Reuters quoted “two people familiar with the plans” who said Tesla factories will start producing Cybertrucks “at the end of 2023, two years after the initial target of the long-awaited pickup truck.”
The Cybertruck is one of the most unique cars any automaker has ever suggested. CEO Elon Musk cited the classic sci-fi movie “Blade Runner” and James Bond’s submersible lotus from The Spy Who Loved Me as design inspiration — not exactly what Ford designers work with when they design another F-150.
Its stocky design, Minecraft ride and hard rim are unique, but intended to perform many of the same roles as a traditional pickup truck. Musk promised 500 miles of range and 14,000 pounds of towing capacity.
At least three versions were planned, with one, two or three electric motors. Tesla says the high-end triple engine will be able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.
Repeat delay, coiled competition
Tesla has accepted more than 3 million orders for the unusual truck. However, claiming an order only requires a refundable $99 deposit. So it is likely that many of these bookings will not become sales.
When Tesla announced the Cybertruck in 2019, there were no electric trucks on the market nor car makers involved with announced plans to build it.
Since Musk first stood on stage and revealed his unorthodox vision, only start-ups and major automakers have overtaken Tesla in the market.
California-based Rivian delivered the first R1T trucks to customers over a year ago. Ford has built an all-electric version of the best-selling truck in history, the F-150 Lightning. It delivered its first Lightning trucks earlier this year. GMC has delivered hundreds of copies of its Hummer EV off-road truck and is preparing to scale production to build trucks faster.
What do all these trucks have in common? The designers started working on it after, after Tesla announced and brought the Cybertruck to market long before Tesla even produced it.
Several more Cybertrucks may beat American lanes. Chevrolet plans a 2024 Silverado EV. GMC plans a similar Sierra EV. Ram has its own electric truck in the works, too.
Meanwhile, Tesla delayed the e-truck several times in the same window. Musk initially said it would hit the roads in 2021. More recently, he promised production in “mid-2023”. If the Reuters report is accurate, Tesla will miss that window for a few months, too.
When he revealed the truck, Musk promised a starting price of less than $40,000. After three years and a period of heavy inflation after that, he said the company would not achieve that goal.
This, however, is not uncommon. Ford launched its Lightning for less than $40,000, but quickly raised it to over $50,000.