Tesla Cybertruck not a “real truck?” What Musk’s “Blade Runner” pickup must do to get truckers’ acceptance

Credit: Nattanan Sirivadhanabhakdi/Facebook

Late last month, a study conducted by AmericanTrucks revealed that about 6 out of 10 truck owners did not consider the Tesla Cybertruck a “real truck.” This was unfortunate, but it is also not surprising. The Cybertruck, after all, is so different compared to other pickups in the market, and much of its real-world capabilities are yet to be proven. 

While electric sedans and SUVs have become a common sight on American roads thanks to the popularity of vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, the electric pickup truck market is still pretty much in its infancy. Today, there are only a few electric trucks available, such as the Rivian R1T, the Ford F-150 Lightning, and the GMC Hummer EV. The Cybertruck, provided that Tesla’s initial production plans are followed, is likely next in line. 

Perhaps one of the reasons behind the results of the survey is the fact that the Cybertruck has not been released just yet. The truck has attracted a lot of attention over the years, but most of it has been online, where Tesla already has a strong presence. In real-world roads and among those who really use pickup trucks for their utility, the Cybertruck is still a big question mark. 

Once Tesla actually ramps the Cybertruck’s production and American streets are populated by the vehicle, the situation would likely change. This was why Paul Knoll, Marketing Director at Turn5, the operating firm behind AmericanTrucks, told Teslarati that the Cybertruck could eventually be accepted by truckers as a legitimate truck. It just needs to prove that it could stand toe-to-toe, or perhaps even exceed, comparable trucks that are in the market today. 

“We all have style preferences when looking for a new vehicle, and the Cybertruck has an interesting aesthetic. With the unconventional shape and interesting truck bed, some drivers may not feel like it looks like a traditional truck. Truck drivers are used to the traditional truck body, and now that Tesla is making something completely different from what they are used to, it might just take some time to adjust. What will really matter to truck owners is how it performs.”

“With truck drivers used to a certain body type for their trucks, Tesla may have to just let the product speak for itself. If the Cybertruck blows away expectations during testing, that will help convince those who are unsure about it. But the Cybertruck isn’t just for truck drivers. It’s also for people who care about the environment and want to help protect it,” Knoll said. 

At least on paper, the Cybertruck will definitely have what it takes to make an impact in the United States’ pickup truck market. Tesla just has to ensure that the vehicle is compelling enough that it could persuade enough people to try it out. This way, even those who are on the fence would be willing to give it a chance. That was pretty much what happened with Tesla’s breakthrough vehicles like the Model S and Model 3. Both vehicles were made to be the best in their segment, electric or otherwise, and it paid off in spades.  

Tesla has not released the final specs of the Cybertruck, but during its unveiling, it was listed with a number of impressive stats. These include a 500-mile range, 14,000 pounds of towing capacity, and the capability to carry 3,500 pounds of payload. It would be fitted with notable features such as a “vault” storage at the rear and a generous frunk as well. Rear wheel steering will also be standard on the Cybertruck, as per reports following the company’s Investor Day event. 

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Tesla Cybertruck not a “real truck?” What Musk’s “Blade Runner” pickup must do to get truckers’ acceptance
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