Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) unveiled its new electric pickup truck at its Design Studio in Hawthorne, California on Thursday evening.
When Musk revealed the pickup truck, it appeared to be more a futuristic box-like structure. Moreover, unlike traditional pickup trucks, Tesla’s model had a mechanism that would open the back portion.
Musk noted that the exterior of the pickup truck was made out of stainless steel alloy, which is the same metal used for SpaceX rockets. Musk mentioned that the alloy allows the car to be “literally bulletproof” against smaller firearms such as a 9-millimeter handgun.
A demonstrator attempted to hit the side of the truck as well as the windows with a sledgehammer. However, the presentation of the unbreakable glass failed when the demonstrator cracked the window with a metal ball.
While the appearance of the vehicle may seem lackluster to many, the performance of the vehicle would be more capable, in terms of towing and hauling, than a Ford F-150 and perform as a better sports car than a Porsche 911.
Musk said the base model of the vehicle would begin at USD 39,900. However, the more expensive models would cost significantly more. The priciest model, which starts at USD 69,900, would be a tri-motor all-wheel-drive pickup truck that can carry up to 3,500 pounds, tow up to 14,000 pounds and go from 0 to 60 in just 2.9 seconds. Additionally, on a full charge, the vehicle can drive up to 500 miles, while the base model can drive up to 250 miles.
Furthermore, customers can also add the self-driving functionality to the vehicle, which will cost an additional USD 7,000.
Wall Street analysts said Tesla’s new pickup truck looked “weird.” Musk had warned investors previously that the truck would be futuristic. While the performance of the vehicle is top tier, analysts and investors may have seen otherwise. Tesla shares edged lower by 5.7% on Friday morning.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Jed Dorsheimer remained optimistic about the vehicle and said the unique design will “resonate customers, leading to solid demand.”
However, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi compared the pickup truck to Hummer, which only sold 30,000 to 80,000 units annually during its lifetime.
“We suspect Cybertruck will not materially impact Tesla’s financials, or investor sentiment, though its aggressive price raises the question of how healthy gross margins might be,” said Sacconaghi.
Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner was more skeptical regarding the vehicle’s performance under working conditions. Rosner mentioned what the real battery range would while carrying payload or towing. He notes that in working conditions the battery range maybe reduced, leading customers to opt for a higher charge. And lastly, Rosner also mentions if customers will be able to trust Tesla’s build quality.
“While the materials used appear robust, there could be questions about the truck’s durability when used under work conditions, especially in light of its seemingly unibody construction. And the shattering of the truck’s unbreakable glass windows during the live demonstration was not a good start,” said Rosner.
Following the unveiling of the Tesla pickup truck, shares are now only up 0.43% this year.