How Tesla CyberTruck Puts Ford, Chevy and Dodge In A Pickle


Published on November 20, 2019 |
by Paul Fosse

20. November 2019 by Paul Fosse

In this article I will talk about how Tesla's announcement of CyberTruck will hurt sales of other pickup trucks even before the truck ships its first unit. Make sure you also read Frugal Moogal's article on the broad effects of the industry's transition to electric vehicles and compare this transition to how other industries handled (or did not) their own transitions. Frugal also wrote a more specific article about the Mustang's effect on Ford.

Image courtesy of Ford media center.

Features I Expect in CyberTruck

Like all Tesla vehicles announced to date, I expect CyberTruck to follow the Tesla lesson. It involves matching the competition to many features and specifications, and then adding excitement by offering features that everyone expects from Tesla plus a few features that no one expected at all. I will list the different functions in four sections: Base, Expected, Innovative and Unnexpected. If you haven't read my Pickups for Dummies article, read it now – it can help you understand this one.

Base Features

These are like ante when playing poker (which I don't). You really need these features or features to meet the customer's basic needs or you just want to be a niche product and sell thousands a month to Tesla fans, but not really impact the pickup market.

  1. Seats: For a base cabin, you need 2 to 3 seats; For a crew cab, you need to seat 5 or 6. I would be disappointed if Tesla doesn't have a crew route (at least as an option), since this is the hottest part of the market right now.
  2. Towing capacity in the lorry bed of 1,500 to 6,000 pounds, depending on whether Tesla will play in the halftone market or the heavy three-quarter-ton or full-ton market. Anything under 1500 kilos would be a big disappointment. It doesn't need more unless it will play in the other market.
  3. Towing capacity: Other pickups can be towed up to around 13,000 pounds in the halftone market or 35,000 pounds in the heavy wax market. Anything under £ 13,000 would be a disappointment to me, especially after Elon said it would have all the capabilities of Tesla's competitors. Anything more would be great!
  4. Offroad capability: It doesn't have to be market-leading, but something better than the Model X. Some ground clearance. Terrain tire option. Something more to satisfy me and the general market.


These are the features that everyone expects a Tesla to bring to the table:

  1. Zero Emissions.
  2. High fuel economy / efficiency. Low maintenance required. The product should have a quarter of the fuel cost for gas or diesel trucks.
  3. Over-the-air updates that all the latest Tesla vehicles have.
  4. The option for full driving.
  5. Million kilometers of battery and motors. Tesla has already said that the Model 3 engines are both designed and tested to last a million miles. I wouldn't expect anything less in a pickup. Tesla has announced it is working on a million mile battery, why not use it in a pickup?
  6. Class Leading Security. Pickup rolling risk is high, but modern EVs with skateboard design have such a low center of gravity that they have very low rolling risk. I expect Tesla to emphasize safety, especially since many families use a pickup truck as a vehicle to transport their children.

If Tesla has nothing else, it will be a success, but I will be disappointed, since it would not It is not enough to be Elon's favorite car yet.


These are features expected by some and not by others. They should really help Tesla get publicity.

  1. Acceleration and handling better than a base Porsche 911. This means 0-60 km / h in about 4 seconds and good handling. Since Elon has promised this, people are noticing.
  2. 10-year million-mile warranty.
  3. 110/220 volts current.
  4. Air compressor on board to run tools.
  5. Air adjustable suspension.


I think there is a good chance that we will get at least one unexpected feature that is not suggested. Tesla's safety must be top notch. Apple, Ford and the National Security Agency (NSA) have all had their respective leaks. Tesla has really kept this product under wraps, and I would be disappointed if there is not at least one feature (neither on this list or not) that is not suggested or speculated in.

  1. Laughable ground clearance alternative. Something like a meter.
  2. Cold air jets as they make for the Roadster SpaceX package. This will be useful for crossing rough terrain. Just fly over it.
  3. Submarine mode that allows the truck to travel fully submerged.
  4. Autonomous Interior Alternative:
    1. No steering wheel or pedals.
    2. Mobile office desk and monitors.
    3. Seating not forward (lounge style).
    4. Bedding for sleeping on the way to the destination.

