Cybertruck Scorecard: Does Tesla’s Truck Live Up to Elon Musk’s Promises?

Grading the electric pickup, which began deliveries Thursday, based on the original claims from 2019

The 2023 Tesla Cybertruck, an electric pickup truck from Elon Musk's EV company, driving across ice and snow
Allow the Cybertruck to (re)introduce itself.

Almost four years to the day after it was first unveiled, it’s finally here: the Tesla Cybertruck has officially begun deliveries. The first customers of Elon Musk’s polarizing electric truck picked up their EVs at an event at the company’s factory in Austin, Texas, where the Cybertruck is being produced. 

During remarks at the release event, which was livestreamed on Musk’s social media platform X (formerly Twitter), he called the Cybertruck Tesla’s “best product.” After his presentation, he personally handed over a handful of models to buyers, including Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian.

The big question now, after years of hype and delays and excuses and leaks: will anyone else actually buy this thing? Since the Cybertruck was teased in 2019, interested buyers have been told by Tesla they can preorder one of these roving doorstoppers by placing a $100 deposit, and various tallies have estimated that over one million (possibly even over two million) people paid that refundable Franklin to at least get a spot in line. As Tesla begins to produce and officially offer them for sale, it’s not clear how many people will follow through on the purchase.

It will in large part depend on whether or not Tesla can deliver on the bold claims it made in 2019 when the electric truck was unveiled, especially now that there is competition in the market with the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T on sale, and the Chevrolet Silverado EV slowly (emphasis on slowly) rolling out.

To judge whether or not Tesla stuck the landing here, we’ve assembled a Cybertruck scorecard below, looking at whether or not the company met its original goals and assigning them a final grade.

Price: $60,990 to $99,990 — Fail 

Tesla originally set the base price for a single-motor rear-wheel drive model at $39,900. Now, the company is saying the cheapest variant, the Rear-Wheel Drive model, will cost over $20,000 more. The second tier, labeled the All-Wheel Drive model, is priced at $79,990. The most expensive option is being called the “Cyberbeast.” A more powerful all-wheel drive variant, it will start at $99,990. But Tesla also notes on its website that these are “estimates.” 

Range: Up to 340 miles — Fail

The original top range for the most expensive model, which was previously called the tri-motor AWD, was said to be over 500 miles. Now, Tesla is saying the RWD model will be around 250 miles, the AWD around 340 miles and the Cyberbeast around 320 miles.

Hauling Capacity: Up to 2,500 pounds — Fail

The initial goal was a payload capacity of up to 3,500 pounds. Tesla now puts the top hauling capacity at 2,500 pounds.

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Towing Capacity: 11,000 pounds — Fail

The tri-motor AWD model was estimated to have a towing capacity over 14,000 pounds. The new towing capacity limit, which is available in the AWD and Cyberbeast models, is 11,000 pounds.

Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds — Pass

Tesla originally targeted a 0-60 mph time of under 2.9 seconds. Technically they beat that goal with a 2.6-second time in the Cyberbeast trim, but they note that this time doesn’t include a rolling start. 

Ground Clearance: 17.44 inches — Pass

The Cybertruck initially promised “up to 16 inches” of ground clearance. Tesla is now promising more than that: up to 17.44 inches, which can be achieved in a specific setting called “Extract Mode.”

Timing: Deliveries in 2024 and 2025 — Fail

Tesla said in 2019 that production would start in late 2021. Production just started this year, and for those ordering now, the company says the Cyberbeast and AWD variants will be delivered in 2024, with the RWD targeted for 2025 deliveries. 

Final Grade: F (2/7)

If that doesn’t deter you, you can find all the details about the production version of the Cybertruck here.

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