The long-delayed Tesla Cybertruck is finally on track to enter production as soon as the middle of 2023, but isn’t going to ramp up until next year.
The timing was outlined by Elon Musk in the regular quarterly investor Q&A, answering a question around when we will finally see the road-going version of the radical EV truck, which premiered as a concept in 2019.
“We do expect production to start, I don’t know, maybe sometime this summer,” Musk said, adding that he typically downplays the significance of early production.
“The start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it’s always very slow at first. So I wouldn’t put too much stock in start of production. It’s kind of, when does volume production actually happen? And that’s next year,” he added.
At that point Tesla senior vice-president of Powertrain and Energy Engineering Drew Bagliano gave further detail into the state-of-play at the Texas plant responsible for Cybertruck.
“Just to emphasize on that, we’ve started installation of production equipment here in Giga Texas, castings, GA, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said the ramp will really come 2024,” he added.
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.”
“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.”
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.
Earlier this 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.
At its reveal, Tesla had said it would enter production in 2021.
Since its reveal, Tesla has made some key changes to prototypes, including adding a large windscreen wiper and exterior mirrors.
In April, Tesla previewed a Cybertruck with different wheels, though there were no door handles – Mr Musk cryptically said the car “can just tell that you’re there and knows that it needs to open”.