(by Hannah Knowles, Washington Post)

Tesla has received 146,000 pre-orders for its all-electric Cybertruck, chief executive Elon Musk said Saturday, two days after the futuristic vehicle’s grand reveal went viral when its supposedly unbreakable windows shattered onstage…

With an angular design, a stainless steel “exoskeleton” and an overall look that some fans have called “post apocalyptic,” the Cybertruck stands out from the typical pickup truck. It’s Tesla’s effort to break into a market dominated by Ford, showcased on the heels of Ford’s unveiling of a fully electric Mustang.

Demand for the Cybertruck comes despite “no advertising & no paid endorsement,” Musk tweeted.

His number was a reflection of customer interest, not sales: Pre-orders involve a $100 deposit that Tesla says is “fully refundable.” The company says prospective buyers can “complete [their] configuration” closer to when production begins in late 2021.

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Tesla struggled to match production to demand for its Model 3, released in 2016 as a budget-friendly option that could take electric vehicles mainstream. The product got 180,000 orders in its first day, prompting Musk to tweet, “Future of electric cars looking bright!”

Waiting period continues to grow

As orders continued to tick up, Musk urged people to order quickly, saying the “wait time is growing rapidly.” That delay would end up costing Tesla as some consumers grew impatient and cancelled.

The Cybertruck starts at $39,900 and are said to go 250 to 500 miles on one charge, depending on the model. Musk said Saturday that orders so far are about evenly split between dual- and single-motor models, with the most expensive tri-motor version making up an additional 17 percent of interest.

The truck’s unusual appearance made a splash online after Thursday’s unveiling, as The Washington Post’s Faiz Siddiqui reported:

The design elicited a mixture of awe and scorn, and very little in between

To one faction, it looked as if it had been designed on Microsoft Paint or an old-school video game. To another, it was a revelation, a raw demonstration of the utilitarian needs of a sustainable future.

Thursday’s event also highlighted features such as towing capacity of as much as 14,000 pounds, as well as the car’s fuel savings. Musk played video of a Cybertruck pulling against a Ford F-150 and winning the tug-of-war, part of an effort to prove the electric vehicle’s strength.

But the demonstration went awry in a meme-spawning moment when Musk asked another person onstage to try to break the car’s glass.

“Maybe that was a little too hard,” Musk said when the windows shattered.

“We threw wrenches, we threw everything, even – literally – the kitchen sink, at the glass, and it didn’t break. For some weird reason, it broke now,” he added later. “I don’t know why. We will fix it in post.”

FILE – In this Nov. 21, 2019, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduces the Cybertruck at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. Tesla has received nearly 150,000 orders for its new electric pickup truck since the automaker revealed the futuristic vehicle earlier this week to mixed reviews, Musk tweeted Saturday, Nov. 23. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

Author: ANA Newswire