China's Cybertruck: IAT T-Mad could be set to take on Tesla

The electric concept vehicle has more than a passing resemblance to Elon Musk's forthcoming creation

The IAT T-Mad concept pickup truck at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in southern China. AFP
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Of all the cars to imitate, the Tesla Cybertruck wouldn't place very high up the list of obvious ones to do.

After all, the Cybertruck isn't even rolling off the production line just yet.

But that is what Chinese car technology company IAT has gone for with its T-Mad concept pickup truck, which was shown off at the recent Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition.

The vehicle, an electric pickup, looks just as futuristic as the Cybertruck and it's expected to have a range of about 800km, which could be extendable with a larger battery pack.

It has four doors which open to reveal a cabin that can have different configurations with chairs that can swivel.

Images showed a front driver's seat which could turn, two centre-cabin seats to each side and then a larger rear seat which faces the front of the vehicle.

The exterior features a large plastic front bumper, plus two tow hooks.

Further details are yet to be announced.

Electric vehicles are growing in size, with more and more SUVs now entering the market

S&P Global Mobility expects drivers around the world to snap up 10 million EVs in 2023 — almost 14 per cent of the entire market — but they won’t come cheap, amid inflation and supply chain pressures.

When is the Tesla Cybertruck due?

First unveiled back in 2019 to great fanfare, the Tesla Cybertruck has been hit by delays since.

However, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said late last year that the company was in the “final lap” of work on the vehicle, which will go into production in the middle of this year.

Last October, preparations were said by Tesla executives to be continuing at the Giga Texas factory, and were at the “tooling” phase. This involves setting up the assembly line ahead of production commencing.

The Cybertruck has been designed to have the pull of an off-road vehicle, while maintaining the speed of a high-end sports car.

It has “a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless-steel structural skin, to Tesla armour glass”, according to the Tesla website.

“We have more orders of the first Cybertrucks than we could possibly fulfil for three years after the start of production,” Mr Musk said last May.

Updated: January 06, 2023, 3:30 AM