Love it or hate it, the Tesla Cybertruck is the biggest electric vehicle debut of 2023—and somehow also the most mysterious. Though it was first unveiled in concept form way back in 2019, we've spent all those years knowing very little about its actual range, battery size, capabilities and, perhaps most importantly, price tag. That all changed today at the Cybertruck Delivery Event in Austin.
Finally and officially, the Cybertruck will start at $60,990. That's for the base rear-wheel-drive version, which Tesla says is due out in 2025. The all-wheel-drive version is due out next year, Tesla claims, and that will start at $79,990. Finally, the top-trim "Cyberbeast" model, also due out in 2024, will begin at $99,990.
It's also crucial to note that Tesla says all of those numbers are without any tax credits or what the automaker calls "probable savings," meaning gas money saved; factoring those in, Tesla claims the three trims will be more like $49,890, $68,890 and $96,390, respectively. But your mileage may vary there depending on state and federal incentives, and how they evolve when the Cybertruck actually hits the road.
And that's the question of the day, really. As with the Model 3 launch years ago, we'll be left to wonder when the base model, more "affordable" Cybertruck actually goes on sale. Given the scores of delays it's seen so far, very likely the first few year (or even years) of Cybertruck production will be focused on the more expensive models until Tesla can get it built at scale.
Gallery: Tesla Cybertruck Delivery Event (2023)
Unsurprisingly, these prices are also significantly more than what Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed back in 2019. At the time, he said the truck would start at $39,900 in base trim and top out at $69,900. On the whole, prices ended up $20,000 to $30,000 more than initially quoted.
For comparison's sake, that puts the Cybertruck against the Chevrolet Silverado EV, which starts at $74,800 for the base 3WT model and goes up to the top-trim RST First Edition at $106,895; the Ford F-150 Lightning, which starts at $49,995 for the base Pro and tops off at $91,995 for the Platinum model; and the Rivian R1T, starting at $73,000 and going all the way up to about $94,000 if you opt for its top Max Pack battery.
As with many EVs, ultimately pricing may be the biggest factor in the Cybertruck's success. And as Edmunds' Head of Insights Jessica Caldwell notes, trucks—agnostic of what powers them—are not a cheap market segment anymore.
“In 2019, Tesla created a frenzy at the Cybertruck reveal by claiming the electric pickup’s starting price would come in below $40,000," Caldwell said in an email. "That, however, is not a realistic price point in 2023. The reality is that no full-size truck, electric or gas, transacts anywhere near the $40,000 mark on average."
Caldwell also reiterates something Musk himself has said—that production challenges with this brand-new truck may keep it from being some major profit-driver for Tesla, at least for the first few years. "Taking a historical view, the allure of selling a full-size truck has traditionally been the high margins and high volumes," she said. "The Cybertruck’s design and potential production challenges leave Tesla unlikely to reap those rewards the way legacy automakers have.”
Also from Edmunds, here's a guide to pricing in the large truck segment, including electric and non-electric vehicles for comparison.