Last night, at the launch of Tesla’s first electric pickup truck – the Cybertruck – things did not go to plan for CEO Musk. While on stage with chief designer Franz von Holzhausen, 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 Musk to exclaim: “Oh my f****** god,” before a second demonstration led to the glass shattering again.
The gaffe is sure to annoy Musk, who has previously revealed he is a perfectionist.
In 2015 he gave a talk to Stanford University, where he was asked by DFJ General Partner Steve Jurvetson about the difficulties he faced producing the top-selling plug-in electric car of that year.
Musk said: “The big challenge with the Model S was having a car that had a high utility and looked good – it was the same with the X.
“So to make a sports car look good is relatively easy, but to make a sedan look good is quite difficult.
“We also wanted it to feel bigger on the inside that it looks on the inside.
“That’s a really hard thing to do.
“Then, we had to really pay attention to the little details, like shape, form and function, also the way it looks in different lights.”
Asked if the little details get to him, Musk admitted: “It drives me bananas.
“The problem is that you can train yourself to pay attention to the tiny details, anyone can.
“Look closely and carefully and for any given object, there is always something wrong with something, somewhere.
“You have to switch off, or the list will drive you crazy.”
Fast-forward four years and Musk’s latests announcement, he says, 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 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 said the Cybertruck was due to go on sale in two years, 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 and capabilities of 0-60mph being achieved in 2.9 seconds.
In an official statement, Tesla said: “Cybertruck is designed to have the utility of a truck and the performance of a sports car.
“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.”