Would-be Tesla Cybertruck buyers still don't know how much they're spending.
Tesla has released almost no specs on the futuristic-looking truck.
A lack of details could hurt the Cybertruck in the competitive pickup truck market.
After years of delays, Elon Musk's futuristic-looking Cybertruck is supposedly weeks away from hitting buyers' driveways. Whether it will have been worth the wait for Tesla's patient fans is anybody's guess.
On an earnings call in April, Musk said he hoped to hand over the first customer trucks at an event in late September.
But as invites for the yet-to-be-scheduled delivery party go out, people who plunked down $100 deposits to reserve Cybertrucks over the years remain in the dark about their dream car's most basic details: how far it'll drive on a full charge, how much horsepower it'll produce, and even how much it'll cost.
And remember: This isn't an ordinary launch. It's Tesla's first foray into the most lucrative and fiercely competitive vehicle segment in the US. So the stakes are high.
Cybertruck details have been a moving target for years
When Tesla unveiled its trapezoidal truck during a splashy event in late 2019, it advertised an entry price of $39,900 and two higher-performance models costing $49,900 and $59,900. Cybertrucks would have between one and three motors, 250-500 miles of range, and zero-to-60-mph times ranging from 2.9 seconds to 6.5 seconds.
Then in late 2021, most of those figures — including all information on pricing — vanished from Tesla's website. Apart from the few remaining details listed and the occasional cryptic tweet from Musk, there isn't much information to tell Cybertruck buyers what they're getting into.
In a recent earnings release, Tesla said the truck will be under 19 feet long and sport a 6-foot bed. Its website quotes a range of up to 500 miles and a zero-to-60-mph sprint as quick as 2.9 seconds.
Tesla did not respond to Insider's request for comment.
The final price of Cybertruck will be a decision-maker
Some Tesla fans are getting impatient, pressuring Musk on X, formerly Twitter, to finally reveal some details. Cybertruck preorder holders told Insider that their decision to go through with a purchase will ultimately come down to basics like price and sizing.
William Huston, who runs an investment firm in the San Francisco area, said he's hoping the Cybertruck will be large and cost close to the initially advertised $40,000.
That may be a tall order, as rising materials costs in recent years and an EV price war kicked off by Musk have thrown EV pricing for a loop. The Ford F-150 Lightning was initially positioned as an affordable electric pickup with a starting price of roughly $40,000, but it now costs $52,000 and up. Startup Rivian upped prices last year for a quad-motor R1T pickup to $79,500, from $67,500.
Ed Kim, chief analyst at the auto-industry consulting firm AutoPacific, told Insider the Cybertruck will probably come with a premium price tag, given that it will be made from expensive stainless steel and likely won't be produced in high volumes like Tesla's more affordable products.
Musk said in May that it will be "hard to make the cost affordable," because it's a new vehicle with a new manufacturing method.
Tesla takes on the bloodsport of US pickup trucks
Tesla can't just waltz into the cutthroat US pickup market with any old truck and expect to easily steal market share from stalwart brands like Ford, Chevrolet, Ram, and Toyota, which engage in constant one-upmanship on everything from towing capacity to tailgate configuration.
"They have dedicated buyers, who will be very unlikely to switch brands — let alone try a brand new player in the field with an electric vehicle that doesn't look like any other pickup truck on the planet," said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions.
Without pricing or any other details to go on for the Cybertruck, getting beat by a Rivian or F-150 Lightning delivery could be all it takes to edge out the Tesla truck for someone with multiple orders.
Moreover, the Cybertruck just looks plain weird. That makes it even more important to give loyal truck buyers some details to work with.
"If you're looking to convert average pickup truck buyers to something different, that's a little harder," Fiorani said.
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