Production of fashion-forward electric truck Cybertruck is slated to kick off by year’s end. The latest data show that Cybertruck preorders have exceeded one million units, with dual motor and tri-motor versions accounting for the bulk of the preorders, while the cheapest entry-level version accounts for only 7%.
One week after Tesla unveiled Cybertruck in 2019, Elon Musk announced that preorders surpassed 250,000 units. Generally speaking, preorder volume dips as time passes, but not this time.
Even throughout the pandemic-afflicted 2020, Tesla still received preorders for Cybertruck on a weekly basis. Certain geographic regions even saw weekly volumes in the hundreds. Although Tesla has not been officially keeping tabs on the latest preorder volumes, preorders for Cybertruck surpassed half a million units in 1H20 alone, according to data kept by social media users.
As Cybertrucks make appearances in New York streets and Texan factories, the tallies have not stopped. At the moment, total preorders have surpassed one million units.
First of all, it should be noted that the volume of preorders at the time of writing has reached about 1.084 million units. Given that each preorder costs about US$100, Tesla has by now received about $100 million in preorder fees. Although these preorders are cancellable and fully refundable, should all of these transactions proceed as planned, the ensuing Cybertruck orders will add about $62.9 billion to Tesla’s coffers.
Even if only about 40% of the preorders go through, Cybertruck orders can still generate about $25 billion in revenue for Tesla in the next three years. Remarkably, the entry-level model, which costs a very modest $39,900, has generated the least preorders.
Data show that the single motor entry-level model accounts for only 7.5% of all preorders. Three implications can be drawn from this: First, despite its very fashion-forward styling, the enormous physical size of the truck means that single-motor models have relatively low torque and driving range. Regardless of the low price tag, single-motor models are perhaps impractical for most.
Secondly, although dual-motor and tri-motor versions are relatively more expensive, they far surpass most pickups on the market in terms of performance. Compared to the high-end Ford F-150, Cybertruck has similar retail prices and max load, but the latter’s acceleration rivals even sports cars.
Thirdly, it should be pointed out that preorders are fully refundable, making them especially attractive to those with even a passing interest in owning one. Further, there is little point in preordering the least powerful version, if even the most powerful model can be preordered risk-free.
Tesla expects to kick off production of Cybertruck in Texas at the end of this year. Should everything proceed as planned, the first batch of preorders will be fulfilled in 2022. At that time, however, an increasing number of competitors in the electric truck space will emerge. For instance, Ford has already announced the upcoming release of its battery electric truck F-150 Lighting, and the automaker received more than 50,000 preorders in two days.
Cybertruck will face competition from both Ford and GE, making this a battle between tradition and innovation. From the perspective of preorders, Tesla no doubt has the high ground, although the true victory will not be determined until 2Q22.
(Image: Eric Rihlmann)