Reuters claims to have an exclusive on Tesla Cybertruck production plans. As far as I recall or have assumed, the timeline matches up with what Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously guided for the giant stainless steel truck thingie. Tesla has said that Cybertruck production will start around the middle of 2023 and then gradually ramp up. Half a year is a decent ramp-up period for Tesla — more or less what would be expected. It may not be called “production hell” this time around, but it always takes some months to work out the bugs and learn how to truly efficiently mass produce a new model.
In January 2022, we wrote about the news that Tesla Cybertruck production was being delayed until the 1st quarter of 2023. (That was also a Reuters scoop.) Given that there weren’t signs of production nearing anyway, that was no big surprise. At the annual Tesla shareholder meeting in August, Elon shared that Tesla planned to reach scaled-up production of the Cybertruck by the end of 2023, after beginning small-scale production in mid-2023 and increasing the production rate as possible.
So, yes, the Reuters piece published earlier today affirms that Tesla is on target (at the moment) for its previously stated Cybertruck production plans.
I think that, like many, I’ll feel much more confident in this timeline, though, once Tesla starts producing low volumes of the truck. Getting to that first production phase seems like the step most likely to get delayed. That said, Elon and the Tesla team’s most recent comments on the Cybertruck on quarterly conference calls provided strong guidance that Tesla would be ready for the start of production in mid-2023 and that the bottleneck has primarily been lack of batteries. (If demand for the Model 3 and Model Y has led to long waiting lists, why add another vehicle into the mix that will need more of the extremely limited batteries that the 3 and Y are constantly waiting on?)
Whether the Cybertruck will be priced anywhere close to its initial price estimates is anyone’s guess. A lot has changed since then. The base model was supposed to come in just below $40,000. Good luck with that!
Reportedly, hundreds of thousands of people are awaiting their Cybertrucks and put reservations in for them, but I wonder how many of those are actually going to convert their reservations into orders down the road. I have 6 reservations for Cybertrucks on my account because making a reservation back when the truck was unveiled was supposed to lock in the Tesla Full Self Driving (FSD) price at the time — which would be $6,000 per the pricing in that era rather than the $15,000 it costs today. If orders opened up today, however, given the state of FSD (Beta) and my confidence Tesla will achieve robotaxi-level autonomy soon-ish, I think that I would simply cancel my reservations and get my cash back. I assume may others would do the same. At just $100 and being refundable, the reservation tally has never seemed very meaningful to me. Or perhaps I’d keep those reservations for years if possible. But we don’t really know how long Tesla will honor the commitment to offer FSD at the price it was reserved at, if Tesla even honors that promise at all. We shall see. Presumably, in mid-2023, we’ll find out.
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