Cybertruck Could Be Tesla’s Big Miss

Elon Musk’s EV pickup fantasy is not the truck the market’s looking for

Lance Ulanoff
The Mobilist
Published in
3 min readFeb 1, 2022

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The Tesla Cybertruck (Credit; Tesla)

I’m a Tesla fan. I’ve never owned one of Elon Musk’s EV sedans, but I have test-driven an early Model 3, been driven hundreds of miles in a Model S, crawled around a Tesla Semi, and even had a few 0-to-60 in 3.4- second experiences in a P85 d Model S sedan. These are spectacular vehicles that, in my humble opinion, are changing the face of the auto industry.

Like Steve Jobs before him, Elon Musk has understood what the car consumer wanted in an EV before they wanted it. But that unerring sense is failing him right now as he continues to tout the misbegotten Cybertruck.

Looking like a DeLorean on an overdose of steroids, the bizarre all-steel Cybertruck has been vexed almost from the very first time we saw it in 2019. Who can forget Musk encouraging one of his coworkers to throw a steel ball at one of the windows, only to see it shatter spectacularly — twice. Sure, the ball didn’t go through, but Musk had us thinking that steel projectile would harmlessly bounce off the glass plane.

The Cybertruck has always looked like it’d be more at home on the surface of Mars than riding the badlands of North Dakota. Despite the impressive range (500 miles on a charge) and face-pulling torque (0-to-60 in 2.9 seconds), the truck has split the normally devoted Tesla community.

I often ask myself, who is this truck for? To be honest, it worries me that this is Tesla’s only, visible pickup truck option on the horizon.

Knowing your market

You see, the revolution Elon Musk and Tesla started sparked a sea-change in the auto industry at large. From GM to Ford to BMW and Volkswagen, they’re all planning significant efforts to shift major portions of their lineups to hybrid or all-electric. More importantly, Ford and GM are readying EV Pickup trucks.

Ford’s F-150 Lighting and Chevy’s Silverado EV are notable not just because they’ll be each company’s first all-electric trucks but because they’re completely recognizable as pickup trucks. They look like something someone in Wyoming, Kansas, or Long Island, NY, would buy (pickups are now as popular in the suburbs as they once were…

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Lance Ulanoff
The Mobilist

Tech expert, journalist, social media commentator, amateur cartoonist and robotics fan.