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Why did I reserve a Tesla Cybertruck?

Tesla Cybertruck


Abbey Jackson messaged me on Twitter:

I started to reply with a tweet, then figured it would take a few tweets so started a thread, then realized this needed to be a full blog post...

First, note I'm not a truck guy. I'm an SUV guy. But I appreciate how useful a truck can be when needed (I've borrowed my bro-in-law's F150 on more than one occasion). The Cybertruck looks like it will feel more like an SUV than a truck, and actually, I could see it shipping with an SUV option at some point.

Stainless steel is awesome. I've always wanted a DeLorean even thought about electrifying one as a side project at some point. The strong panels are a major bonus. My Bolt was dented when ice slid off my house and hit the hood during last spring's thaw. Over $1000 in damage. Also, I'm paranoid about a-holes keying Teslas. Granted there's a low probability of it happening, but I figure if it'll happen to anyone, it'll happen to me (I'm just that lucky).

The transparent steel windows look great (regardless of them failing during the demo). Making it harder for thieves to smash and grab will be a benefit since Telsas are often targets. Impressive to see a company actually use transparent metal too, it shows they're reconsidering everything, even if it's already "a solved problem".

Then of course, there's the non-tech aspects. I'll admit I've always liked the Hummer. But their gas guzzling nature of course has always prevented me from really looking at getting one. It might just be me, but drivers of Hummers and similar vehicles always seem to give the impression they just don't care about the world, and almost take pleasure in actively hurting it. Almost like they're shouting: "Look at me, obnoxious as hell, f*king up the planet!". Driving the Cybertruck feels like it'll be similar to me shouting: "Look at me, obnoxious as you, but helping the planet!"

I'm always trying to convince others to go electric when purchasing their next new vehicle. But everyone always has an excuse about why they have to stay with gas, and driving the Cybertruck will be proof that most of their "reasonable" excuses just aren't valid anymore (and I'll be able to take them for a ride to demo why):

"I drive to Florida and back once a year so I need 2400 km range (cause I drive for 24 hours without stopping to eat or pee)"
  • — The tri-motor version will have 800 km range! That means you can drive to Florida (from Ontario) only needing to stop twice at a supercharger, that's less than the number of times you'd have to stop for gas.

"I have to use my vehicle for work, so it needs to be rugged, tough and able to carry all my stuff"
  • — Payload 3500 lbs! Tows 14,000 lbs! My Cybertruck will crush your puny work truck. 'nuf said.

"Electric vehicles cost too much (because I suck at math and can't add up the deferred costs of gas, maintenance, or factor in the environment damage we'll have to pay for later)"
  • — $40-70K USD! With nearly zero maintenance costs, really low fuel costs, probably cheaper insurance costs, and no damage to the climate to pay for later1.

"I'm special and shouldn't have to consider the damage I do to the world, someone else can clean up after me, gas is just easier because I already understand it"
  • — Ok Boomer. There's no convincing these people with logic and facts, I'm trying not to waste too much time and energy on them anymore.

"Electric vehicles are bad for the environment because they just move the emissions from the car to the power plant"
  • — Same with these people. In Ontario, our electrical grid is very green (about 85% emission free), and even if you live in an area with coal plants it's still better for the environment to drive electric because your total emissions will be reduced and will continue to decrease as those plants are decommissioned.

"I have kids and need a mini-van for car seats, dogs and hockey bags"
  • — Model X solves this one already, but everyone always balks at the price tag. Cybertruck will be a decent answer with a great price, but I know some of my family and friends will still swear they need a Mini-Van option. Amazed no one is making an EV mini-van yet, huge hole in the market that needs to be filled (Chrysler Portal maybe).

While I don't "need" a truck, and I'd prefer an SUV, I already have a Bolt (considered getting a second but I think I'd rather diversify), and while I'd love a Model X, I'm an indie2 app developer in a market where people don't want to pay for apps so I can't justify the cost of an X. The pricing on the Cybertruck is amazing. The dual motor Cybertruck is just over half the cost of the lowest end X. $49,900 vs $84,990 (USD for consistency).

Elon tweeted that a pressurized version of Cybertruck will be used on Mars. I’m not sure if people think he was serious or joking, but I can see it as a real possibility. How cool would it be to drive a Martian truck?

Now, will I actually buy a Cybertruck in late 2021 when they go into production? Which likely means it won't really be available until 2022 (in Canada). That's 2-3 years from now. I actually need a second EV soon since my wife's ICE car is nearing death. We're stretching it out as long as possible, waiting for either the Model Y or the Rivian R1S to ship (to Canada of course). Who knows what my situation will be in 2-3 years when the Cybertruck ships. Maybe one of my apps will take off and I can buy an X. Maybe I'll be working at Apple, Tesla or Rivian (call me 😁). Or maybe I'll be completely happy with whatever I buy in 2020. If stars align and it makes sense, then yes, I'll buy a Cybertruck once it's available. If it was shipping today, it would be on my driveway already. It's not, so the reservation will have to do. The fully refundable deposit is only $150. Compared to the $1000 deposit for the Model 3, this one is chump change. Worst case, it's an interest free loan I'm giving Telsa for a couple of years. Best case, it gets me to the front of the line when they do ship.

Update: just had an interesting interaction that might expose Elon’s hidden genius with Cybertruck. I had a conversation with a gas driver today, someone who has always resisted electrics. I showed them the Cybertruck which they hated the look of, but then they said: "did you see the electric Mustang just announced, I’d rather get that...". Suddenly the question became which electric vehicle to get, not electric vs gas. That’s a serious win!

Footnotes:

1: At some point, we're going to have to pay to remove CO2 from the air. This is a cost that will have to be paid by our governments, and everyone just ignores it and treats it as not their problem. This is especially funny (annoying) because I ran a disguised poll on Twitter asking if someone would pay extra if they caused the damage or just let the everyone else pay, and 92% said they'd pay the extra. But they never do in real life.↩︎

2: I'm also working full time for a big company again, but I'm still indie at heart. ↩︎