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Tesla updates Cybertruck production timeline: Temper your expectations

Tesla has given an update on the Cybertruck production timeline, and those who thought that Tesla could deliver a lot of electric pickup trucks this year are out of luck.

When Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck back in 2019, Tesla said that the electric pickup truck would make it to market by the end of 2021. As the deadline approached, the automaker confirmed that production slipped to 2022.

CEO Elon Musk later said that Tesla was targeting a start of production for the electric pickup truck in “late 2022” at Gigafactory Texas. With the focus clearly on bringing the Model Y to production at the factory, and that being delayed as well, it appeared likely that the Cybertruck production timeline could also slip.

In March 2022, it was confirmed that Tesla aims to complete Cybertruck development this year for production in 2023, and in June, Musk said that Tesla is aiming for production to start in mid-2023.

In its communications, Tesla has stuck to a mid-2023 timeline over the last few months, and it is starting to become more real than just words with actual production equipment specific to Cybertruck coming to Gigafactory Texas, and the company started hiring for the production of the electric pickup.

Now during Tesla’s conference call for the release of its Q4 2022 financial results, CEO Elon Musk was asked if Tesla still planned to start production of the Cybertruck this year.

This was his response:

We do expect production to start, I don’t know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it’s always very slow at first. So I wouldn’t put too much thought in start of production. It’s kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that’s next year.

Lars Moravy, vice president of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla, added that the automaker is currently building the production lines, but he also emphasized that the production ramp is planned for next year.

Electrek’s Take

Personally, I’m not too surprised. It’s basically what I’ve been guiding for the last year – meaning no meaningful deliveries of Cybertruck in 2023, just the start of production.

Top comment by #1Sycophant

Liked by 23 people

I think what is missing from this article is the fact that the 4680 cell has been the main constraint. It looks like the 4680 Austin Y is about the same weight as 2170 Y and gets less miles per charge. So it would appear there is no weight savings for cell to structure and pack energy density is the same. Only advantage is production complexity but you lose the ability to easily repair, replace, reuse, and recycle. How is this really better?

This would have been an excellent chance to address the elephant in the room that every Tesla Bro refuses to discuss and that is: cell to structure is engineered obsolescence. Provides little to no benefit to the customer and only the manufacturing process. Of course this could lower costs and over all price for customer but now they have a vehicle that requires significantly more work and costs to replace a battery.

But the true elephant in the room is how much harder it will be to recycle the batteries. How do you remove the batteries in a cell to structure? I'm sure you can do it but way harder than a pack that comes out with a few bolts/wire/tubes removed. Massive story here, and everyone pretends like there isn't any elephant in the room.

So in conclusion, the 4680 Austin Y has failed to show any advantage over 2170 other than production complexity is probably much less. The customer now has a vehicle that will most likely need scrapped when the battery goes because replacing it will be cost prohibitive. The ability to recycle or reuse

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Based on those new comments, I think it’s good not to expect Tesla to deliver more than 5,000 or 10,000 Cybertrucks in 2023.

But as Musk and Moravy pointed out, tracking the ramp is the harder and most important thing.

Considering it generally takes Tesla about just over a year to ramp a new vehicle program to about 5,000 units per week, I think we shouldn’t expect more than 150,000 Cybertruck deliveries in 2024.

I know that many Tesla fans had their hopes up for a quick ramp-up of the Cybertruck, but I think these expectations are a bit more realistic.

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