An uncamouflaged “beta” prototype of the Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup has been spied once again ahead of production starting in mid-2023.
Twitter page What’s Inside uploaded a 30-second video to the social media platform showing what appears to be aerial drone footage of the angular electric ute driving in a car park in California.
This spied prototype looks very similar to the one “beta” prototype seen a few weeks ago with its tweaked front bumper and triangular side mirrors.
Thanks in part to the overhead view of this spied Cybertruck we get a better look at its glass roof and black tonneau cover.
It’s unclear if this tonneau cover is a production-ready version, but it’ll reportedly be electronically retractable and strong enough to withstand the weight of someone standing on it.
As previously reported, Tesla is set to finally start production of the Cybertruck in mid-2023, with volume production kicking off next year.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was asked in a regular quarterly investor Q&A earlier this year when the electric ute – which first debuted in concept form in 2019 – will reach production.
“We do expect production to start, I don’t know, maybe sometime this summer,” Mr Musk said, adding that he typically downplays the significance of early production.
Installation of production equipment for the ute at Tesla’s Austin, Texas plant is underway, and the company says it has produced all its beta vehicles.
These latest comments built on what Elon said in August last year, when he warned that some changes to pricing and specs should be anticipated.
“Cybertruck pricing was unveiled in 2019 and the reservation was $99, so you know a lot has changed since then,” said Mr Musk. “The specs and the pricing will be different.”
Tesla says on its website the Cybertruck will offer a payload of up to 1587kg, up to 805km of range, and a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 2.9 seconds.
The Cybertruck had originally been set to enter production in 2021.
“I hate to sort of give a little bit of bad news but I think there’s no way to sort have anticipated quite the inflation that we’ve seen and the various issues but what I can say is that the Cybertruck will be one hell of a product and it’s going to be like a damn fine machine,” Mr Musk added.
The path to production for the controversial electric pickup truck has been marked by delays, with rivals like Ford, General Motors and Rivian beating Tesla to market with electric pickups of their own.
Last year, the option to place a refundable $150 deposit for the Cybertruck in markets like Australia was removed.
“We have more orders of the first Cybertrucks than we could possibly fulfil for three years after the start of production,” Mr Musk said in May 2022.