More than 1 million people paid $100 each to reserve a Tesla Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk announced on the Q3 earnings call in October. But now, it looks as though Tesla has begun the operation of weeding out Cybertruck reservation holders who are not serious about buying the electric truck by introducing a $1,000 “early access deposit.” In other words, if you really want that Cybertruck you reserved, you now owe Elon Musk a grand.
Starting yesterday, Tesla Cybertruck reservation holders who have been “invited” by the company to configure their vehicle and proceed with their order have discovered that besides having to pay a higher fully refundable reservation fee of $250 (from which the initial $100 fee is deducted), they also have to put down a non-refundable $1,000 deposit.
Thankfully, the amount will be deducted from the purchase price upon final payment, as seen in the screenshots posted by reservation holders online and shared by Sawyer Merritt, Cybertruck Owners Club, and others.
However, if the customer changes their mind and cancels the order, they will lose the $1,000 deposit, which is a high enough sum for most people to regret losing.
Introducing a $1,000 deposit fee may seem excessive at first glance, but when you factor in the price of the Cybertruck, it’s not actually a large amount of money for people who are serious about buying the truck.
It will be interesting to see how many of these potential customers will actually follow through and commit to purchasing a Cybertruck—especially as prices have gone up by $20,000 for the base RWD model and $30,000 for the Cybertruck All-Wheel Drive and Cyberbeast tri-motor flagship compared to the original pricing announced four years ago.
This will also allow Tesla to see how big the actual demand for the Cybertruck is and make production plans and adjustments accordingly. Introducing a $1,000 early access deposit also enables the EV maker to ship the first batch of Cybertrucks to people who are the most excited to get them.
Of course, some reservation holders vented their frustration at the introduction of the $1,000 fee on social media, noting that having waited four years for the Cybertruck is a pretty strong indication that they’re interested in buying it. Some also complained that paying Tesla another interest-free loan besides the reservation fee doesn’t seem that fair.
What’s your take on this? A solid deal, or another squeeze-out play from Musk?