Elon Musk Wants The Cybertruck To Outsell The Silverado

Photo:  Tesla
Photo: Tesla

Yesterday, Tesla held the 2023 installment of its annual shareholders meeting. In it, Elon Musk said a lot of wild things, but nestled among them was one true gem: He wants the Cybertruck to outsell not just other electric pickups, but gas-burning trucks as well. When asked by an investor about the scale of full-tilt Cybertruck production, Must initially floated the idea of 250,000 trucks per year as a “reasonable guess.” He then went on to say “It might be 500,000, I dunno.”

2023 Annual Shareholders Meeting

Those sound like big numbers, but are they really? Well, in 2022, Chevrolet sold 324,603 Silverado 1500s. Rather than eyeing the F-150 Lightning, Musk seems to be targeting fuel-burning pickups as competition for his EV.


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The Lightning, for comparison, sold 15,617 units in 2022. Musk seems intent on beating out Ford by an order of magnitude, and defining that level of unprecedented success as a “reasonable guess.” All this while admitting that controlling costs for the pickup, in hopes of getting its price anywhere near the $40,000 he originally claimed, will be a struggle.

Luxury trucks are popular, sure, but does Musk expect to sell half a million electrified pickups for $50,000 each? $60,000? More? At some point, the capability of a plant to produce more cars ceases to be the issue — a lack of demand, instead, takes over.

It’s possible that the Cybertruck arrives as some sort of revelation, costing eight dollars each and driving for one million miles before needing a charge. In that situation, I can see an oversized irreparable electric pickup selling in the numbers Musk wants. But with feasible range, and at feasible prices, his goals seem to be a long shot.

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