A lot has happened since Musk brought that ‘out of the box’ thing on stage

The 2021 Tesla Cybertruck has been the talk of the town ever since it was announced. The launch is done and dusted but people still can’t stop talking about it. The biggest reason for this is the “apparent” glass shattering fail that may or may not have been a blunder on stage. Nevertheless, the internet is filled with memes about the truck for a whole lot of other reasons and the only one benefitting from this is Tesla – that’s called free publicity. Here’s a list of all the things we’ve learned since the launch of the Cybertruck - the most-anticipated vehicle in a long time.

The Glass Shattering Saga

Although it looked like a blunder on stage, the whole glass breaking incident might have been a ruse. If you think about it, the Cybertruck is still in the news because of it. Musk later went on to justify the action by saying that the sledgehammer shots on the body had weakened the glass and thus the glass couldn’t withstand the impact with the metal ball. That doesn’t make much sense honestly. Even folks who aren’t car-enthusiasts are talking about the incident. Word of mouth is, after all, the best marketing strategy and Musk has nailed it with this ploy. If not, this may have been, in some sense, a wonder-blunder.

Love it or Hate it, 200,000 Reservations Have Been Made for the Cybertruck

Here's What We've Learned Since the Launch of the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck Exterior
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The 2021 Cybertruck was expected to be a hit even before it was unveiled. However, it drew a lot of polarizing opinions based on its looks.

Despite this, Musk tweeted on Sunday that the company already pocketed 200,000 pre-orders for its electric truck.

However, under close inspection, this is not as big of a deal as it sounds because the Cybertruck can be reserved for just $100, and that amount of money is fully refundable. The single and dual motor trims are still two years away (the tri-motor is three years away), so not a large chunk of so-called customers will actually hold on for so long and go ahead with purchasing the Cybertruck. Nevertheless, the 200,000 reservations announcement sure helped build some more hype for Tesla and the Cybertruck.

Two Shattered Windows Cost Musk Almost $800 Million

Here's What We've Learned Since the Launch of the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck Exterior
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Tesla was flying high a couple of weeks preceding the Cybertruck’s reveal, thanks to the Model 3 winning awards, the Gigafactory 4 announcement, and the mass-production license approval in China, among many other things. However, the pickup truck’s reveal hit Tesla’s Wall Street cred hard and Elon Musk’s net worth took a hit. Within a day,

Musk’s net worth went down by $768 million.

Primarily, it was the botched armored glass attempt that caused this. So, did the two shattered windows cost Musk $768 million? It sure looks like it. But, in the bigger picture, how hard will it be for Musk to regain the lost net worth? And equally important, how will Tesla deal with the amount of bad publicity the truck has received worldwide because of that one incident?

All That Share Price Rise Was Gone In a Day

Here's What We've Learned Since the Launch of the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck Exterior
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Tesla’s share price fell by six percent in the wake of the Cybertruck launch.

However, the TSLA shares started climbing again after Musk tweeted the 200,000 figure, and this figure is expected to gradually grow in the coming days. You can argue that Tesla managed to raise $20 million and that would help its valuation, but that actually doesn’t matter. Tesla reported revenues of $6.3 billion in the last quarter, and $20 million is a fraction of it. So, Tesla didn’t really need money. What helped the share price go up is the fact that Tesla proved it doesn’t need money from customers to scale the production.

Back when the Model 3 was launched, Tesla charged $1,000 to reserve it and there was a high cancellation charge too. Back then, this theory would make sense. But with a fully refundable reservation that’s one-tenth of the price it charged then, Tesla has made it loud and clear that it is flush with cash. Doesn’t this increase the company’s credibility and make you want to invest in Tesla?

The Funky ATV Seen During The Launch of The Cybertruck Will Be Available As An Option

Tesla unveiled its rad new “Cyberquad” electric ATV prototype at the Cybertruck launch
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Remember the fancy ATV that was used as a prop to showcase the truck’s tailgate-ramp function and the amount of space available inside the bed? Musk replied to a tweet saying

“Tesla 2 person electric ATV will come at first as an option for Cybertruck.”

The ATV can be charged from the bed of the truck itself, thanks to an area that the company calls the “vault.” Truth be told, the Cyberquad ATV received a great pop at the Cybertruck reveal, and unlike the truck, this looks a lot more traditional and something that will gel well with the current crop of ATVs. Tesla hasn’t revealed any details about it yet, but given how the company operates, this could be one hell of a performer. Not to mention that this paves Tesla’s way into the ‘outdoor’ category, thus taking on Rivian head-on. Will Rivian come up with an answer of its own?

Ford Wants To Pick A Fight With Tesla Over That Tug of War Video

The Cybertruck’s tug-of-war with the Ford F-150 was one of the highlights during the launch.

