Tesla’s Cybertruck doesn’t look street legal, but pre-orders are pouring in

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Tesla Inc.’s “Cybertruck” may have drawn scoffs at its unveiling, and it is almost certainly not street legal, but the electric-car company still racked up nearly $19 million during the first three days of pre-orders.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted Saturday: “146k Cybertruck orders so far, with 42% choosing dual, 41% tri & 17% single motor.” He updated that count with a tweet Sunday: “187k.”

At $100 per pre-order deposit, that’s about $18.7 million so far — although Tesla says that money is fully refundable for prospective customers.

The angular electric pickup will be offered in three models: a single-motor version with a battery range of 250+ miles for $39,900; a dual-motor version with a battery range of 300+ miles starting at $49,900, and a tri-motor version with a range of 500+ miles which starts at $69,900.

Production is scheduled to begin in late 2021, though Tesla said the tri-motor version won’t start production until late 2022.

Read: Tesla’s Cybertruck looks weird, financial analysts say, but it could find fans

The pickup’s unveiling Thursday night drew sharply divided first impressions, with some saying it resembled a stealth bomber or a “Mad Max” vehicle. But the Cybertruck’s looks will likely change significantly before it ever hits the streets.

Also see: Country-music legends tell MarketWatch whether they could write songs about Tesla’s Cybertruck — ‘I don’t think it’s the truck for me’

Experts say the pickup, as of today, is more concept than production car, and it’s not street legal. The vehicle lacks side mirrors — though the government may eventually approve rear-looking cameras instead of mirrors — windshield wipers and a front bumper. And its single light bar in the front and back would not pass safety standards. There did not appear to be any turn signals or a third brake light. The tires also appear to protrude from their wheel wells, which is illegal. The pickup’s sharp angles and ultra-hard material could also be a safety issue, with no obvious crumple zones to absorb the impact of a crash, which could affect the safety not only of those inside the Cybertruck, but any vehicle or pedestrian it hits.

Tesla shares TSLA, -6.14%   sank in Friday trading, and are about flat year to date, compared with the S&P 500’s SPX, +0.22%   24% gain.

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