Tesla’s Cybertruck doesn’t look street legal, but pre-orders are pouring in

Investment News

Tesla Inc.’s “Cybertruck” may have drawn scoffs at its unveiling, and it is almost certainly not street legal, but the electric-car company still racked up $20 million during the first three days of pre-orders.


Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted Saturday: “146k Cybertruck orders so far, with 42% choosing dual, 41% tri & 17% single motor.” He updated that count with a tweet Sunday afternoon: “187k” and again Sunday night: “200k.”


At $100 per pre-order deposit, that’s about $20 million so far — although Tesla says that money is fully refundable for prospective customers.


The angular electric pickup will be offered in three models: a single-motor version with a battery range of 250+ miles for $39,900; a dual-motor version with a battery range of 300+ miles starting at $49,900, and a tri-motor version with a range of 500+ miles which starts at $69,900.


Production is scheduled to begin in late 2021, though Tesla said the tri-motor version won’t start production until late 2022.


The pickup’s unveiling Thursday night drew sharply divided first impressions, with some saying it resembled a stealth bomber or a “Mad Max” vehicle. But the Cybertruck’s looks will likely change significantly before it ever hits the streets.


Experts say the pickup, as of today, is more concept than production car, and it’s not street legal. The vehicle lacks side mirrors — though the government may eventually approve rear-looking cameras instead of mirrors — windshield wipers and a front bumper. And its single light bar in the front and back would not pass safety standards. There did not appear to be any turn signals or a third brake light. The tires also appear to protrude from their wheel wells, which is illegal. The pickup’s sharp angles and ultra-hard material could also be a safety issue, with no obvious crumple zones to absorb the impact of a crash, which could affect the safety not only of those inside the Cybertruck, but any vehicle or pedestrian it hits.


Tesla shares TSLA, +0.05%   sank in Friday trading, and are about flat year to date, compared with the S&P 500’s SPX, +0.22%   24% gain.


As seen on www.marketwatch.com, written by Mike Murphy

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