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What we learned from the Tesla Cybertruck delivery event about price, range and more

Elon Musk’s Tesla kicked off deliveries for its long-awaited Cybertruck on Thursday.

First unveiled in 2019, the model is Tesla’s first truck. The vehicle looks like something straight from a post-apocalyptic movie, with what Musk described as a "bullet tough" stainless-steel frame and "basically rock-proof" armored glass.

"The apocalypse could come along at any moment, and here at Tesla we have the finest in Apocalypse technology," CEO Musk joked on stage at the event held in Austin, Texas.

Guests look at a Tesla Cybertruck at the Cyber Rodeo grand opening celebration for the new $1.1 billion Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing facility on Thursday April 7, 2022.
Guests look at a Tesla Cybertruck at the Cyber Rodeo grand opening celebration for the new $1.1 billion Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing facility on Thursday April 7, 2022.

What time is the Cybertruck delivery event?

A live broadcast of the delivery event was streamed on Musk's social media platform X, formerly Twitter, at 3 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. The event started about 25 minutes into the live stream and wrapped up less than half an hour later.

About a dozen trucks were handed off to their owners during the live-streamed broadcast. One went to Reddit co-founder and tennis player Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian.

What's unique about the Cybertruck?

Musk shared a few features about the vehicle Thursday, including:

  • Up to 11,000 pounds in towing capacity.

  • Up to 2,500 pounds payload capacity.

  • A 6-foot-by-4-foot bed.

  • 0 to 60 miles per hour in as little as 2.6 seconds.

Musk also made sure to highlight the truck's durability during the event. When the Cybertruck was first announced in 2019, a failed demo meant to show off the truck's exterior went wrong when a metal ball thrown at the vehicle shattered a window on stage.

This time, when what appeared to be a baseball was tossed at the car, the window held firm.

"You don't have to worry about, like, rocks hitting the glass and cracking the glass," Musk said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Cybertruck at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The cracked window glass occurred during a demonstration on the strength of the glass.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Cybertruck at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The cracked window glass occurred during a demonstration on the strength of the glass.

How much will the Cybertruck cost?

Updated pricing posted online shows that Tesla's new model will start at $49,890.

  • The rear-wheel drive Cybertruck starts at $49,890 and will be available in 2025. The vehicle will have an estimated 250-mile range and can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds, according to Tesla.

  • The all-wheel drive model starts at $68,890 with deliveries in 2024. This model has an estimated 340-mile range and can go from 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 112 miles per hour.

  • The "Cyberbeast" version starts at $96,390 with deliveries starting next year. The model has an estimated 320 mile range and can go from 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds, according to Tesla, with top speeds of 130 miles per hour.

Tesla's website says these prices assume that the buyer will receive IRA Federal Tax Credits up to $7,500 for Rear-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive and $3,600 of gas savings over three years.

While Tesla originally said the Cybertruck's starting price point would come in below $40,000, its price hike was anticipated by experts.

“($400,000) is not a realistic price point in 2023,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ head of insights, in a Wednesday statement. “The reality is that no full-size truck, electric or gas, transacts anywhere near the $40K mark on average.”

Data from Edmunds shows that the average MSRP for the full-size truck segment is $65,158 and $76,281 for heavy-duty trucks.

A Tesla Cybertruck is parked outside the 44 Club during the Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix at Circuit of Americas on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.
A Tesla Cybertruck is parked outside the 44 Club during the Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix at Circuit of Americas on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.

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Who is buying the Cybertruck?

Musk in October said over 1 million people have reserved the Cybertruck so far. (While reservations had cost $100, Tesla upped the price to $250 on Thursday.)

Caldwell said the Cybertruck’s first customers will likely be early adopters “who care more about being first to flash the shiny-new, angular toy than the price.”

“The Cybertruck should perform well in sales early on as a niche vehicle with an instant, overwhelming response, though Elon has already hinted at production challenges that might make demand a moot point,” Caldwell said in the statement.

During Tesla’s October earnings call, Musk said he expects "enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertruck.” The vehicle is not expected to be cash-flow positive for another 12 to 18 months, and Musk said Tesla won't be able to ramp up to producing 250,000 Cybertrucks annually until 2025.

“Long term, this feels like a true test for Tesla since it represents the brand’s first entry that feels legitimately risky from a product perspective and has the added challenge of an established competitor set,” Caldwell said. She added that while full-size trucks traditionally have high margins, the Cybertruck's design and production challenges "leave Tesla unlikely to reap those rewards the way legacy automakers have.”

Tesla stock price

Tesla's stock price dipped 1.8% Thursday, closing at $239.79 on the Nasdaq.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tesla Cybertruck event: What we learned about cost, range, more