It became quite the conver-sensation amongst enthusiasts, and it looks like it hurt the Blue Oval’s ego. Ford X’s Vice President Sundeep Madra tweeted “hey @elonmusk send us a cybertruck and we will do the apples to apples test for you" and the Ironman-reincarnate obliged by replying with “bring it on”. If this actually goes through, we might have another tug-of-war soon. Given the way Ford answered Musk’s towing claim, this should be an interesting fight. To refresh your memory, Musk had announced a 300,000-pound towing capacity for the Tesla pickup truck a few months back and Ford was quick to reply by introducing the electric F-150 prototype that could tow 1.25 million pounds. In fact, Ford released a video compared to Musk’s verbal claim. Spank?

Solar Panels Will Help The Cybertruck Become A Self-Charging Truck

Here's What We've Learned Since the Launch of the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck Exterior
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The reflective tonneau cover on the Cybertruck was a sign of something new.

As it turns out, these will be solar panels that will help aid the truck’s range. This information was confirmed when Musk replied to a Twitter user saying that there will be an option to add the said solar panels that could generate 15 miles worth of range per day, approximately. Adding to it, he also mentioned that the Cybertruck could receive “fold-out solar wings” that would increase this value to 30-40 miles per day. He also noted that the average miles per day rating in the States is 30. In that case, the Cybertruck may very well be a self-charging vehicle, and real-world figures could actually touch 500+ miles on a single charge for the top-trim variants.

Shouldn’t Nikola and Tesla Technically Be On The Same Team?

Here's What We've Learned Since the Launch of the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck Exterior
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Trevor Milton, Nikola Motors’ CEO, offered Musk a truck design following the Cybertruck’s launch.

It looks like Milton is not a fan of the design and tweeted Musk a design that would help “hit a broader market”. The tweet read – “Hey @elonmusk we don’t build cars or trucks, but I’m happy to donate this truck design if your team wants to hit a broader market. My team designed it just in case and I’m happy to let you build it since we won’t. Let me know and we can talk.” This sounds subtle but the jab sent in by Nikola’s CEO is evident. No, this did not come out of the blue. Nikola and Tesla have been rivals since the former’s hydrogen-electric semi-truck and the Tesla Semi compete in the same segment.

The Cybertruck Is The Last Product from Tesla We’ll See in a While

Here's What We've Learned Since the Launch of the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck Exterior
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Tesla will not be working towards any other new project in the foreseeable future. It makes sense because all the Cybertruck trims will be available only from late 2022. Tesla is trying to increase its global footprint rather than portfolio as it now has almost all the vehicles needed to cater to any strong automotive market. Hopefully, the ATV showcased at the Cybertruck unveil becomes a mainstream product instead of just being offered as an option with the Cybertruck.

The Cybertruck Will Feature The Plaid Powertrain

Here's What We've Learned Since the Launch of the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck Exterior
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We first heard about the Plaid powertrain during the launch of the new Tesla Roadster. In the case of the Roadster, the Plaid setup helps the car take off from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds. The details on Cybertruck’s Plaid feature are scarce; but according to Motor Trend,

the Cybertruck powered by the Plaid drivetrain will produce 800 horses and 1,000 pound-feet of torque.

Just like the Plaid-powered Model S and Model X, the Cybertruck will have one motor on the front axle and two in the rear. The Plaid-powered truck will also help increase the off-roader’s abilities by a huge margin. With a single motor on the rear axle, the Cybertruck could feature just the locking differential, but in this case, the Cybertruck could also come with torque vectoring.

Horsepower
Tesla Cybertruck Single Motor RWD 400-500 HP
Tesla Cybertruck Dual Motor AWD 690 HP
Tesla Cybertruck trim-motor AWD 800 HP

With the latter setup, taking sharp turns with a lower turning radius would be possible as both the motors would run in opposite directions. If Tesla comes up with a four-motor configuration, this would be feasible. The Rivian R1T features this tank-like mode wherein the front and rear axles would spin the wheels in opposite directions, thus allowing the car to turn on a dime. This would be so much more than just a party trick. Turning radius what?

Tesla Cybertruck specifications
Range: 500+ miles
0-60 mph acceleration: 2.9 seconds
Towing capacity: More than 14,000 lbs
Payload: Up to 3,500 lbs
Horsepower 800 HP
Torque 1000 LB-FT
Vault length: 6.5 feet
Storage capacity: 100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage including the vault, frunk, and sail pillars.
Suspension: 4” in either direction
Touchscreen size: 17”
Body: Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless steel. If there was something better, we’d use it.
Seating capacity: Up to six adults
Charging: Can be charged at home, at Destination Charging locations, and with our network of more than 14,000 Superchargers, including on our newest V3 technology, which is helpful for long hauls and towing.
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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