Tesla Cybertruck proposed to enter production in 2023
Due to parts supply issues, Tesla now expects to commence Cybertruck volume production in 2023
The Tesla Cybertruck, one of multiple new Tesla models in development, has been given a new lease of life after multiple delays, with Elon Musk confirming it will target a commencement of production in 2022 before a rise to full-scale volume production in 2033. This most unusual of all-electric pick-ups has been promised to offer ‘better utility than a truck, with more performance than a sports car’, joining the Rivian R1T and new Ford F-150 Lightning in the bourgoing electric pickup truck market.
Though company CEO Elon Musk previously suggested first deliveries of the Cybertruck would commence in 2021, a recent shareholder meeting revealed that volume production is now likely to commence in 2023, citing parts supply issues as the primary cause for the most recent delay.
Musk said: ‘This year has been just a constant struggle with parts supply,’ adding that it’s not only chips that are causing issues. 'Most likely what we'll see is Cybertruck start production in the next year, and then reach volume production in 2023. Hopefully we can also be producing the Semi and the new Roadster in 2023 as well. We should be through our severe supply chain shortages in 2023, I'm optimistic that will be the case.'
As for the Cybertruck itself, if most pickups are a trio of boxes, Tesla’s is more like a concept house from an episode of Grand Designs. There’s not a curve in sight, and you get the impression Musk would have made the tyres polygonal if he could. If you've grown weary of the brand’s smooth but generic shapes so far then the Cybertruck is definitely a wake-up call.
Tesla claims enormous structural strength and longevity from the chassis; the body formed from stainless steel (best known in the automotive sphere from the DeLorean, but also a material Musk is using in SpaceX’s Starship rocket). Corrosion resistance is obviously a plus, but Tesla’s claim that it helps eliminate dents seems more dubious – particularly given the armoured windows smashed during a demonstration at the car’s reveal.
It also remains to be seen how the truck fares aerodynamically or in crash testing, but contrary to its appearance in profile the Cybertruck does indeed conceal a proper load bed, with a 6.5 foot bed and 100 cubic feet of capacity (including the frunk), plus the ability to roll a shutter over the bed giving you lockable storage.
Tesla is projecting a 3500lb payload capacity (around 1.6 metric tons), and 14,000lb towing capacity, or 6350kg in the highest-spec, three-motor model.
There are due to be different motor options available, with an entry-level rear-wheel-drive, single-motor variant, an all-wheel drive, two-motor model, and the range-topping tri-motor. Range is quoted as 250+, 300+ and 500+ miles respectively, and while no power outputs are quoted, the performance figures give a reasonable indication of the truck’s ability – the single-motor model is claimed to reach 60mph from rest in under 6.5sec, the dual motor under 4.5sec and the tri-motor sub-2.9sec.
While a truck that can accelerate that quickly seems like overkill, Tesla’s previous demonstrations with its upcoming electric lorry show the main benefit of that much easily accessible power and torque is the ability to accelerate quicker when pulling heavy loads. Tesla says the low centre of gravity – a virtue of its skateboard-style battery placement – helps traction, another significant factor in towing.
The interior carries on Tesla’s recent work – that controversial yoke-style wheel from the updated Model S and a tablet-style 17-inch central touchscreen are really all you get.
Pricing for the UK has yet to be detailed, but its projected price in the States is just as ambitious as the rest of the package with a quoted figure of $39,900 for the base model and $69,900 for the tri-motor. UK buyers can put down a £100 deposit to secure their place in the queue, but if an all-electric pickup is what you’re after it for the moment is as close as we’ll get in the UK, until Rivian confirms European sales of its R1T.