Memes and Ridicule are spreading the word: There’s a New Truck in Town…
It’s been quite a week in Tesla news since the Cybertruck was unveiled near the SpaceX headquarters on November 21st. There’s been a rollercoaster of love and mocking, most of which has been entertaining. Once the initial barrage of silly memes hit like an avalanche on Twitter, auto insiders piled on, in a nice way with tongue in cheek, and all seemed to combine to take an already massive press event to an even higher level.
While pre-orders for the Model 3 peaked around half-a-million, and as all would know by now, that model is a huge success story, 250k in pre-orders in less than a week for Cybertruck is not a bad start. Yes, the pre-orders for the Cybertruck are only $100, more a token of appreciation than a hard reservation, and are fully refundable at that, but for a truck that was roundly derided and even scornfully laughed at, this cannot be considered an insignificant number.
There has been much speculation, as the pre-order tally kept growing, that this could all be a ruse and that the publicity would spur on accelerated development at other automakers, which does appear to be the case. However, amid all the noise and squawking, the name, the image, the logo and the concept are splashing across the world like a tsunami of retro-nostalgic-futurism gone wild.
And, deep deep below the surface of that wave, there is something more. Much more. As is often the case with Elon Musk led projects, an attempt was clearly made to break the mold when it comes to the engineering and feature-set capability, not just the aesthetic ethos.
2019 has been a Watershed Year for Tesla and Elon Musk and 2020 will see more Massive Changes
The 250k pre-orders represent, at the very least, a massive world-wide focus group on the idea of the Cybertruck, if not the truck itself. This focus group is very, very enthusiastic about the idea. How much of this is celebrity love? How much is tree-hugger-meets-mad-max eco-rescue lovers? How many are tired of the macho-hillbilly-redneck pro-gas-guzzling Marlboro-Man image of “Made-Ford-Tough”? A lot, clearly.
And what if it is just a lot of people with a C-note to spare that would like to vote for an overthrow of the old guard and see the transition to a sustainable energy transportation infrastructure at least get off its ass?
In Southern California you get on the freeway anytime, anywhere and you will see old guard 19mpg, 40 gallon per tank monsters with fat, stupid oversized clown wheels as far as the eye can see. What if they were mixed with Tesla Cybertrucks, in addition to the Model S and Model 3s that are already a California freeway mainstay. Would that be “Blade-Runner-esque? And what of it? At lease a new day will look new and be different.
Haven’t we seen enough of the Status Quo? Haven’t the Dinosaurs had their day? Change can be refreshing, even while retro in a cyberpunk kind of way, and in the end, Saving the Planet and Having Fun Doing It is a much better way than the way we had.