BUSINESS Tesla and Ford trade challenges in macho truck world

BUSINESS

Tesla and Ford trade challenges in macho truck world

AFP

03:53, November 28, 2019

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Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk presentING the all-electric battery-powered Tesla Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California. (Photo: AFP)

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

Dueling tough talk was exchanged on Twitter after Tesla chief executive 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 at Twitter as of early Tuesday in California, and been "retweeted" more than 110,000 times.

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

"Better than a Ford F-150, faster than a Porsche 911," Musk claimed 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," Madra tweeted.

"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 gotten a head-start.

Tesla's new electric pickup truck has secured almost 150,000 orders, Musk said on Twitter just 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 armored 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 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour in about three seconds, the Tesla chief executive claimed in his presentation.

He said the entry-level model will have a starting price of $39,900 and a 400-kilometer (250-mile) range, while a deluxe option will be able to travel twice the distance and will sell for $69,900.

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


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