Tesla receives 146,000 Cybertruck pre-orders

The pickup can be reserved for a modest $100 refundable deposit, far below the $1,000 initially required for the Model 3.

Tesla has received 146,000 reservation deposits for the Cybertruck in less than 48 hours since the electric pickup was unveiled.

Elon Musk announced the achievement on Twitter, noting that 42 percent of reservations are for the dual-motor edition, 41 percent for the range-topping tri-motor variant and just 17 percent for the entry-level single-motor configuration.

The number appears to compare favorably to the 180,000 reservation deposits Tesla initially received for the Model 3 in the first 24 hours following its debut. The deposit vastly cheaper for the Cybertruck, however, requiring just a $100 refundable payment up front versus $1,000 for the Model 3.

The relatively cheap deposit makes it more difficult to compare demand between the two models, as $100 is much cheaper for speculators who may try to sell their early build slot for a profit as the Cybertruck gets closer to launch.

Model 3 reservation holders were eventually required to put down another $2,500 to secure their place in line, with the total $3,500 deposit becoming non-refundable as soon as a VIN is assigned to the buyer. It is unclear if Tesla plans to follow the same strategy for the Cybertruck to help cover production costs and ensure target volume matches actual demand.

The Cybertruck is targeted to enter production late in 2021 with a starting price of $39,900, aligning with General Motors' electric pickup and Ford's F-Series EV. The F-150 has long been the best-selling nameplate in America, with 2018 sales totaling more than 909,000 units. The Detroit Big Three are presumably hoping the Cybertruck's extreme styling will minimize defection from their core groups of loyal truck buyers.

Ford and GM will now be under pressure to keep up with Tesla in terms of performance, as the Cybertruck boasts an impressive 2.9-second launch to 60 mph, up to 500 miles of range and 14,000+ pounds of towing capacity for the flagship model. The specs are a step above the Mustang Mach-E, which is closely aligned with the Model Y's promised performance and pricing.

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