The Cybertruck, Tesla’s first pickup truck, continues to dominate headlines related to the electric automaker because, despite giving him a whole week, CEO Elon Musk hasn’t said anything outrageous or inflammatory on Twitter or Joe Rogan’s podcast. This week, we’re looking at what the final production version might look like — remember, the revealed vehicle was just a prototype — and whether or not an expert thinks the Cybertruck could be a success. Also, the folks at Engineering Explained have examined why the Cybertruck-versus-Ford F-150 clip may be mostly meaningless, which will surely change lots of opinions about the Tesla truck … uh, right?
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Motor1 published images of its own rendering of a potential production version of the Cybertruck. It’s painted, the tires are more street-friendly (and street-legal), there are sideview mirrors, and some of the sharper edges have been rounded a little.
It looks … worse? In the same sort of way that the Pontiac Aztek concept looked at least a little cool for the time and the production version looked like, well, the Pontiac Aztek, losing the angular nature of the Cybertruck just seems like the wrong way to go. This is just a rendering — and not even an official one at that — but hopefully Tesla commits to the polarizing design or goes in an entirely new direction for a production truck instead of just toning down the concept. Is it great that the general public can sculpt your new truck out of mashed potatoes? Debatable, but, hey: We’re still talking about it.
Will It Succeed?
Brett Smith, director of the Propulsion Technologies and Energy Infrastructure Group at the Center for Automotive Research, wrote for CNN Business about the Cybertruck’s potential for success. Comparing the Cybertruck to the DMC DeLorean, another angular, stainless-steel vehicle, Smith sees the Cybertruck as a risky but powerful effort by Musk and Tesla to shake up the status quo. Fortunately for Tesla, the Cybertruck’s specs indicate it has the potential to do more than just look different, something the anemic DeLorean lacked.
Time will tell whether the Cybertruck is a success, but Smith believes that if it only serves as a beachhead for Tesla in the perpetual pickup truck war, it may open up a path for the California automaker to take control of more and more of the market.
In one of the latest endeavors by Engineering Explained — which seeks to answer the question “How do cars work?” — mechanical engineer Jason Fenske analyzes the Cybertruck-versus-Ford F-150 tug-of-war video that was part of the Cybertruck reveal and has since been shared on Twitter by Elon Musk. And all we really learn … is that Tesla’s truck is pretty heavy.
If your eyes don’t cross or glaze over when people start talking physics and you want to see Fenske make his case for how the Tesla towing demonstration was pointless, give the video a watch.
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Model 3, Model S, Model X Tax Credit Expiring
Buyers wanting to buy a Tesla and still receive any federal tax credit need to take delivery of their new car by Dec. 31. Two calendar quarters after an automaker sells 200,000 plug-in electric vehicles, the credit begins to phase out, reduced by half and then half again six months later. For Tesla, the full credit has not been available since the end of 2018. The first six months of this year saw a $3,750 credit available, and since July 1, the credit has been $1,875. Any Teslas delivered after Dec. 31 will not be eligible for federal tax credits, though state or local credits may still be applicable.
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