Billionaire businessman Elon Musk has had a busy week. After buying a large stake in Twitter’s shares, this Thursday, Tesla made the exciting announcement that its new Cybertruck will be available to buy from 2023.
At CyberRodeo in Texas yesterday, Musk revealed the protype of the model, which will feature doors without handles which instead open via smart sensors.
The futuristic-looking vehicle was driven onto the stage by Tesla’s designer Franz von Holzhausen and is likely to set buyers back about $39,000.
“I think this will be our magnum opus, and you can see some of the changes we’ve made already, there are no handles,” said Musk, making reference to earlier designs of the vehicle which featured handles subtly hidden flat to the door’s surface.
“Who needs handles?
“The car can tell that you’re there and it can just tell that it needs to open. So we’re going to have an incredible Cybertruck product for you next year, it’s going to blow your mind.”
— Engadget (@engadget) April 8, 2022
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In keeping with the Texas rodeo vibe, Musk, 50, wore a black cowboy hat, a black t-shirt and a pair of sunglasses as he addressed audiences at the convention which also marked the opening of Tesla’s new 1.1 billion factory in Texas which will now be home to the company’s headquarters.
He proceeded to joke with von Holzhausen on the stage about a mishap which happened during the unveiling of an earlier prototype of the Cybertruck in 2019, during which von Holzhausen threw a metal ball at the vehicle’s window in a failed attempt to prove its glass was shatterproof, only for the ball to smash the window.
Notably the pair did not attempt to repeat the experiment in the final unveiling this week and Musk remained unusually restrained and tight-lipped about the specifics of the truck’s technology.
It has, however, been revealed that the truck will be available in three different versions – single motor rear-wheel drive, dual motor all-wheel drive or the most expensive triple motor all-wheel drive which features a 540-mile battery range, 14,000-pound towing capacity, horsepower of 0-60 in under 2.9 seconds and will cost around $69,000 to drive off the forecourt.
The production will begin next year along with a humanoid robot called Optimus.
While Musk has continually spoken about driverless cars over the past few years, setting and missing deadlines and targets to produce a self-driving taxi in 2019. But during Thursday’s tech-rodeo, the ambitious businessman said he would be “shocked” if the company did not produce a robo-taxi this year.
“Massive scale. Full self-driving. There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi.” he promised crowds at the event.
Bragging that Tesla had sold over a million models last year, Musk explained that he moved the company’s base from California to Texas because of the Golden State’s strict Covid restrictions. He said the Texas factory will give Tesla room to expand as it embarks on the production of 500,000 of the Model Y SUV Cybertrucks.
According to Musk, who is estimated to be worth around $287.6 billion by Forbes, Tesla will continue to grow “on a truly massive scale’ that ‘no company has ever achieved in the history of humanity.”