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Tesla Cybertruck in Silicon Valley

Photo: Andrej Sokolow / dpa

US carmaker Tesla has started deliveries of its first pick-up model. Company CEO Elon Musk handed over the first Cybertrucks to buyers on Thursday. At the celebration at the company's headquarters in Austin, Texas, it was announced that the electric pick-up will be significantly more expensive than originally announced. The low-cost Cybertruck variant costs $61,000 (around 56,000 euros), while the most expensive version, nicknamed "Cyberbeast," costs $100,000.

At the Cybertruck presentation four years ago, a start of production by the end of 2021 and a price range between 40,000 and 70,000 dollars were still promised. However, start-up difficulties delayed production several times. Tesla CEO Musk said a few months ago that the company had "dug its own grave" with the model because the unusual vehicle needed so many novel production processes.

"I think this is our best product," Musk said at the ceremony. "I think that's the most unique thing on the street. At last, the future will look like the future." True, there are already more than a million orders. In view of high production costs, however, it is questionable whether the model will be financially worthwhile for Tesla.

Musk Has Failed Test of Presentation Repeated

Musk had unveiled the Cybertruck to the public in November 2019, calling its design unprecedented. However, there was a glitch during the presentation: during a demonstration of the stability of the Cybertruck, the body withstood blows with a sledgehammer. However, the car windows were badly damaged when a steel ball was thrown.

When the first Cybertrucks were delivered, Musk had the test repeated. However, the object to be thrown was apparently only a baseball and not a steel ball. Tesla's chief designer Franz von Holzhausen also threw baseball rather half-heartedly. This time, the side windows remained undamaged.

Tesla is entering an extremely lucrative market segment in the U.S. with the Cybertruck. Pick-ups are among the most popular vehicles there. Last year, the Chevrolet Silverado was the best-selling model in the country, before that it was often Ford's F-series.

Tesla wants to build up to 250,000 Cybertruck pickups per year – but probably won't reach the mark before 2025, Musk said recently. Currently, only small quantities are produced, while Tesla plans to deliver a total of around 1.8 million vehicles. Investors were not impressed: Tesla shares fell by around two percent at times in after-hours trading.