26 Nov 19

Do Americans really go crazy for Tesla’s Cybertruck?

Tesla has already registered 200,000 pre-orders "worth $8 billion", but these are non-binding.

North-Americans do love their trucks. Even in 2019, the top-selling light vehicles in the USA are the Ford F150, the RAM Pick-up and the Chevrolet Silverado, each selling between 35,000 and 88,000  units per month (source: Goodcarbadcar.net). In total, the American pick-up truck market equals nearly 3 million climate change denying units per year.

No wonder that Tesla wanted a piece of this lucrative pie – as do other truck newbies like Hyundai and Kia, which recently confirmed their own models for 2021. Tesla being Tesla, it needs to do things differently. Their take on the American pick-up truck is first of all an EV (duh). The most striking part, however, is its design. Much more than a Model X or S nose stuck to a sleek flatbad, some say it resembles a stretched and inflated DeLorean that has paid a visit to Grease Monkey Customs. Other beholders are reminded of a Mad Max movie or NASA’s latest Mars vehicle.

Intriguingly, the Cybertruck seems to be what Americans have been waiting for. A rugged riot-proof (bar the side windows) electric truck that could have been designed by a 5-year-old. But perhaps looks are deceiving. Maybe there is more to this unique concoction than what meets the eye. Something most Europeans and Asians find hard to appreciate.

The true meaning of 200,000 pre-orders

In any case, the Cybertruck is coming. Fortunately for those with sensitive eyes, it won’t be before late 2022. Tesla says it has already taken 200,000 pre-orders "worth 8 billion dollars" in just a few days after the car was unveiled. By way of comparison, the Model 3 lured 180,000 people to sign a pre-order in just 24 hours.

Back then, Tesla demanded a $1,000 deposit for securing your Model 3. This was fully refundable. In the end, between 12 and 24% of these preorders were cancelled – depending on whom you believe. With the Cybertruck, chances are the cancellation rate will be much greater: this time, Tesla only requires a $100 deposit, lowering the threshold considerably. Therefore, the 200,000 pre-orders should be taken with a pinch of salt.

If the Cybertruck becomes a success, environmentalists can only hope for one thing: that it replaces the gas guzzling Ford F150s, RAM 1500s, GMC Sierras and Chevrolet Silverados that roam Americas streets today. Somehow, it is hard to imagine that it is the crowd of current pick-up truck drivers that are depositing $100 in anticipation of an electric alternative.  



Authored by: Dieter Quartier