Tesla’s Cybertruck is one of the most anticipated electric vehicles of the decade. The futuristic-looking pickup truck was unveiled in November 2019 and was supposed to start production by late 2021. However, Tesla has recently confirmed that the Cybertruck has been delayed to late 2022, with some reports suggesting it might not arrive until 2023.
What are the reasons behind this delay? And what can we expect from the final production version of the Cybertruck? Here are some possible answers based on what we know so far.
Battery production challenges
One of the main factors that could be affecting the Cybertruck’s timeline is battery production. Tesla has been working on developing its own battery cells, called 4680 cells, that are expected to offer higher energy density, lower cost and faster charging than current cells. These cells are also crucial for achieving the ambitious performance and range targets of the Cybertruck, which claims to offer up to 500 miles of range and a towing capacity of over 14,000 pounds.
However, Tesla has admitted that scaling up battery production is not easy and that it faces significant technical challenges. In a recent earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that “the limiting factor for us right now is cell supply” and that “it’s very hard to say when those issues will be fully resolved.” He also said that “the earliest we would be able to ramp up significant volume for 4680 would probably be next year.”
This means that Tesla might not have enough battery cells to produce both its existing models and new ones like the Cybertruck at the same time. Therefore, it might have to prioritize its more popular and profitable vehicles like the Model 3 and Model Y over the Cybertruck.
Another reason why Cybertruck is late could be related to design revisions. The prototype that was revealed in 2019 was widely criticized for its unconventional appearance and impractical features. Some of these features include a stainless steel body that is prone to scratches, a single windshield wiper that covers only part of the glass, invisible door handles that pop out when needed, and a lack of side mirrors or cameras.
Tesla has indicated that it plans to make some changes to the Cybertruck’s design before launching it to customers. For instance, Musk said in a tweet last year that “there will be slight improvements” and “many small tweaks” to make it better. He also said in another tweet that “we’re adding rear wheel steering” for better maneuverability.
However, making these changes could take time and resources away from other aspects of development. It could also require additional testing and certification from regulators before hitting the road. Moreover, some customers might not like these changes and prefer the original design as shown in 2019.
A third factor that could explain why Cybertruck is late is market competition. When Tesla first announced its electric pickup truck project in 2016, there were hardly any other players in this segment. However, since then, several legacy automakers and startups have entered or announced their plans to enter this space with their own electric trucks.
Some examples include Ford’s F-150 Lightning (expected delivery: spring 2022), Chevrolet’s Silverado EV (expected delivery: fall 2022), Rivian’s R1T (expected delivery: January/February 2022), GMC’s Hummer EV (expected delivery: early/mid-2022), Bollinger Motors’ B2 (expected delivery: mid-2022) , Lordstown Motors’ Endurance (expected delivery: Q3/Q4-2022) , Nikola Motors’ Badger (expected delivery: unknown) , among others.
These competitors could pose a threat to Tesla’s dominance in the electric vehicle market by offering different features, prices or availability than the Cybertruck. Tesla might have to adjust its strategy or marketing accordingly to maintain its edge and appeal to customers. This could also contribute to delaying the launch of the Cybertruck.
Tesla’s Cybertruck is an ambitious project that aims to revolutionize the pickup truck market with its electric powertrain, futuristic design and impressive performance. However, it has faced several delays since its unveiling in 2019, and now it seems unlikely that it will arrive before late 2022 or even later. Some possible reasons behind these delays include battery production challenges, design revisions and market competition.