Tesla unveils electric pickup truck but armored glass breaks during demo

Elon Musk surprised as window cracks in the shape of a spider's web

The unveiling of Tesla's "bulletproof" Cybertruck took an embarrassing turn as the vehicle's armoured glass shatters twice during a demonstration in front of a live audience in Los Angeles. Video: Tesla

 

Tesla on Thursday unveiled its electric pickup truck with a futuristic angular body in gunmetal gray that looked like an armored vehicle, as the California company took aim at the heart of Detroit carmakers’ profits.

With a starting price of $39,900, the Cyber truck is less expensive than initially flagged but its polarising design could limit sales in a segment symbolic of a rugged, practical American lifestyle.

At a launch event in Los Angeles, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said other versions will be priced at $49,900 and $69,900 with the most expensive offering a range of more than 500 miles (800 km). Production is expected to begin around late 2021.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the shattered windows of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla’s Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California. Photo Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the shattered windows of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla’s Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California. Photo Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty

“We need sustainable energy now. If we don’t have a pickup truck, we can’t solve it. The top three selling vehicles in America are pickup trucks. To solve sustainable energy, we have to have a pickup truck,” he said.

The truck’s hulking sharp geometric body was made from stainless steel, set atop massive tires and had windows made from armored glass.

Mr Musk claimed the truck’s “ultra-hard” exterior “won’t scratch and dent”. But the armored glass window cracked like a spider web when hit with a metal ball during a demonstration. Musk appeared surprised although he noted the glass had not completely broken.

The truck marks the first foray by Tesla, whose Model 3 saloon is the world’s top-selling battery electric car, into pickup trucks, a market dominated by Ford Motor Co’s F-150, along with models by General Motors Co, and Fiat Chrysler. - Reuters