Elon Musk says sledgehammering Cybertruck led to the onstage window failure

After pounding the side of his new Cybertruck with a sledgehammer with not a mark left behind, Elon Musk turned his focus to the “Tesla Armor Glass”.

As we all saw, the glass did not fare so well. A toss of a steel ball into the window caused it to splinter, catching everyone on stage off guard. “Oh my [bleeping] God,” said Musk.

A repeat attempt on the rear window had the same results, leaving the truck with cracks awkwardly sprawled across its glass for the remainder of the presentation.

In hindsight, Elon says they probably should’ve done the window demo before they smacked the truck with a big ol’ hammer.

Elon tweets:

Would the window have cracked regardless of order? At least on stage, they only pounded on the front door panel; were these hits enough to crack the base of the glass on the rear door, too? It’s probably impossible for anyone outside of Tesla to say with certainty, but that seems pretty wild.

The night after the announcement, Elon tweeted out a video of their tests “right before launch”, in which the window seemingly had no problems:

Some commenters postulated (assuming that the truck in the video was the same one on stage) that these earlier tests could’ve primed the window for failure — that the test hits weakened the glass, even if they didn’t visibly damage them.

Whatever the cause, the glass cracked — twice. The (literal) damage is done. But while the broken windows have become something of a meme, it’s not as if the failed demo wiped out interest; Musk says that, as of Sunday night, over 200,000 people had put down refundable $100 deposits (so over $20M in deposits in all) on the truck. And with the Cybertruck not expected to go into production until late 2021, I’d be surprised if Tesla doesn’t make some tweaks and find some over-the-top way to demonstrate V2 of the truck’s glass before these things actually start rolling out.