The launch event for Tesla’s electric pickup truck left Elon Musk swearing when a demonstration of how strong its windows were embarrassingly shattered them.

While on stage with Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen, Mr Musk challenged his colleague to take a sledgehammer to the truck’s door and then toss a metallic ball at its window.

The window shattered, surprising the audience and prompting Mr Musk to exclaim: “Oh my f****** god.”

He then suggested: “Maybe that was a little too hard.”

In a second demonstration of the window’s strength, the glass again shattered.

The company’s founder and chief executive took to the stage in California to unveil the Cybertruck.

Tesla’s first pickup truck, he had said in advance, was partly shaped in a nod to the Lotus Esprit sportscar-submarine used in the Bond film.

The futuristic vehicle’s design was “influenced” by James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, according to Mr Musk.

The angular vehicle will be the first all-electric pick-up in a US market dominated by Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler.

Musk told the launch in Los Angeles: “We need sustainable energy now. If we don’t have a pickup truck, we can’t solve it.

“The top 3 selling vehicles in America are pickup trucks. To solve sustainable energy, we have to have a pickup truck.”

He told the audience Cybertruck production was due to begin in two years’ time with a starting price of $39,900 (£31,000).

It can seat six people and the top spec version would have a range of more than 500 miles, Musk said, despite a heavy stainless steel body.

There is pace with 0-60mph being achieved in 2.9 seconds, Tesla said.

“Cybertruck is designed to have the utility of a truck and the performance of a sports car.

The interior of the Cybertruck. Pic: Tesla
Image: The interior of the Cybertruck. Pic: Tesla

“The vehicle is built to be durable, versatile and capable, with exceptional performance both on-road and off-road.

“Cybertruck will come in three variants: Single Motor Rear-Wheel Drive, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive, and Tri Motor All-Wheel Drive.”

Tesla, whose Model 3 is the world’s top-selling battery electric car, is gradually increasing the size of its vehicles as battery technology evolves.

The Model Y compact SUV is due to join the Model next year.

Reaction to the Cybertruck launch was mixed.

One fan, Julie, wrote on Twitter: “When #Cybertruck showed up on the stage I instantly fell in love with it. YES. THE LOOK. Just BAD***. So many people saying it’s ugly but I…love it!!”.

But another commentator, Chris McKulka, said: “If a Delorean and a platypus had an ugly baby … … it would still look better than this thing.”


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