Update: ‘Production dates & quad motor variant’ section updated.
The ongoing chip shortage is seemingly the biggest hurdle for the Tesla Cybertruck’s mass production. The scarcity of chips has affected Tesla, Musk acknowledged during the Q2 2021 earnings conference call, saying that the company is figuring out how to address the issue.
So in order for Cybertruck and Semi to scale to volume that’s meaningful for customer deliveries, we’ve got to solve the chip shortage working with our suppliers. And someone would say, why don’t you just build a chip fab? Well, OK, that would take us, even moving like lightning, 12 to 18 months.Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO, Tesla (Q2 2021 results conference call)
Musk said that the Tesla Cybertruck and Tesla Semi are heavy users of cell capacity, and the company needs to ensure the steady availability of the crucial component. The company can start producing vehicles now, but it would lose an exorbitant amount of money on each truck.
They would literally cost $1 million apiece or more. There’s a reason why you do things in volume production, which is to get the economies to scale and get the cost down.Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO, Tesla (Q2 2021 results conference call)
Production & Release Date
Having postponed the production of the Cybertruck to 2022, Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO, Tesla, gave an update on the production schedule at the company’s 2021 shareholder meeting. He said:
I think most likely what we’ll see is Cybertruck stock production in the next year and then reach volume production in 2023.Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO, Tesla (2021 shareholder meeting)
Lars Moravy, VP – Vehicle Engineering, Tesla, shared a few Cybertruck updates during the Q2 2021 earnings conference call. He said that the company has completed developing the architecture of electric pickup. The Cybertruck is currently in the alpha stages, and Tesla has finished basic engineering of the vehicle’s architecture. “With the Cybertruck, we’re redefining how a vehicle is being made,” he said.
Moravy suggested starting mass production of the Model Y in Texas is a higher priority. It was a hint that Cybertruck production may not begin until the Model Y rolls off this assembly line and output stabilizes.
It (Cybertruck) carries much of the structural pack and large casting designs of the Model Y being built in Berlin and Austin. Obviously, those take priority over the Cybertruck, but we are moving into the beta phases of Cybertruck later this year, and we will be looking to ramp that in production and take it to Texas after Model Y is up and going.Lars Moravy, VP – Vehicle Engineering, Tesla (Q2 2021 results conference call)
Moravy also talked about the Cybertruck’s production during Tesla’s Q3 2021 earnings conference call. After the Austin, Texas-made Model Y, Tesla’s next product launch will be the Cybertruck, Moravy said. Further, The company had built a number of alpha prototypes and is currently testing them “to further mature the design.” The Cybertruck is gaining rear-axle steering as part of these revisions, Moravy suggested.
Production dates & quad motor variant
|Single-motor RWD||USD 39,900|
|Dual-motor AWD||USD 49,900|
|Tri-motor AWD||USD 69,900|
Last year, Tesla was expecting to start producing the dual-motor AWD and tri-motor AWD variants of the Cybertruck in late 2021 and its single-motor RWD variant in late 2022. Later the same year, it changed the SOP date (Start of Production date) for all three variants of the Cybertruck on its website to 2022.
After the change, the Cybertruck page would say “You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in 2022.” However, this sentence no longer includes “in 2022.” One could assume that Tesla simply removed “in 2022” because 2022 has started, not because it’s expecting the Cybertruck production to not start on time. We reviewed archived versions of the Cybertruck page to figure out the most likely reason.
An archived copy from December 8, 2021 (via Wayback Machine), showed “in 2022” included, but a later archived copy, from December 25, 2021 (via Wayback Machine), didn’t. There’s a good chance that Tesla was simply removing “in 2022” for the upcoming calendar change a few days earlier.
Tesla no longer shows the originally announced configurations of the Cybertruck on its website. There’s a definite change in the configurations, which explains why the company took down the originally announced configurations.
Whole Mars Catalog said in a post on Twitter that a new quad-motor variant will join the range, while the single-motor variant is under consideration for cancellation. Musk said in response to the speculation on Twitter that Tesla will produce a quad-motor Cybertruck first, confirming the new variant. Musk didn’t say anything about axing the single-motor variant, though.
Musk said that the quad-motor Cybertruck will feature independent motors that provide “ultra-fast response” and allow controlling the torque that goes to each wheel. It could be quicker than the tri-motor Cybertruck, which Tesla claimed will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.9 seconds. The towing capacity could also be better than the tri-motor variant’s 14,000+ lbs.
Tesla Cybertruck design
The Tesla Cybertruck features a polarizing design that has remained one of its most debated aspects since day one. Though Tesla has suggested revising the wedge-shaped pickup’s design for production, we doubt it plans to make significant changes. Setting a new benchmark for quirky pickup design, the Cybertruck is not that unique as most think. USPTO design patent application shows similarities to several classic and early 2000s models. Tesla has cited designs of classic sports cars, a funky off-roader, and even an aerodynamic pickup bed cover look in the Cybertruck’s design patent application, as per a report from electrek.co.
The Tesla Cybertruck’s concept version is huge, and for many markets, it’s just too big. Tesla is working on making it smaller and thus more practical for real-world driving environments. During the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Musk said that the company had made the production version around 3% smaller. The design is likely to be more or less the same, though. On August 9, 2021, Twitter user Sawyer Merritt had said in August that Tesla only recently finalized the design of the Cybertruck.
YouTube channel Chile Al100 has shared a video that reveals the design changes on the production Cybertruck. Tesla has repositioned the headlights from the top to the bottom of the front-end. Moreover, the company has used separate headlights instead of a full-width light strip. Another noteworthy change is the large wiper resting against the driver-side A-pillar and almost leading to the upper edge of the windshield glass.
Lastly, vertical side mirrors would probably be one of the few parts that look similar to a traditional pickup. They won’t be virtual (camera-based/digital) mirrors. Some are disappointed by the very fact that the production Cybertruck will have ORVMs, without having seen the final design. Twitter user adamhoov said in a Tweet that he’s “not ok with (the fitment of) side mirrors.” In response, Musk explained (via Twitter) that it’s a mandatory safety requirement, but the company is designing such that customers may remove them easily.
Tesla has developed its own stainless-steel grade for the Cybertruck’s exterior, Moravy revealed during the company’s Q3 2021 earnings conference call on September 30, 2021. The company has begun the first casting-ins of the custom special stainless-steel, and it’ll work with suppliers and vendors to ensure that it gets enough of it, and on time.
We developed our own stainless-steel grade for the exterior of Cybertruck to meet both the durability and corrosion requirements required for an automotive world.Lars Moravy, VP – Vehicle Engineering, Tesla (Q3 2021 results conference call on September 30, 2021)
Citing Musk, a report from electrek.co suggests that the production Cybertruck won’t come in multiple paint options like a regular pickup. Because of the exposed stainless steel, customers might need to apply a wrap before painting it, and Tesla may not offer wrap and painting services. This will reduce production cost and complexity while helping the environment.
Yoke going into production
A highlight of the Cybertruck’s interior is the yoke or, as some say, the ‘open-topped’ steering wheel. The Model S became the Tesla’s first production model available with this futuristic design element in 2021. While it has drawn flak, Musk has indicated that the company will go ahead and use it in the Cybertruck as well. Even the Model X had received the feature in 2021.
In a Twitter post on September 9, 2021, Musk said the traditional steering wheel is boring and blocks the instrument cluster. He said that full self-driving in panoramic mode looks much better with a yoke than a round steering wheel.
On November 30, 2021, when Twitter user ZainS180 asked Musk on Twitter to confirm the yoke for the Cybertruck, he said (via Twitter) the “Cybertruck is intentionally an insane technology bandwagon.” Musk also promoted the yoke as technology from “a post-apocalyptic future.”
Tesla Cybertruck reservations
The Tesla Cybertruck is available to reserve with a small deposit of USD 100, irrespective of the desired configuration. Citing an unofficial reservation tracker, Teslarati reported in August 2021 that Tesla had received 1.2 million pre-orders (estimated 1,268,768 units) for the Cybertruck already. Dual-motor is the most popular configuration among early birds, accounting for 47.9% of the pre-orders. Tri-motor is the second-most popular configuration, with a 44.8% share. Only 7.3% of the pre-orders are for the single-motor configuration. Note that Tesla has not provided guidance on the actual numbers, and usually, only a percentage of the reservations convert to firm orders.
Tesla Cybertruck FAQs
What is the Tesla Cybertruck release date?
Tesla Cybertruck deliveries will begin this year, but volume production is not expected before next year.
Which models will be Tesla Cybertruck alternatives?
What is the Tesla Cybertruck range?
Tesla expects the Cybertruck to deliver an EPA est. range of more than 500 miles.
Featured Image Source: Tesla