Like it or not, the Tesla Cybertruck is incoming next year. And according to CEO Elon Musk at the recent Battery Day event, there are many people that do like the space-age looking truck, with somewhere near 600,000 people placing a refundable $100 deposit on the vehicle. With the possibility of demand this high, Tesla is betting on high production output at the truck’s new factory in Texas, which is currently under construction.
To reach that many orders, Fox News reports Musk said Tesla will produce “at least a unit volume of 250 to 300 thousand a year, maybe more.” But not all of those deposits are guaranteed to turn into orders, and therefore sales. Anyone who put down a $100 deposit can be fully refunded if they don’t want the truck, meaning there could be significantly fewer sales than preorders. Alternatively, they could sell close to the final number of deposits. Then there’s the rather large matter of year to year popularity. Will the Cybertruck be a popular fad for a year, or actually provide compelling year to year sales? Time will tell.
But if one thing is for certain, it’s that producing that many cars annually isn’t easy. The Ford F-150, the best selling vehicle in America, sold just under 900,000 units in 2019, while the Toyota RAV-4 took the fourth spot behind Ram and Chevrolet’s pickups with nearly 450,000 units sold in 2019. These are established car manufacturers making these popular vehicles across multiple production sites with decades of experience. Tesla isn’t the same way. They have an uphill battle to climb with the Cybertruck across production, regulations, and development with such an unprecedented design and form factor in the pickup world. Or rather, pickup truck America.
Tesla is developing the Cybertruck specifically for the U.S. market. That wild design is hard to get past regulations in one country, let alone multiple. Musk announced at Battery Day there may actually be a second, smaller EV pickup available in other markets in the future. We would assume this means it will have more conventional styling.
Also at the event, Musk announced plans for an affordable EV to slot below the Model 3 in terms of size and price, and the Model S Plaid. Key stats for the range toping sedan include a sub-two second 0-60 time, a sub-nine second quarter mile and a top speed of over 200 mph for $139,990.