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The Week in Tesla News: Cybertruck, Cybertruck, Does Whatever a Cybertruck Can

Tesla Cybertruck

The hotly anticipated Cybertruck from Tesla finally — finally — made its first public appearance last week, and a lot happened. There were magic show vibes. Doors were hit with dead-blow hammers. Glass was unintentionally broken, and a Ford F-150 was towed against its will. It was quite the spectacle … and that’s before we consider Tesla’s claimed specs — 2.9 seconds to 60 mph and 14,000 pounds’ maximum towing capacity. And while buyers can’t get those abilities at the truck’s claimed $39,900 starting price, it doesn’t seem like the Cybertruck disappointed Tesla faithful.

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Where does that leave us this week? Well, we have answers from Tesla CEO Elon Musk about why the windows broke, plus a fairly impressive number of early deposits. Tesla’s stock also took a bit of a rollercoaster ride after early impressions about the presentation and the Cybertruck’s styling trended negative, bringing the stock down before preorder announcements sent it back up. And if the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E isn’t enough of an indicator, Ford wants all the smoke after challenging Tesla to compete against the F-150 in what it calls a “fair” tug of war.

Broken-Windows Policing

According to tweets from Musk, the whacks from the hammer caused the glass to crack in its frame below the window line. That’s why the windows cracked when chief designer Franz von Holzhausen hit them with a heavy metal ball.

It’s hard to imagine a production version of the Cybertruck not featuring more traditional automotive glass than the on-stage prototype’s “armor glass,” but who knows at this point.

Stock Up and Down

In the immediate aftermath of the Cybertruck reveal, Tesla stock dropped about 6%, causing Musk’s net worth to reportedly plummet more than $750 million. Forbes notes that out of 35 Wall Street analysts, 12 gave Tesla a buy rating, 9 gave a hold and 16 argued for selling shares.

After Musk apparently tweeted that reservations — really just a refundable $100 deposit — had cracked 200,000, the stock rose on news of the anticipated demand. How many of those deposits become actual orders remains to be seen. Tesla expects production to begin in “late 2021,” with the tri-motor Cybertruck expected to enter production roughly a year later. Given that we’re still waiting on the new Roadster more than two years after its reveal, the Cybertruck’s timeframe might be a bit more flexible.

Musk also defended the Cybertruck’s appearance via Twitter, explaining that the truck has such a “planar” look because a traditional stamping press would break trying to bend the cold-rolled steel body panels.

Ford Wants a Fight

After watching clips of the Cybertruck winning a tug of war with an F-150, Ford has fired back, inviting the electric automaker to send a Cybertruck for a true “apples-to-apples” test. Musk’s response — “bring it on” — suggests Tesla might be game, though it seems unlikely the Cybertruck’s target demographic cares about Ford’s claims.

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