It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for Tesla, Elon Musk, electric vehicles, sledgehammers and metal balls and smashed windows with Musk’s much anticipated and ballyhooed Cybertruck making its debut last night live on the Internet.
There’s been lots of talk about Cybertruck’s design — and deservedly so, as it is push-past-the-edge-of-the-norm design that reflects a bit of Blade Runner and futurism and plenty (too much?) armored personnel carrier. And there’s been WAY too much talk about how the CT’s “smash-proof” windows ended up shattering in an ill-advised publicity stunt which saw metal balls thrown at them.
There’s also been some very interesting talk about a solar option for the Cybertruck. Tesla will reportedly offer a possible option for a back cab cover made out of solar panels that will be able to add as much as 12 miles of range to the CT in a day. Indeed, that’s some VERY good news, and it’s in keeping with Musk’s strong commitment to transform our world from one based on the burning of fossil fuels to one in which renewable energy FINALLY takes over!
For me, though, a big question remains largely unanswered — and largely un-explored: Who will buy the CT, and, will the CT be able to pull in some of the traditional pick-up truck buyers? Some of these drivers have very actively positioned themselves as being, FULL-SCALE, against electric vehicles via juvenile and toxic masculinity induced actions such as “rolling coal” on a Tesla, EV or “Prius”.
I am not sure, really, if some, or any, of those traditional “masculine” types who go for pick-ups will go for a Cybertruck. On the one hand, a vehicle that looks like a tank clearly could cover some of the masculinity feel that presumably draws a lot of more traditional men. One the other hand, the Cybertruck ALSO looks, or could look like to more traditional (male) prospective buyers, like yet another butt ugly electric vehicle: Cue pics of the First Generation Nissan LEAF here, one of which — full disclosure 😉 — I drove for 3 1/2 years 😉 [Yes, I did, and still DO, think the First Gen Nissan LEAF was/is UGLY.]
Or, it could be that no matter what a 100 percent electric pick-up truck looks like, a significant segment of long-time pick-up buyers are going to reject it outright because, well, an EV just isn’t “macho” enough, loud enough, dirty enough, American enough — “whatever” enough.
Having fully electric pick-up trucks out on the American market WILL be interesting. The “traditional” working class, non-college educated man that often gets identified — ok, yes, also gets stereotyped as — making up a hefty segment of pick-up truck buyers does not, at first glance, appear to be a Tesla type. In fact, he might appear be the very prototype of “anti-Tesla”. Yes, I will admit to buying into some of these stereotypes of American pick-up truck drivers myself, in part, because there REALLY ARE some pick-up trucks out there that are jacked up with American flags [sometimes Confederate flags] streaming from all corners; they really DO EXIST, and some of their drivers REALLY DO “roll coal” on cars, and drivers, they hate.
Of course, stereotyped pick-up truck buyers who jack up their trucks an extra 2+ feet off the ground certainly don’t make up the entire pick-up buying crowd.
In fact, it might be that the other less stereotyped and the more “mainstream” pick-up buyers will stream to the Cybertruck. These more “mainstream” pick-up truck buyers — not the anti-Tesla flag streaming, coal rolling pick-up truck buyers and drivers — may well determine whether the Cybertruck, and other more traditional looking electric pick-up trucks such as the Rivian or GM’s newly announced pick-up, represent the true beginning of the end of the fossil fuel ICE (pick-up truck) vehicle OR whether EVs of all kinds continue to be a largely, and, in this writer’s view, disappointingly, niche product.
For a couple of different, interesting lists about — and analyses of — the Tesla Cybertruck, surf over to ==>