- Tesla

The CyberTruck Won't Sell 250k Units on Release

Let me explain..

44w ago


In case you are not up to date on the whole Cybertruck thing, (where have you been the last week?) let me give you a quick rundown. Tesla unveiled their new pickup truck releasing in 2020, with a towing capacity of 14,000 lbs and a 0-60 of less than 2.8 seconds on the top trim. It supposedly will come with (or have an optional) electric ATV, and the truck starts at $39,900.

Last night, Elon Musk tweeted that the Cybertruck has reached 250,000 units. This seems like a monstrous amount. But, what people don't realize is that it's only $100 to reserve a Cybertruck. Now sure, some people will actually go through and pick up a Cybertruck, but, the majority of the people are. Think about it, how many people are posting on their Instagram stories or social media that they reserved one? For $100, the views and clicks and likes they will get it pretty high. Then, they can just get the $100 back afterwards. Or, they will just forget about it and refund it when the truck actually comes out.

Reservation Costs

Additionally, let's take a look at the cost to reserve the previous Tesla models. The Roadster has a $50,000 refundable deposit. The Model Y has a refundable deposit of $2,500. The Model 3 reservation cost was $1,000. The Model X reservation cost anywhere from $5,000-$40,000. The Cybertruck 's reservation cost only $100. It seems like they did it to get a $25,000,000 interest free loan, and to generate hype about the car, which isn't a bad idea.

As for people who think that the truck looks sleek and nice, we all have different opinions. But, I don't think that the government will allow camera to replace mirrors. I don't see that happening when it's a federal law.


Let's move onto value. Personally, the value for me just isn't here. With the Model S, it's stellar performance and an awesome range for an almost unbeatable price. But, with trucks, it's different. The Cybertruck starts at $39,900, while a 2020 F-150, which is what Tesla likes to compare it to, starts at $28,495. While the base towing capacity is a difference of about 3,000 lbs, I don't think it's worth the additional $11,405. I agree with Doug DeMuro on this one, and I think the Cybertruck belongs in the heavy duty pickup market because of the pricing.

The F-350, which can tow 12,000 lbs, starts at just $35,220. The Cybertruck that can tow 14,000 lbs starts at $69,900. For Chevy, their base model Silverado Heavy Duty, which starts at $37,000 can tow 14,500 lbs. The top tier Silverado 2500 can tow 18,500 lbs, which starts right around $70,000. Additionally, Chevy claims the Silverado 3500 can tow 35,000 lbs.

Also, the Cybertruck doesn't have a lot of features that will sell trucks. Tesla has an insane 0-60 on the Cybertruck, but truck buyers don't really care about that. When you use a Cybertruck to tow, I would imagine the range would be insanely diminished while towing on a road trip. Autopilot might be an advantage, but other manufacturers are really catching up.

Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is huge in the truck market. That's the reason that the huge Chevy vs. Ford rivalry exists. Additionally, there isn't a massive market for electric trucks. In fact, a huge portion of truck culture and rolling coal and stuff of that sort, which obviously, you can;t do in an electric truck. Truck people care about their Cummins and their DuraMax's, but will they care about an EV truck? I have a hard time believing that they will.


Rivian, the new electric startup has the new R1T, which starts at $69,000. I prefer the styling of the Rivian, and I think it looks ten times better. It has similar statistics to the Cybertruck, so we will have to see how that plays out.

Credit: Graham Stephan and More Doug DeMuro made awesome videos on this topic which I watched before writing this.

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Comments (16)

  • Your not making a fair comparison. With everything the Tesla truck has included such as leather, options, electronics.... by the time you add these options to a petrol truck your looking at 70-80k plus.

      9 months ago
    • The thing is, it’s a truck for truck things. Sure, it has a lot of luxuries for the price. Let’s not forget these can be optioned on a gasoline truck with similar truck performance for $50k. 70-80k gets you a top of the line.But a lot of truck...

      Read more
        9 months ago
  • I don't agree with you on value

    I think your comparison with other thucks is wrong.

    It's just a big electric car that say look at me and will be driven on the streets and will never tow anything.

    You have to compare it to other big electric street cars and I think the price is ok

      9 months ago
    • The point is that it’s a truck to do truck stuff. I put my point on value based on truck things

        9 months ago
    • Idon't know the proportion of trucks used to do truck stuff.

      but I think for the cybertruck it's going to be a lot smaller.

        9 months ago
  • Boulevard kowboys will buy it........luckily they are a limited crowd so the lambocyber will be a rare vehicle ..like seeing a veyron on the street. Then Elon will come to his senses and design an actual semi based truck that we might actually buy in some numbers..

      10 months ago
  • Conversion for this kind of reservation is typically around 20%. So I would expect 50k sales plus organic sales. That is likely the first year production. After that we will see what organic demand is as we will see them on the road.

    As value goes, you need to look at total cost of ownership. Thinking price equates to value is a mistake. You are likely to get $10k in fuel saving over 5 years as well as greatly reduced maintenance costs, particularly over diesel. When calculating 5 year cost of ownership, the base Cybertruck will likely be cheaper than the base F-150. Until it is on the road that is certainly speculative, but a good bet.

    As light duty vs heavy duty, that is defined by regulation and Cybertruck falls well within the light truck category.

    Brand loyalty is big, but money is bigger. I have seen a lot of business interest and even some from my farmer friend. But of course the farmers want to see it first.

    As to competitors, there won’t be any real competition until we see significant volumes, which won’t happen for a while.

      10 months ago
    • I really don’t think people will care. I think truck people will be some of the least receptive when it comes to alternative fuels. That might be just me, but that’s what I think.

      As for light and heavy duty trucks, I put them there because of...

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        10 months ago
    • It is truck people and people who depend on trucks for a living that put in a lot of the preorders. Demographics show a large contingent of orders came from the US Midwest. That is truck country.

      As for Supercharging, yes, it supports at...

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        10 months ago
  • I agree but there’s always some sales, even for some of the most hideous cars of all time, they can sell tens of thousands of units. To me this all seems a masterful publicity stunt, and to raise a few sneaky dollars to progress the product.

    Using the good Tesla brand with minimal investment in any form of production tooling to present a product.

    If the cybertruck were not Tesla, I think it may have been met with a different response.

    If truck owners are indeed as brand loyal as you indicate, then Tesla (in 1 week) has just extracted $25million from that market (or created a new market) with parts that were laying around, an iPad and a sheet metal folder resulting in what appears to be an absolute turd of a design.

    I feel ill when I look at it, but what a genius stunt.

      10 months ago
    • Not a stunt. Cybertruck is the real deal.

        10 months ago
    • A stunt for attention, measure the market then continue to develop. I know it’s real but I don’t think it’s market ready yet

        10 months ago