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With Electric Model, Tesla Enters Pickup Truck Market

Tesla set foot in Truck Market with New Electric Model

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduces the Cyber truck at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne, California. Musk is taking on the workhorse heavy pickup truck market with his latest electric vehicle. VOA

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is taking on the workhorse heavy pickup truck market with his latest electric vehicle.

The “cybertruck,” an electric pickup truck, will be in production in 2021, Musk said at the Los Angeles Auto Show Thursday.

The pickup, which Musk said will cost $39,900 and up, will have an estimated battery range of more than 500 miles.

With the launch, Tesla is edging into the most profitable corner of the U.S. auto market, where buyers tend to have fierce brand loyalty.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the model
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model in Hawthorne, California. VOA

Brand-loyal buyers

Many pickup buyers stick with the same brand for life, choosing a truck based on what their mom or dad drove or what they decided was the toughest model, said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

“They’re very much creatures of habit,” Gordon said. Getting a loyal Ford F-150 buyer to consider switching to another brand such as a Chevy Silverado, “it’s like asking him to leave his family,” he said.

Tesla’s pickup is more likely to appeal to weekend warriors who want an electric vehicle that can handle some outdoor adventure. And it could end up cutting into Tesla’s electric vehicle sedan sales instead of winning over traditional pickup truck drivers.

“The needs-based truck buyer, the haulers, the towers at the worksites of the world, that’s going to be a much tougher sell,” said Akshay Anand, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

However, it will help Musk fill out his portfolio and offer a broader range of electric vehicles.

“Elon Musk is trying to not be one-dimensional when it comes to automotive,” said Alyssa Altman, transportation lead at digital consultancy Publicis Sapient. “He doesn’t want to look like he only has a small selection. He wants to build a brand with a diverse offering and in doing that he wants to see where he could enter in the market.”

Tesla logo is seen in L.A.
Tesla logo is seen in Los Angelas, California. VOA

Electric truck competition

Musk stands to face competition when his truck hits the market. Ford, which has long dominated the pickup landscape, plans to launch an all-electric F-150 pickup. General Motors CEO Mary Barra said that its battery-electric pickup will come out by the fall of 2021.

Rivian, a startup based near Detroit, plans to begin production in the second half of 2020 on an electric pickup that starts at $69,000 and has a battery range of 400-plus miles (643.7-kilometers). The Rivian truck will be able to tow 11,000 pounds (4,989.5 kilograms), go from zero to 60 mph (96.6 kph) in three seconds and wade into 3 feet (0.91 meters) of water, the company said. Ford said in April it would invest $500 million in Rivian.

ALSO READ: Electric Vehicle Can Be The Best For Reducing Air Pollution.

Tesla has struggled to meet delivery targets for its sedans, and some fear the new vehicle will shift the company’s attention away from the goal of more consistently meeting its targets.

“We have yet to see Tesla really make good on some of the very tight deadlines they imposed on themselves, and this has the added challenge of having an architecture that is going to be challenging because we haven’t seen an EV pickup before,” said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. (VOA)

Next Story

Elon Musk Wins in Defamation Trial Over his ‘Pedo Guy’ Tweet

"Anybody that knows this man knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Elon's accusations were false," Wood said outside court. "This was not the justice that he deserved under the evidence

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

Multi-billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk has emerged triumphant from a defamation trial as the federal court jury swiftly rejected the $190 million claim brought against him by a British man over “pedo guy” tweet, who helped with the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooding Thai cave.

Both Musk and Vernon Unsworth were present for the closing remarks.

Musk appeared unhappy during the closing remarks, while Unsworth, whose back was to the jury, at times looked to be wiping tears from his eyes as Spiro spoke, The Verge reported on Friday.

During the last hearing, Musk’s lawyer told the jury the tweet did not rise to the level of defamation and cases over insults didn’t belong in federal courtrooms.

While, leaving the courtroom, Musk told reporters: “My faith in humanity is restored, the jury did the right thing.”

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. Wikimedia Commons

“I accept the jury verdict, take it on the chin, and move on,” Unsworth said outside court.

As per report, in closing remarks, Unsworth’s attorney, L. Lin Wood, characterized one of Musk’s tweets as “sue or true”. Wood said he believed Musk got involved in the Thai cave rescue as a publicity stunt.

“I believe Elon Musk saw an opportunity to capitalize on the attention,” Wood said in his closing statement.

Also Read: Adobe Plans to Buy Oculus Medium: Report

Additionally, Wood asked for $5 million in actual damages, $35 million in assumed damages and $150 million in punitive damages.

“Anybody that knows this man knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Elon’s accusations were false,” Wood said outside court. “This was not the justice that he deserved under the evidence.” (IANS)