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Tesla already has nearly 150,000 orders for Cybertruck

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said on Saturday that there have been about 150,000 orders thus far for the electric carmaker's Cybertruck, which was unveiled last week.

"146,000 Cybertruck orders so far, with 42 per cent choosing dual, 41 per cent tri and 17 per cent single motor," Mr Musk said in a tweet, adding separately that the orders were achieved without any advertising or paid endorsements.

The launch of the Cybertruck pickup suffered a setback when its "armoured glass" windows shattered in a much-anticipated unveiling. The overall look of the electric vehicle had worried Wall Street on Friday.

At the launch, Mr Musk had taken aim at the design, power and durability of mainstream trucks, only to be shaken when the windows of Tesla's new vehicle shattered while being tested.

The blunder overshadowed the launch, which was live-streamed from Los Angeles and made #cybertruck a trending word on Twitter.

Some Wall Street analysts praised the launch, but others doubted the futuristic design's mass appeal.

With a starting price of US$39,900 (S$54,400), the Cybertruck's angular body in gun-metal grey resembles an armoured vehicle. Its website shows that an immediate payment of US$100 is required to reserve an order for the Cybertruck.

Tesla plans to start manufacturing the truck around late 2021.

The US pickup truck market is one of the world's most profitable vehicle segments and is dominated by Ford Motor, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE