PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA - Tesla has now received 250 000 orders for its electric pickup truck that was unveiled five days ago, founder and CEO Elon Musk suggested in a tweet on Tuesday.

Musk has been promoting the Cybertruck on Twitter and cryptically tweeting out updates to the number of orders the company has received since the launch late Thursday.

After more than 50 interactions on Twitter since the launch, he tweeted "250k" on Tuesday night in an apparent reference to the number of orders.

The company did not immediately confirm the figure after regular office hours.

Tesla opened pre-orders immediately after the unveiling and allowed potential buyers to book the truck by depositing a fully refundable $100 (R1476), compared with the $1000 it charged for booking Model 3 sedans in 2016.

Not all orders translate into sales as many are likely eventually to be canceled and money refunded to depositors. Tesla plans to start manufacturing the bakkie around late-2021.

The electric carmaker received 325 000 orders for its Model 3 compact sedan in the first week of bookings three years ago, and the Cybertruck could rival that figure with two days still to go for its first week of preorders.

The truck, made of stainless steel used in rockets and priced at $39 900 (R590 000) and above, failed to impress Wall Street last week after its "armored glass" windows shattered in a launch demonstration and analysts argued the design would not have mass appeal. 

However, the pick-up does have some impressive credentials, with a claimed range of over 800km between charges for the flagship tri-motor version, and a 0-96km/h sprint time of 2.9 seconds.

Reuters