FREMONT (CNN) — Elon Musk’s reimagined electric version of the pickup truck, the Cybertruck, has captured a tremendous amount of internet attention — and even some pre-orders, even though it won’t hit roads until 2021. The billionaire tweeted Sunday that 200,000 orders of the futuristic vehicle from Bay Area-based electric carmaker Tesla are in so far, just three days after it was unveiled to a mixed response.
Musk also emphasized that people pre-ordering seem to be going for the more expensive options. He said that 41% of the orders are for the triple motor all-wheel drive that starts at $69,900, as opposed to the single motor rear-wheel drive that starts at $39,900.
He tweeted that the company had taken out “no advertising & no paid endorsement.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2019
Pre-orders only cost $100 to secure, so it’s a lot cheaper today for someone to express interest in the cybertruck versus fully financing one. And it’ll take years for the truck to get into people’s hands — production starts in 2021, with the tri motor AWD version starting production a year later.
The electric pickup truck prompted corners of the internet this week to make up memes over its unique appearance. The angular style has been compared to everything from a doorstop or an old Apple Mouse to a SpongeBob Squarepants character or a triangle on wheels.
Cybertruck’s exterior is made from a newly developed stainless steel alloy, the same metal that’s used for SpaceX rockets, according to Musk. That alloy enables the car to be “literally bulletproof” against at least smaller firearms, including 9-millimeter handguns, Musk said.
Despite the big number of pre-orders, one local expert said that there was no guarantee that they would translate to sales.
“The real question will be how many of these people will actually pay in the end. Putting down a deposit is just a deposit. I’m curious to see how many they’re able to sell,” said CNET News Editor-At-Large Ian Sherr. “Let’s not forget they struggled to put out the Model X.”
During a Thursday evening demonstration, a man with a sledgehammer hit the sides of the truck without damaging it. But the truck’s supposedly unbreakable metal glass windows broke when struck with a metal ball.
Many Tesla drivers said the mishap won’t drive them away from the brand, or the Cybertruck.
“Not at all. I don’t expect a ball or a bullet to go through my window at any time, I would never pay for that feature,” said Coba Kao of San Francisco. “That would never deter me from buying something, I’m not buying it, because of the window.”
“I was watching the live reveal and I really like how the truck bed, how it’s covered and how it goes up,” said Tiffany Chung of South San Francisco.
Among its features, the truck can tow 14,000 pounds, and offers a range of 250 to 500 plus miles.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Tesla it’s that this company is going to go forward no matter what,” added Sherr. “I think it’ll be really interesting to see how this product eventually comes out.”
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