Value proposition for the potential buyer

Considering the discussion above, even though CyberTruck comes in at a price slightly higher than the potential buyer in 2019 or 2020 had plans to pay, which makes it very tempting to just hold your existing vehicle a little longer and wait for either CyberTruck or the other truck manufacturer's response.

People who buy a new vehicle usually do so for a combination of the following three reasons:

  1. Their vehicle becomes unreliable.
  2. Their vehicle is boring and they want something more fun or flashy to impress people.
  3. Their business or life has expanded and they are adding a new vehicle that does not replace a vehicle.

Provided that Tesla is capable of generating sufficient buzz with CyberTruck (has Elon and / or Tesla ever had trouble getting free publicity?) And all potential truck buyers in the world (or at least in the US, countries of trucks) hears about the ways CyberTruck is better, this announcement will make some of the potential buyers stop and say, "maybe I should wait and see if Tesla can deliver this before I pull the trigger to buy a new truck. “Suddenly, the new features that Ford, GM and Dodge are promoting seem insignificant updates compared to the revolutionary and exciting product shown by Tesla.

What I will look at during the unveiling is how many markets Tesla will freeze.

  1. The terrain market would be frozen if Tesla promised some of the excellent features I speculated on above.
  2. The labor market will be sensitive to announcements of fuel and maintenance savings, longevity and guarantees, towing and towing capacity, onboard power and air, self-driving and mobile office functions. Full self-driving will allow entrepreneurs and traders to do all the paperwork and planning on their way to the workplace.
  3. The leisure and lifestyle market will be sensitive to style, brand, acceleration, handling, fuel and maintenance savings, fully self-driving and safety innovations.

Then the potential buyer, confused and excited by this announcement, will do what people always do when shocked. They freeze up and do nothing until they can take some time to process the new information. This will cause them to just fix their existing pickup and live with it a little longer (if they have one). If they do not have a pickup and need one, they can only rent or lease one. Or maybe they will buy a used truck to minimize the depreciation effect that will occur when Tesla delivers the truck that changes or disrupts the market.


Ford, GM and Dodge have 4 major problems:

  1. They need to develop a product that appeals to truck customers who have heard of all the amazing CyberTruck can do that their trucks cannot do.
  2. They need to do so with a workforce that is not skilled in the technology they need, such as batteries and packs, inverters, control software, etc. But they have too many people in areas like engine design and transmissions that they cannot afford because of trade union agreements.
  3. They must fund this costly and risky development of a radically new technology and massive labor conversion and retraining at a time when projected sales of their current and even next-generation pickups (if they were nonsense enough to have invested in a next-generation gas or diesel coup) sink like a rock.
  4. Debt is related to the value of the cars and trucks they have sold, so if it suddenly drops, many customers may lose away from underwater cars.

That's what I call a "Pickle." What should they do?

Start the transition, aggressively cut costs in unnecessary technologies, partner where they are too far behind, and start securing as much battery capacity as they can, because when you get the competitive EV pickup ready, it's going to blow away your old truck in so many areas that you will need many batteries to meet demand.

It would be better for them if the transition happened gradually over many years, but that is not how disruption works when they reach a tipping point. It is not an easy path, and depending on how the economy does, it may not even be a successful one, but I think it is the only path that has at least some chance of success.

If you decide to order a Tesla, you can order soon, as they may want to sell out soon to those who want to get this year's delivery and still get the US federal tax credit. Use my Tesla referral link to get 1000 miles of free supercharging on a Tesla Model S, Model X or Model 3 (you can't use it on Model Y yet). Now is good for $ 100 off solar, too! Here is the link:

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Tags: chevrolet, Dodge, FCA, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, GM, Tesla, Tesla Cybertruck

About the author

Paul Fosse A software engineer for over 30 years , first developed EDI software, then developed data warehouse systems. Along the way, I've also had the chance to help start a software consulting firm and perform portfolio management. In 2010, I became interested in electric cars because gas was expensive. In 2015, I started reading CleanTechnica and was interested in solar, mainly because it was a threat to my oil and gas investments. Follow me on Twitter @ atj721 Tesla investor. Tesla Reference Code:!function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s)
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