Tesla’s cheapest Cybertruck will cost US$60,990 and be available in 2025

AUSTIN: After two years of delays and production snags, Tesla Inc. has finally handed the first Blade Runner-esque Cybertrucks over to customers.

Chief executive officer Elon Musk delivered a handful of vehicles to their new owners Thursday, including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

The handovers at Tesla’s Austin headquarters were part of a live-streamed launch event on X, the social media platform Musk owns.

The Cybertruck comes in three configurations: rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and the so-called Cyberbeast.

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The cheapest version of the Cybertruck will cost US$60,990 (RM285,000), which is more than 50% over the price Musk floated when he announced the vehicle in 2019.

That version, a rear-wheel drive model with a battery range of 402km, won’t be available until 2025.

Tesla is offering delivery next year for the two more expensive models, including the Cyberbeast, which has a price tag of nearly US$100,000 (RM467,000).

"It’s a lot more expensive than I thought,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management.

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"They need to get production up to get the price down, and they know they can’t produce a lot of them next year. The reality is that the Cybertruck isn’t really out yet.”

The Cybertruck marks Tesla’s first entry into the highly competitive pickup truck market in the US, and the move has been met with excitement, but also heavy criticism and doubt.

One analyst suggested last week the automaker should cancel the Cybertruck altogether because it’s unlikely to be profitable, while Musk himself has lamented how "insanely difficult” the vehicle is to produce.

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When Tesla started taking deposits for the Cybertruck in 2019, it marketed starting prices ranging from US$39,900 to US$69,900 (from RM187,000 to RM327,000).

The EV maker’s website shows "probable savings” for the Cybertruck models including federal tax credits and estimated gas savings over three years. The company calculates the cheapest version will cost US$49,890 (RM233,000) with those savings.

Musk said on Thursday he’s confident it would meet buyers’ needs, whether they be flash or utility.

The Cybertruck is "a better truck than truck while also being a better sports car than a sports car,” Musk said to the audience.

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The fastest Cybertruck can reach 100kph from a standstill in 2.7 seconds, as fast as a Porsche 911 Turbo S - though not as quick as a Tesla Model S Plaid.

Tesla says it can tow up to 4,989kg, more than a battery-powered Ford F-150 Lightning and some gas-fuelled F-150 models.

It also boasts a 17-inch ground clearance, which is more than all versions of the F-150 and electric Rivian R1T pickup.

But the cheapest Cybertruck is thousands of dollars more than the commercial grade electric F-150, which starts at US$49,995, and the base retail model starting at US$54,995.

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"It’s an incredibly useful truck,” Musk said. "It’s not just a grandstanding showpiece - like me.”

The Cyberbeast is capable of having more than 708km of range by adding an additional toolbox-sized battery against the back of the cab in the bed.

The specs were confirmed by Tesla’s powertrain chief in a message on X.

Tesla’s web page for the Cybertruck includes details that Musk didn’t discuss during his presentation, including the "theatre on wheels” with front and back touch screens and "recording studio sound dynamics.”

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