 Limited, its most powerful and luxurious pickup.

Ford and GM are also gearing up to challenge Tesla more directly with new offerings like the Ford Mustang Mach E electric SUV as well as electric pickups.

Image credit: https://www.tesla.com/cybertruck

Agencies
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