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  • The Augusta Chronicle

    Meet one of America's first Tesla Cybertruck owners, and he lives in Augusta area

    By Joe Hotchkiss, Augusta Chronicle,

    2024-06-17

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0H4sAZ_0ttcRBz500

    (Editor's note: An online version of this story should have clarified the location of Expedia Cruises Augusta. The Augusta Chronicle regrets the error.)

    Do you like meeting new people? Then buy a Tesla Cybertruck.

    “It doesn’t matter where I go, I get people coming up to me and asking questions and wanting to look at the interior,” said Wayland Lamar Jr., who operates the Expedia Cruises Augusta travel agency in Martinez. “Anywhere I stop, I have to work in, like, 10 minutes to deal with people.”

    With its unconventional angular profile and rolltop-lid flatbed, the all-electric, stainless-steel-body Cybertruck is easily one of the most eye-catching vehicles on the road. Its connection to outspoken billionaire Elon Musk adds to the buzz.

    Lamar was one of the first 5,000 people to pay a $100 fee to reserve one of the much-anticipated electric trucks once they hit production.

    That was in 2019.

    “For the longest time, we thought it was a stunt – that they just talked about it but wouldn’t actually do it,” Lamar said. “Then I got a call in March asking, ‘Did I really want to go through with it?’ So, I decided to pull the trigger on it.”

    Charge it: Is Augusta ready for an influx of electric vehicles? Here's where the city stands

    Lamar picked up his new Cybertruck in Savannah, at one of Georgia’s seven Tesla dealers, on June 4. Prices often start at $99,900, increasing with option packages. Lamar’s “Foundation Package,” which he bought rather than delaying his purchase further, cost an extra $20,000.

    There are no exterior Tesla brand badges on the Cybertruck, adding to the public curiosity. The flatbed is 6 feet long and 4 feet wide. It can be driven with the rolltop pulled back, making it look a bit more like a conventional truck, but keeping it closed improves aerodynamic efficiency, Lamar said.

    There’s no trunk but there is a “frunk,” a small front hatch resembling a small sports car’s trunk space. The nonwheel-shaped steering wheel is called a “squircle,”and includes buttons instead of external levers that control basic features such as turn signals.

    Instead of relying on power steering, the Cybertruck is America’s first production car to use full steer-by-wire technology often found in winged aircraft. Wheels pivot independently for improved control, particularly when backing into spaces.

    Like other electric vehicles without regular fossil-fuel motors, the Cybertruck provides instant torque. Tesla’s claim of reaching 60 mph in 2.6 seconds is accurate. No motor also means no motor noise, meaning virtually no cabin noise.

    The vehicle’s range on a single charge varies depending on drive lengths. Highway driving lasts about 270 miles, and city driving boosts the range to about 340, Lamar said. A recent weekend trip to Charlotte, N.C., required a single 30-minute recharge at a station near restaurants and other attractions.

    On the road, Lamar questioned the safety of rubbernecking motorists racing to catch a glimpse of a moving Cybertruck.

    “On I-20, people would race up to you, side by side, doing videos and pictures,” he said. “We were like, ‘Watch where you’re driving!’”

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2tTcw7_0ttcRBz500

    Lamar knows of just two other Cybertruck owners in the Augusta area. Among the estimated 5,000 trucks delivered, incredibly one of the other owners works less than a mile from Lamar’s office. He declined to be interviewed Friday, hoping to cling to what remaining anonymity he might have left. Even though he doesn’t park it particularly prominently, he still gets “about 20” curiosity-seekers a day asking about it.

    Lamar isn’t an eco-warrior. His preferred vehicles up to now have been Ford and GMC trucks, though he’s not a diehard brand loyalist. He doesn’t even normally buy a vehicle in its first round of production, remembering his father’s advice to wait until the automakers hammer the kinks out.

    But he figured five years of waiting was plenty for an all-electric truck with the curb weight of a Toyota Tundra but the handling of a sports car.

    “It’s a whole new world,” Lamar said.

    This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Meet one of America's first Tesla Cybertruck owners, and he lives in Augusta area

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