Tesla, the name synonymous with groundbreaking electric vehicles, often leads the automotive industry with its innovative designs and forward-thinking concepts. However, not all innovations are met with unanimous approval, as demonstrated by the Cybertruck, one of Tesla’s most talked-about creations.
As it turns out, the Cybertruck’s design is so radical that even some of Tesla’s own engineers thought it was a step too far. In a revealing account from noted biographer Walter Isaacson’s book on Elon Musk, we gain insight into the internal struggles surrounding this iconic electric pickup.
Tesla’s Design Chief, Franz von Holzhausen, candidly shared with Isaacson that the Cybertruck was met with skepticism and even disdain by a majority of the engineers within Tesla’s studio. They couldn’t fathom the audacity of Musk’s vision. “A majority of the people in this studio hated it. They were like, ‘You can’t be serious.’ They didn’t want to have anything to do with it. It was just too weird,” von Holzhausen disclosed.
What followed was a remarkable twist in the Cybertruck’s development saga. Some Tesla engineers, driven by their reservations about the Cybertruck’s unconventional design, took it upon themselves to create an alternative version of this futuristic pickup. This initiative, as per Isaacson’s account, took shape after these engineers encountered a mockup of the Cybertruck at SpaceX’s Los Angeles showroom in the summer of 2019.
The fate of this alternative Cybertruck design remains shrouded in mystery. Musk, the visionary behind Tesla, was unyielding in his commitment to the Cybertruck’s bold, brutalist design. He was unwavering, even in the face of concerns and criticisms from within his own team. “I don’t do focus groups,” Musk asserted, emphasizing his determination to bring his vision to life. To meet the ambitious goal of having a drivable version of the mockup ready for the Cybertruck’s anticipated unveiling in late 2019, von Holzhausen recounted that the team worked tirelessly around the clock.
Fast forward to today, and the Tesla Cybertruck is on the verge of making its highly anticipated debut. It’s expected that the vehicle will be unveiled sometime in 2023, with deliveries picking up pace in the following year. The excitement surrounding this revolutionary electric pickup has been palpable, with Tesla even offering invitations to the Cybertruck’s delivery event as incentives within its Referral Program, although it seems that this reward has since been withdrawn. This suggests that the initial round of invitations for the Cybertruck’s first delivery event may have already been fully claimed.
Innovation often comes with challenges, and the story of the Cybertruck’s polarizing design exemplifies how pushing the boundaries can lead to both internal dissent and external anticipation. As Tesla continues to redefine the automotive landscape, the world eagerly awaits the moment when the Cybertruck, with all its quirks and controversies, becomes a reality on our roads.