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Elon Musk Created the Cybertruck Because Only a Tank Is Tougher Than a Truck

In case you were wondering what went through Elon Musk’s head in the aftermath of the broken window fiasco at the November presentation of the Cybertruck, it was probably something along the lines, “dang, back to the drawing board.”
Elon Musk explains the reasoning behind the creation of the Cybertruck: only a tank is tougher than a truck 7 photos
Photo: Tesla
The Tesla Cybertruck spotted in Malibu, with Elon Musk at the wheelThe Tesla Cybertruck spotted in Malibu, with Elon Musk at the wheelThe Tesla Cybertruck spotted in Malibu, with Elon Musk at the wheelThe Tesla Cybertruck spotted in Malibu, with Elon Musk at the wheelThe Tesla Cybertruck spotted in Malibu, with Elon Musk at the wheelThe Tesla Cybertruck spotted in Malibu, with Elon Musk at the wheel
In a recent Third Row Tesla podcast, Musk agreed to sit down for a very lengthy chat on anything and everything Tesla, including the upcoming Cybertruck. Unveiled at the end of last year and scheduled for delivery in late 2021 (the single-motor RWD version) and late 2022 (the dual-motor all-wheel and the tri-motor versions), it is still one of the most divisive electric vehicles announced so far.

It turns out, Elon himself had doubts about whether it would be a hit. Currently, the fully-electric truck has over 250,000 pre-orders so Musk believes it’s a sure indication that people will want to buy it (though, at $100 a reservation, it’s hardly confirmation).

The backup plan was to deliver a regular-looking vehicle if the idea for the Cybertruck fell flat, Musk says.

“I told the team, ‘Listen, if nobody wants to buy this, we could always make one that looks like the other trucks.’ Like ‘OK, that was a weird failure, but now we’ll make one that looks like the others’,” he says.

As for why the Cybertruck ended up looking the way it does, Musk says the only way in which Tesla could deliver a truck anyone would want to buy was to not deliver a truck at all, but a tank instead.

“A lot of reasons why people buy pickup trucks in the U.S. is because it’s the most badass truck. Which one’s the toughest truck? What’s tougher than a truck? A tank. A tank from the future,” he says. “How do you out-tough a truck? You make a futuristic armored personnel carrier. It’s gonna be pretty special and not like other things.”

Drawing inspiration from Musk’s own 1976 Lotus Esprit sports car and vehicles show in movies like Blade Runner, Back to the Future, Aliens and Mad Max, the Cybertruck came out looking just like that: a tank from the future. The only way in which you can make a splash on the market, the CEO continues, is to go against the flow and offer something that is unlike everything else. Only that will inspire people.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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