By Anan Ashraf
Ahead of the hotly anticipated Cybertruck launch event next week, a relatively unknown U.S. auto startup has unexpectedly found itself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons — by building what observers call a poor imitation of Tesla Inc‘s (NASDAQ:TSLA) electric pickup.
What Happened: A company named Aitekx showcased its alleged Cybertruck knock-off, named the Robotruck 1T, at the LA Auto Show this week. The presentation was met with a barrage of insults and criticism.
One user on X humorously remarked, “Introducing the Elon-hater Cybertruck: if you hate Elon Musk but want to get a Cybertruck, you can get the $45K Aitekx RoboTruck.”
Introducing the Elon-hater Cybertruck: if you hate Elon Musk but want to get a Cybertruck, you can get the $45K Aitekx RoboTruck. pic.twitter.com/xSMsCPY8QX
— ChargeGo (@ChargeGoGroup) November 19, 2023
Another user expressed, “Some say Cybertruck is ugly. But what the hell is this monstrosity?” Several others were reminded of the Oscar Wilde quote that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Another user added, “This looks vaguely familiar… Is it April Fool’s Day or has AI just created a Cybertruck?”
Some say Cybertruck is ugly. But what the hell is this monstrosity? Robotruck from a new startup called Aitekx. pic.twitter.com/boKxd6NVXp
— Stephen Cybertruck (@spicco05) November 17, 2023
According to a report from Drive, the prototype vehicle is poorly constructed, with misaligned panels and modified exterior panels placed over an existing pickup.
A couple of auto journalists from The Autopian managed to interview officials seemingly associated with Aitekx at the auto show, who denied that the Robotruck was copied from the Cybertruck.
The company reportedly plans to release it by 2025, claiming a range of up to 550 miles and a top speed of 165 mph. Customers can reserve the vehicle until the 26th for a fully refundable reservation fee of $100, as mentioned on the company’s website.
More About Aitekx: Aitekx identifies itself as a startup located in Silicon Valley dedicated to producing electric vehicles. Alongside the midsize pickup, the company is reportedly developing an off-road SUV called the Robotruck 1V SUV.
Meanwhile, the original Tesla-made Cybertruck is scheduled for delivery on Nov. 30 at the Gigafactory Texas.
Produced in association with Benzinga