One, two, three, four ... Ford and Tesla declare truck war

27 November 2019 - 09:01 By AFP Relaxnews
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk unveils the all-electric battery-powered Cybertruck.
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk unveils the all-electric battery-powered Cybertruck.
Image: AFP Photo

Tesla and Ford were in a virtual stare-down on Tuesday in the macho truck world, each saying their electric pickup was strongest.

Duelling tough talk was exchanged on Twitter after Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted a video of a freshly unveiled Cybertruck trouncing a Ford F-150 in a tug-of-war.

The video had logged nearly 13 million views on Twitter by early Tuesday in California, and had been “retweeted” more than 110,000 times.

In the clip, a wedge-shaped Cybertruck drags an F-150 uphill, with smoke coming from the Ford's rear wheels as it tries to go downhill.

“Better than a Ford F-150, faster than a Porsche 911,” Musk said in an earlier tweet.

Ford Motor Company vice-president Sunny Madra issued a challenge to Musk in response to the video: “Hey @Elon, send us a Cybertruck and we will do the apples to apples test for you.”

“Bring it on,” Musk fired back.

Musk's boasts ignited online debate, with Ford defenders arguing the F-150 was at a disadvantage for reasons that included lacking a load to enhance rear-wheel drive traction and that the Cybertruck may have had a head-start.

Tesla's new electric pickup truck has secured almost 150,000 orders, Musk said on Twitter two days after its big reveal went embarrassingly wrong. 

The billionaire Tesla co-founder floundered on stage in California last week when the vehicle's armoured glass windows cracked in a demonstration intended to prove their indestructible design.

The industrial-looking Cybertruck is covered in the same steel alloy Musk plans to use for his SpaceX Starship rocket and will be able to go from 0 to 100km/h in about three seconds, the CEO said in his presentation.

He said the entry-level model will have a starting price of $39,900 (about R591,632) and a 400km range. A deluxe option will be able to travel twice the distance and will sell for $69,900 (about R1,036,469).

No date has been given for its release, but analysts said it would not be ready before the end of 2021 at the earliest.