The Tesla Cybertruck is not a vehicle that could be appreciated by everyone. Uncompromisingly futuristic and angular to a fault, the vehicle looks less like a traditional pickup compared to other all-electric trucks like the Rivian R1T. Thanks to its polarizing looks, Tesla critics have predicted that the Cybertruck would be a flop, since the vehicle would not appeal to traditional “truck people,” who have preconceived notions about what a pickup should look like.
To be fair, the Cybertruck has received harsh criticism from a good number of classic pickup truck enthusiasts. Yet, despite this, the idea that the all-electric truck would fail because it would not appeal to a “typical Ford F-150 buyer” will likely be proven wrong. In fact, if one were to look at the history of Tesla’s vehicles, particularly the Model 3, one would note that the electric car maker’s cars do not really need the support of an existing demographic to be a success.
Tesla made a rather strange decision when it decided to start the Model 3’s rollout on the United States. During that time, some of the company’s critics pointed to the alleged folly of this strategy, particularly as the US’ luxury sedan market was in a steep decline. Yet, when Tesla hit its stride with Model 3 production, this bearish thesis was proven wrong. American car buyers bought the electric sedan, ending 2018 as the best-selling luxury car on the market with over 145,000 units sold.
Tesla’s later discussions on Model 3 trends featured interesting insights about the vehicle and why it continued to buck the trend by thriving despite the decline in the US’ sedan sales. As it turned out, the Model 3 did not just convert existing luxury car buyers when it was released — it actually inspired a new type of electric car buyer. What are these customers? They were people who have never considered buying a premium vehicle before.
This is why some of the top vehicles traded in for the Model 3 include more affordable vehicles like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Accord. By offering the best tech and safety at a price point that’s justified by a significantly lower total cost of ownership, Tesla ended up encouraging customers to acquire the Model 3, even if they have to make a stretch to do so. By doing this, the Model 3 was essentially able to create a market for itself. The same could happen to the Cybertruck.
Thus, while it is true that the Cybertruck may never convert die-hard “truck people” who are loyal to veteran brands, the vehicle may also easily attract buyers who were previously not in the market for a pickup truck at all. This is already hinted at by some reservation holders who have shared their insights online, with some admitting that they are not “truck people” at all, but they are attracted to the Cybertruck’s cost and features nonetheless. Starting at $39,990, the Cybertruck is only a bit more expensive than the Standard Range Plus Model 3, which is a sedan.
The Tesla Cybertruck is still more expensive than entry-level pickups on the market, but it is priced very competitively against full-sized, double-cab pickups from rival carmakers. The vehicle is also loaded to the teeth with standard features that would otherwise require an aftermarket modification, such as its motorized tonneau cover. Couple this with a lower cost of ownership compared to massive fuel and maintenance costs incurred by conventional gas-guzzlers like the Ford F-150 and the Cybertruck becomes a very attractive vehicle, pickup veterans and otherwise.