Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk stands in front of the shattered windows of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla’s Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019.

FREDERIC J. BROWN | AFP | Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested late Tuesday that his company had now received 250,000 pre-orders for the Cybertruck, its “Blade Runner”-inspired electric pickup.

The billionaire tweeted “250k,” indicating — based on his previous Twitter posts — that this was the number of “orders” the firm had collected from prospective customers to date.

Just a few days ago, Musk was boasting Tesla had received 200,000 orders for the truck. The company first unveiled the new product at a promotional event in Los Angeles last week.

However, what Musk meant by orders and what most people would think he means are two different things. Tesla is only taking pre-orders for the Cybertruck at the moment, which cost $100 a pop to apply for. According to the company, these pre-orders aren’t actually considered as deposits for the vehicle, which comes with a starting price of $39,900.

The Tesla chief has gotten into hot water over his use of Twitter in the past. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined both Musk and his electric vehicle firm $20 million each last year over Musk’s now infamous tweet claiming he was considering taking Tesla private for $420 a share: “Funding secured.”

The case was reignited earlier this year after he again made a tweet in relation to his business. After claiming Tesla would “make around 500k” cars in 2019 — only to later clarify he meant an “annualized product rate” of around 500,000 vehicles — the SEC resurrected the legal dispute. Musk reached a deal with the SEC earlier this year to settle the spat.

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Another controversial tweet posted by the tech entrepreneur was about a British diver involved in the effort to rescue a Thai boys soccer team trapped in a cave last year. Musk referred to the spelunker, Vernon Unsworth, as a “pedo guy,” and is now facing a defamation lawsuit over the incident.

Botched debut

Tesla’s unveil event for its first pickup truck was marred by the vehicle’s windows breaking when an executive tossed a metal ball at them. The car’s trapezoid shape was also mocked in various memes. Still, others have praised the Cybertruck for bringing something new to the table in automotive design.

Meanwhile, Musk also teased Ford with the new vehicle, sharing a video of the truck dragging a screeching Ford F-150 up a hill in a tug-of-war battle. Ford X Vice President Sundeep Madra subsequently responded calling for an “apples to apples” tug-of-war test of the two cars, to which Musk replied: “Bring it on.”

But the contest is unlikely to happen. A Ford spokesperson subsequently said that Madra’s tweet was only “tongue-in-cheek” and “nothing more.”

Tesla’s all-electric Cybertruck comes in three versions: a single-motor variant that should give drivers 250 miles of range, a dual-motor model with 300 miles of range and a tri-motor edition with 500 miles of range. The models are priced at between $39,900 on the low end and $69,900 at the top of the range.