The Tesla Cybertruck is one of the most hotly-anticipated cars in the history of cars. With controversial looks and a set of features that will likely appeal both to private drivers and those who need a truck for work, this could be a vehicle that ends up selling in huge numbers and alongside other electric trucks, like the Rivian R1T, it could be a game changer for electrifying business.
But when it comes specifically to the UK, there are questions to be asked. For one thing, how are UK roads going to support this enormous vehicle. It’s larger than a lot of US trucks, like the Ford F150 which isn’t sold in Blighty because it’s a bit of a monster. But demand from UK fans of Tesla will be considerable, and Elon Musk doesn’t seem to like taking leads from other car companies.
TESLA CYBERTRUCK: RELEASE DATE
In the US Tesla was expected to start delivering the Cybertruck in late 2021. However it has recently updating the order page to say "you will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in 2022". This fits with something Elon said earlier in the year when he claimed each truck would cost $1 million if produced at that time. This is, apparently, because of the new battery packs which will be costly to produce, according to InsideEVs.
Clearly the hope is that the majority of Cybertrucks will ship late in 2022, although there are always potential delays and depending on the popularity of this angular beast it could be a long wait to get your hands on one, particularly in the UK.
One important aspect of the availability of the Cybertruck, however, is that it’s being built at Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory which has not yet, itself, been built, although work is well underway.
TESLA CYBERTRUCK: UK AVAILABILITY
If you head to Tesla’s UK site you won’t immediately find a link to the Cybertruck. However if you go to the bespoke page, there is a surprise – Tesla is taking orders in pounds. For £100 you can book a Tesla Cybertruck in all three variants. You can even add the full self-driving option for £6,800.
That certainly suggests that the company is gearing up to bring its utilitarian triangle to the UK. The £100 is, of course, fully refundable so if that changes later there’s no real risk to potential buyers. Customers can’t really do much configuring now, but Tesla says they will be given the chance to do so in 2022. WIth the US car expected to arrive later this year, that suggests we may get the chance to order as the first cars start to arrive in American owners drives.
TESLA CYBERTRUCK: PRICE
There are three drivetrain options for the Cybertruck. The single-motor starts at $39,900, the dual-motor at $49,900 and the tri-motor at $69,900. In direct conversion that’s £28,800, £36,000 and £50,400, but don’t expect those prices in the UK, there’s a lot more in tax and other costs to add on to any conversion.
TESLA CYBERTRUCK: FEATURES
We don’t know much about how the Tesla Cybertruck will be loaded yet. We are fairly sure that it will feature the new yoke-style steering wheel that’s been included with the new Model S Plaid. This wheel design is controversial, and some drivers would prefer to have a normal wheel, but the Cybertruck has always been shown with this new style of control.
A single screen seems to be the main user interface. Early Cybertruck shots show an interior entirely devoid of switchgear and a horizontal, wide monitor as the main source of information. This has worked well on other Teslas though, so it doesn’t being much concern.
The front seats on the Cybertruck are flexible, with a drop down armrest offering the customary cupholders to the American Beverage Gods. Pop this away, and you’ll get bench seating front and back, with room for six people.
The Cybertruck will come with Tesla’s “full self-driving” mode, if you care to pay for it. However be aware that this is not meaningfully full self driving at all. It is a very smart, very capable driver assistance system, but it can’t be considered self-driving. Indeed this is something that Musk is going to continually be taken to task over, especially as people keep doing stupid things and crashing their cars. These are driver aids, not driver replacement systems.
TESLA CYBERTRUCK: PERFORMANCE
If you’re looking for the best 0-60mph time, the Cybertruck ain’t the one, son. Speeds vary from 4.5 seconds down to 2.9 seconds, which is still very fast, but don’t expect this to scare hypercars. Still, you probably don’t want this truck for speed, you want it to keep anything you put in the back in one piece. So breakneck speed is probably best left for the other Tesla vehicles.
Range should be around 250 miles on the single-motor, 300 miles on the dual-motor and 500 miles on the tri-motor. That is a significant leap in potential range, and if we’re honest, Tesla does seem to eek more range out of its cars than almost any other EV manufacturer on Earth. A 500 mile range would certainly be a real win for the electric car market.
Tesla is adding rear-wheel steering to the Cybertruck too. This could have something to do with companies like GM implementing a similar system in its upcoming electric Hummer. But also, giving a truck this large the opportunity to maneuver with a bit more speed and precision could never be considered a bad thing.
TESLA CYBERTRUCK: OUTLOOK
It looks like the Cybertruck could be a hit. There are a rumoured 200,000 pre-orders currently and with the excitement around the Ford F150 and Rivian’s pair of vehicles, it makes sense that this truck will sell.
The big problem for Tesla is going to be delivering it on time and for a price people can afford. If battery packs end up holding this car back until late 2022 it will still, no doubt be a big sales success but it will also be lagging behind some of the competition.
UK folks hoping to own one shouldn’t expect it to appear for at least a year yet, possibly longer.