Tesla Cybertruck
Tesla Cybertruck

Huge demand for Tesla’s new Cybertruck

Elon Musk is predicting Tesla's most controversial vehicle yet will be a huge success.

On Monday morning Australian time Musk tweeted there were 187,000 orders for the Cybertruck, up from 146,000 the day before.

Elon Musk revealed the Tesla Cybertruck, an electric ute, on Friday. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)
Elon Musk revealed the Tesla Cybertruck, an electric ute, on Friday. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

It's also worth putting those orders in perspective. To classify as having ordered a Cybertruck - the first of which are due to be produced by 2021 - all you have to do is lodge a $150 refundable deposit.

 

 

As with other Teslas, the Cybertruck is radically different to anything on the market.

While America's big three pick-ups from Ford, Chevrolet and Ram all sell conventional trucks in big numbers, the Cybertruck is trying to reinvent the segment.

The Cybertruck looks unlike any vehicle on the road.
The Cybertruck looks unlike any vehicle on the road.

Like all Teslas it eschews traditional engines for electric motors, purchasers able to choose either one, two or three, depending on their budget and performance expectations.

It doesn't have a traditional frame underneath, instead boasting what Musk describes as an exoskeleton made of "thick, ultra-hard stainless steel".

Tesla has revealed some initial capabilities. The vehicle will have a range of more than 500km and can sprint to 100km/h from rest in under three seconds. Tesla also claim the vehicle can tow 6350kg and has a payload of about 1580kg, which is similar to big turbo-diesel powered American pick-up trucks such as the Ram 2500. The Cybertruck can also seat six.

A video posted by Musk shows off the Cybertruck's towing ability as it drags a Ford F-150 uphill.

 

The look of the Cybertruck was inspired by the underwater Lotus Elise from The Spy Who Loved Me and the futuristic movie Blade Runner.

The Cybertruck has seating for six.
The Cybertruck has seating for six.

Its radical design has already prompted some analysts to suggest the Cybertruck will be little more than a niche on the pick-up segment, which accounts for some three million sales annually in the US.

The Cybertruck looks like it has driven straight out of the Blade Runner movie.
The Cybertruck looks like it has driven straight out of the Blade Runner movie.

Musk claims the Cybertruck is a "better truck than a (Ford) F-150" and "faster than a Porsche 911".

Both claims could easily be challenged: Tesla's Cybertruck hasn't yet proven its load-lugging or off-road ability and Porsche's 911 will almost certainly be faster around a race track and have a higher top speed.

All of which adds to the controversy around the most controversial Tesla to date.

The turmoil continued at the vehicle's global debut.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has gone into damage control after a live test of the "bulletproof" side windows resulted in a the windows being shattered by a metal ball travelling much slower than a speeding bullet.

The car’s bulletproof glass succumbed to a steel ball thrown by a man. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)
The car’s bulletproof glass succumbed to a steel ball thrown by a man. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

Over the weekend Musk published a slow-motion video of the same ball being thrown by the same man at the same truck - with the "Tesla Armor Glass" resisting the impact.

The outspoken CEO also claimed: "we threw the same steel ball at the same window several times right before event & didn't even scratch the glass!".

The embarrassing gaffe prompted various theories of what went wrong, ranging from how the window was mounted in the car to possible damage done during earlier tests.

Either way, it was a red-faced moment for Tesla, prompting a shocked "oh my f---ing god" response from Musk during the livestream reveal.

Musk acknowledged there was "room for improvement" but that the ball "didn't go through (the glass)".

The shattered glass also contributed to a 6 per cent plunge in Tesla shares, some apparently concerned the radical new truck won't live up to its claimed "superior strength and endurance".

Not that it stopped the Tesla faithful jumping on board, at least according to Musk.



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