The all-electric Tesla Cybertruck could be the first game-changing pickup truck in decades. But does this innovation come at a hefty price tag?

With a 14,000-lb towing capacity, available all-wheel-drive, and a mind-blowing 800 horsepower, the Tesla Cybertruck sure seems like it’ll break the bank. However, that may not be the case, especially when compared to the average cost of a pickup in the United States. Here’s how much the Tesla Cybertruck really costs.

The base-model rear-wheel-drive Tesla Cybertruck starts off with an MSRP of $39,900, along with an additional $1,200 destination charge. The next level up is the dual-motor all-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which retails at $49,900. The highest trim level is the tri-motor all-wheel-drive model, which retails $69,900 plus the destination fee.

Although we’ve covered the purchase price of the Tesla Cybertruck, there are still many more numbers to consider. How does cost of ownership stack up against similarly-priced conventional pickups? Is it cheaper (per mile) to drive with electricity or gasoline, and what about diesel? Overall, the Cybertruck is surprisingly affordable—and sometimes more affordable than its conventionally-powered competitors.

We sourced all Cybertruck technical specifications directly from Tesla. Information about pricing was sourced from reliable automotive reports, which were based on press conferences and direct releases from the manufacturer itself.

How Much Does The Tesla Cybertruck Cost?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

HideShow

Tesla Cybertruck Pre-Order Cost

Tesla has allowed anyone to pre-order a Cybertruck. Pre-orders have been available for over a year, and tens of thousands of people have paid the fee to reserve a vehicle. The original cost to pre-order a Cybertruck is just $200.

The Cybertruck pre-order doesn’t mean you have to buy one—it’s just a way to reserve a vehicle as demand is expected to be extremely high.

Tesla Cybertruck Trims and Pricing

The Tesla Cybertruck comes in multiple trims, which mostly differentiate between mechanical features and range levels.

Unlike other trucks, which come with options for upgraded infotainment, gadgets (like multiple tow cameras), leather, and various heated and cooled features, much of this comes standard across the Cybertruck line.

The main differences between Cybertruck trim levels are the number of motors (drive system) and the range of the batteries. The base-model Tesla Cybertruck is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The base model costs $39,900, not including the destination fee.

The additional offerings for the Cybertruck are all-wheel-drive and will operate as a 4x4 conventional pickup truck with similar capabilities. The most affordable AWD version starts at $49,900 and features a dual-motor setup.

The highest trim for the Cybertruck is a tri-motor all-wheel-drive model that starts at $69,900. This price doesn’t include the destination fee, which we’ll get into later.

So, what are the benefits of the higher trim models? For one, they come with all-wheel drive. Many people consider 4WD/AWD to be mandatory on new pickup trucks, and it offers a lot more capability in on and off-road driving.

Additionally, longer-range variants are available which extend the range from 300 to 500 miles, which is necessary for many rural areas where the Cybertruck would be most useful.

What If My State Doesn’t Allow Tesla Sales?

Tesla doesn’t operate like a traditional car dealership. The vast majority of conventional car dealerships are privately-owned. They have the exclusive right to purchase cars from the manufacturer, and they sell them to the public at a markup. Many states require car companies to sell strictly through dealerships.

Tesla doesn’t work with private dealerships. Instead, they usually sell cars directly through company-owned showrooms. And since manufacturer-to-consumer car sales are illegal in many states, you may have to pay a fee to have the car delivered from a showroom in another state.

Here’s how it works. You’ll order your Cybertruck from Tesla. You’ll pay a delivery fee, and the company will bring the truck directly to you in your home state. You’ll have to do the paperwork remotely, and you won’t ever interact face-to-face with a salesman.

If you live in a state where Tesla can sell directly to consumers, you can purchase your Cybertruck at a showroom, and the process will look almost identical to a traditional dealership car sale. The cost to have a Tesla transported to you is around $1,000, in addition to the destination fee.

It’s important to note that the full cost of the Cybertruck must be paid before you take delivery. This means either you pay the balance in cash or get approved by a bank for the full balance of the loan.

Will I Have to Pay a Delivery Fee?

Yes, virtually all Tesla buyers must pay a delivery (or destination) fee regardless of where they pick up the truck. This is the case for all Tesla vehicles, even if you go directly to the factory to purchase the vehicle.

As of the writing of this article, the delivery fee that everyone must pay is $1,200. People have speculated on ways to avoid it, and some waivers are issued, but the vast majority of people will pay this additional cost.

Cost to Own a Tesla Cybertruck

Cost of ownership is an important factor to consider. Typically, the cost to own a vehicle includes average prices of parts, maintenance, and fuel—or in the case of the Tesla Cybertruck, the cost of electricity.

Tesla builds some of the most efficient electric vehicles on the market. Additionally, Tesla’s home charging units lose very little energy in the form of heat—thus reducing the amount of wasted power that you’ll have to pay for.

Right now, we expect the Tesla Cybertruck to come equipped with a 200 to 250 kWh battery pack. At an average cost of $0.12 per kWh, it would cost around $24 or $25 to “fill the tank” of a Cybertruck.

With an expected range of 300 to 500 miles (depending on the motor configuration), the cost per mile of a Cybertruck will likely range between $0.048 and $0.08 per mile. This is considerably less expensive than conventionally-powered trucks with the same power and speed.

The cost to maintain a Cybertruck will likely be considerably lower as well. Electric vehicles have much fewer moving parts than gasoline or diesel vehicles. There’s no engine to maintain, no oil to change—and few parts that wear out. Assuming the battery is sound, the only parts that will need replacing are the air filter, brake pads, and bearings.

Why is the Tesla Cybertruck So Expensive?

Given the results of the cost of ownership analysis above, the Tesla Cybertruck doesn’t seem quite so expensive after all. When compared to a mid or high-trim gas or diesel truck, the Cybertruck may end up being a more affordable alternative.

According to MotorBiscuit, the average cost of a new pickup truck in the United States is $38,361. That’s just over $1,000 less than the Cybertruck, which makes it more than comparable in terms of price. But the Cybertruck outshines the average V6 pickup truck in almost every conceivable way.

The Cybertruck is not yet available to the public. And given Tesla’s unpredictable reputation, these costs may change sometime between now and the release date. That said, the Cybertruck should be a formidable cost competitor with other popular pickups like the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado 1500.

About THE AUTHOR

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

Read More About Charles Redding