Topline: Following the much anticipated release of the Tesla Cybertruck, when CEO Elon Musk took a swipe at Ford’s F-150 electric pickup, it looks like the two vehicles will finally go head-to-head in a fair test, after Musk accepted a challenge from a Ford vice president on Twitter.
- When showcasing the new Tesla Cybertruck last week, Musk pulled up a promotional video of the electric pickup in a tug of war with a Ford F-150, the bestselling vehicle in the U.S.
- He tweeted a clip on Sunday, in which his pickup pulled the screeching Ford model up a hill without any trouble, but critics were quick to argue that the test wasn’t balanced and was unfavorable to the F-150.
- The video apparently shows a two-wheel drive version of the F-150 running on old tires up against an all-wheel drive version of the Cybertruck, which is significantly heavier in the rear-end (the Ford didn’t have any weight put on its back wheels).
- Sundeep Madra, vice president at Ford X, challenged Musk to send over a Cybertruck for a true “apples to apples” tug-of-war test.
- Musk replied: “bring it on,” agreeing to the request for a more balanced tug-of-war battle between the two pickups.
- Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was one of the first critics to dispute the original test, saying that it didn’t demonstrate the Ford pickup truck’s engine power because it wasn’t “fully loaded” and challenging Musk to give the “highest traction to its rear wheels, then try to drag that up the hill,” to which the Tesla CEO agreed.
Key background: Musk showed off the futuristic Cybertruck, Tesla’s first electric pickup truck, in an unveiling last Thursday night. The Cybertruck, which looks to compete with and replace legacy pickup trucks, is Tesla’s sixth electric vehicle since the company was founded in 2003. The launch hit a bump in the road, however, when the truck’s armored windows embarrassingly shattered in an onstage demonstration. It not only left the audience stunned, but prompted Musk himself to exclaim in surprise, “Oh my f—-cking god.” The failed windows test quickly went viral with jokes and memes online, but that looks to have actually helped boost sales overall, with Musk boasting over the weekend that Tesla had already received 200,000 orders for the electric pickup truck within its first three days of launch.
Tangent: This isn’t the first time the two companies have gone head-to-head publicly. Following Musk’s tweet last year that the Tesla pickup would be able to haul over 300,000 pounds, for instance, Ford eventually released their own promotional video for the electric F-150 pickup, in which it drags over 1 million pounds of double-decker railcars.