Until recently, the Cybertruck page on the Tesla website said, “You will be able to complete your configuration as production approaches in 2022.” But at the end of last year, the words “in 2022” were deleted. Why? Reuters claims that a person familiar with the Cybertruck program has told it that production of the Cybertruck has been moved back to the first quarter of 2023 – at the earliest. The all-electric pickup from Tesla is expected to be manufactured at the new Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. Various details about the Cybertruck were deleted from Tesla’s website in October.
The source told Reuters the delay is due to Tesla changing the features and functions of the electric pickup to make it a compelling product in a market segment that is expected to include electric pickup trucks from Ford, GM, RAM and Rivian when the Cybertruck goes on sale. The source says it expects limited production to begin in the first quarter of 2023, with the number of trucks built increasing every quarter thereafter.
Elon Musk first introduced the Cybertruck to great fanfare in 2019 and said it would be produced by the end of 2021. It was pushed back to the end of 2022, and now the start of production, as far as we can see, is planned for the beginning of 2023. It’s classic. Musk, who is a master at creating buzz about future vehicles, but not always good at getting them on the market on time.
In the final analysis, so far, it has not mattered much how much new vehicles from Tesla were delayed because there really was no realistic competition for them. But with an electric pickup truck, Musk is jumping into the middle of the largest segment of the U.S. new vehicle market and will fight against people who have been making pickup trucks since the first Roosevelt administration. They have honed, smoothed and polished their offerings to perfection. Brand loyalty among truck owners is sky high. Tesla needs to get the Cybertruck right or risk being publicly humiliated.
Musk says he will provide an updated product driving license for Tesla at its next earnings call on January 26th. In late November, when asked about the Cybertruck, he tweeted: “Oh man, this year has been such a supply chain nightmare, and it’s not over!”
What has Tesla seen in the hitherto unveiled electric pickups that would make it reconsider some of the features of the Cyber Truck? Will it offer a full-width storage cabinet behind the cab and in front of the cargo box like the Rivian? Ford and GM are proclaiming V2H and V2G technology, which no Tesla manufacturer today offers. RAM has toolboxes built into the outside of the load box; GM offers something similar on the inside of the cargo box and has a so-called “mid-gate” in its new Silverado EV. We know after GM introduced a four-engine Hummer EV, Tesla stopped talking about a 3-engine version and is now planning a quad-engine version of the Cybertruck.
We may get answers to some of these questions on January 26 – or not. The only thing we can say for sure is that Tesla seems to have learned something from two from the competitors. When it comes here, the Cybertruck will be everything Elon said it would be in 2019 – and more.
Do you appreciate the originality of CleanTechnica? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, technician or ambassador – or patron of Patreon.