(Bloomberg) -- After years of development delays and manufacturing snags, Tesla Inc. finally handed over its first Blade Runner-esque Cybertrucks to customers.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk delivered a handful of pickups on Thursday to owners including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. The automaker provided a long-awaited update on pricing and specifications, estimating the base version will cost $60,990, up more than 50% from the cheapest option floated four years ago. It won’t be available until 2025.
Tesla is taking reservations for that vehicle and two configurations that it will deliver next year, which cost an estimated $79,990 and $99,990. The version offering the most battery range will go about 340 miles on a charge, well short of the more than 500 miles the company touted four years ago.
“It’s a lot more expensive than I thought,” said Gene Munster, a managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management. “They need to get production up to get the price down, and they know they can’t produce a lot of them next year. The reality is that the Cybertruck isn’t really out yet.”
Tesla shares fell as much as 2.1% before the start of regular trading Friday. The stock climbed almost 20% last month in anticipation of the event, which was live-streamed on X, the social media platform Musk owns.
The Cybertruck marks Tesla’s entry into the lucrative and highly competitive pickup market in the US, a move that’s been met with a mix of excitement, criticism and doubt. One analyst suggested last week that the automaker should cancel the truck altogether, arguing it will be a drag on profit and divert resources. Musk himself has lamented that producing the pickup will be “insanely difficult.”
The CEO mostly focused on the merits of the Cybertruck during the delivery event, in contrast to his emphasis on manufacturing challenges during Tesla’s last earnings call. He did say that part of the reason for the pickup’s angular shape is that its stainless-steel body panels can’t be stamped, claiming they would break stamping machines.
When Tesla started taking deposits for the Cybertruck in 2019, it marketed a starting price of $39,900 for a single-motor version and more than 500 miles of range for a tri-motor configuration. A demonstration of the pickup’s transparent-metal glass went awry, with design chief Franz von Holzhausen shattering a window with a metal ball.
This time around, the Cybertruck withstood von Holzhausen throwing a baseball at the front passenger-side window. “We could probably have a pro pitcher lob it at it,” Musk said. “The glass is tough, basically, is what we’re saying.”
Tesla claimed the Cybertruck will reach 60 miles per hour in as little as 2.6 seconds, and showed a video of the pickup crossing a quarter mile quicker than a Porsche 911 — while also pulling one of the sports cars on a trailer.
The company said the pickup can tow up to 11,000 pounds, more than a battery-powered Ford F-150 Lightning and some gas-powered F-150 models. The Cybertruck also boasts 17 inches of ground clearance, more than all versions of the F-150 and the electric Rivian R1T pickup.
“It’s basically an incredibly useful truck,” Musk said. “It’s not just some grandstanding showpiece, like me.”
Still, the cheapest Cybertruck will be thousands of dollars more than the commercial grade electric F-150 — which starts at $49,995 — as well as the base retail model starting at $54,995.
In July, Musk posted on X that the F-150 Lightning was “a good vehicle, just somewhat expensive.”
The high-end version of Tesla’s pickup, called Cyberbeast, will be able to get more than 440 miles of range by adding an additional toolbox-size battery against the back of the cab in the bed.
Tesla’s Cybertruck website offers details Musk didn’t get into during his presentation, including the size of front (18.5-inch) and rear (9.4-inch) touch screens and the number of speakers (15). The pickup also will offer bidirectional charging, meaning the battery can be used to power homes, power tools and other devices — including other EVs.
--With assistance from Esha Dey.
(Updates with early trading in the fifth paragraph. An earlier version corrected the starting price.)
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