Tesla recently announced its new vehicle—and it hasn’t gone well.
At a promotional event in Los Angeles, CEO Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s latest project—the Cybertruck. Touted as a futuristic replacement for the conventional pickup truck, its design was controversial, to say the least.
The truck’s unusual design has been compared to the cyber-punk vehicles featured in Blade Runner and Total Recall. Despite its flashy exterior, its looks aren’t the only innovation Tesla is promising. Their presentation highlighted a few key selling points:
Consistent with their commitment to high-performance electric vehicles, the Cybertruck is all electric, with a promised range of over 250 miles on one charge for the base model. The truck comes in 3 engine varieties, with the lowest priced at $39,900 and the premium up to $69,900. The tri-motor AWD option promises double the 250 miles of the single-motor variant.
Milled from stainless steel, the chassis of the vehicle is meant to be dent-proofed as well as corrosion and wear-resistant. During the demonstration, an assistant swung a sledgehammer into a door, which bounced off with little impact. A similar demonstration for the truck’s glass, which Musk claimed to be breakproof, conducted similarly: an assistant threw a metal ball at the truck’s window to demonstrate its resiliency. However, the glass didn’t fare too well under stress.
The ball, in two separate attempts, left a spiderweb crack across the glass. “Oh my f—ing god,” said Musk, trying to save face. “We’ll fix that in post.”
Following the botched press conference, Tesla stock prices dropped 6.14% to $333.04. This is nothing new to investors; Tesla stock is widely known to be volatile, owing in part to Elon Musk’s often controversial behaviors. In one instance, Tesla stocks dropped over 5% after Musk avoided a question from a market analyst about earnings. Despite Musk’s occasional outbursts, the company is on the up—the Cybertruck has received over 300,000 pre-orders in the past month.