Tesla reported on Saturday that its first Cybertruck was built at Tesla’s factory in Austin, Texas.
The announcement, which sets the stage for further discussion during Tesla’s quarterly update for shareholders on Wednesday, was accompanied by no new information about the electric truck, or even a verification that this is truly a production model. Also still missing as of yet are details about actual pricing and specs of the Cybertruck, which Tesla has removed from its site, despite continuing to accumulate $100 deposits.
First Cybertruck built at Giga Texas! pic.twitter.com/ODRhHVsd0t
— Tesla (@Tesla) July 15, 2023
After various hints of an upcoming “Cyberpunk Truck” and a pickup with some definite sci-fi influences, Tesla revealed the Cybertruck in 2019 in production-bound concept form, with the company promising a $39,900 starting price, 0-60 mph acceleration in less than three seconds, a payload of 3,500 pounds and up to a 14,000-pound tow rating, and up to 500 miles of range. The concept truck’s “nearly impenetrable exoskeleton,” made of stainless steel, appears to have made it through to production. It’s likely the unbreakable windows, which broke during an initial demonstration, will arrive improved.
Tesla Cybertruck concept (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)
Tesla has been thin on information since then, and the Cybertruck, which was originally due in 2021, has had multiple delays. In May 2020, after suggesting the Cybertruck would be about 5% smaller in production form, CEO Elon Musk said that the proportions and size of the concept truck would be preserved in the production version. Also look for a “game-changing” air suspension offering a wider range of active ride height and active damping than other trucks.
In December 2022, Musk confirmed that the Cybertruck will take advantage of its Supercharger V4 tech, allowing DC fast-charging potentially up to 1 megawatt.
2019 Tesla Cybertruck Prototype (Petersen Automotive Museum)
It’s been suggested that the Cybertruck will arrive with a significantly higher price than the original $39,900. Ford CEO Jim Farley recently suggested that the Cybertruck is a niche product for “Silicon Valley people.” But Farley has also called Ford’s next-generation electric truck arriving in 2026 the Millennium Falcon of trucks, with plenty of nods to advanced tech and a futuristic form. For now, the Cybertruck will rival the F-150 Lightning, which now costs $51,990, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado EV and, in 2025, the Ram 1500 REV.
Musk hinted in May that Cybertruck production might reach 500,000 units per year. The announcement is unclear if it marks the start of a very gradual production ramp or whether Tesla has merely built a new prototype. It’s unlikely to signal that Cybertruck mass production—expected in 2024—has commenced quite yet.