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Elon Musk’s Comments Suggest Tesla Has Delayed the Cybertruck Until Late 2022

Elon Musk's recent comments at Tesla's AI Day suggest the EV maker has delayed the Cybertruck until late 2022.

Tesla introduced the Cybertruck to much fanfare back in November 2019. At the time, Tesla said the vehicle will begin deliveries by the end of 2021.

However, recently Tesla updated the company’s online configurator stating Cybertruck delivery will not begin until 2022.

That is despite leaked rumors suggesting that Tesla has decided to prioritize Cybertruck production ahead of the Model Y at Giga Texas.

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And now, at the recent AI Day, Musk asked whether they are planning to introduce a new self-driving chip (hardware 4.0) to Tesla vehicles he answered saying "Obviously, there will be a future hardware 4 or full self-driving computer 2 which we'll probably introduce with the Cybertruck, so maybe in about a year or so"

What’s interesting about Elon’s answer is that he linked Hardware 4.0’s introduction with the launch of the Cybertruck.

That means if the new self-driving chip is going to be introduced with the Cybertruck, and if the new chip isn’t coming till this time next year, that will mean the Cybertruck will not come at least until August 2020.

Having said that, there is still a chance initial sales of the Cybertruck could begin with hardware 3.0 self-driving chip and later on transition to hardware 4.0. However, Musk’s wording at the AI Day presentation suggests the Cybertruck and hardware 4.0 will be introduced at the same time.

Tesla has a habit of introducing new tech with new vehicles. Tesla for instance introduced Hardware 2.5 with the Model 3 when Tesla started making the first Model 3s in July 2017.

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You can listen to Musk’s exact wording in the video below starting at 2:51:54. Leave your thoughts down in the comments below on how you understood Elon’s comment.

In addition, the are several publicly known pieces of evidence that would suggest the Cybertruck has indeed been delayed.

The first one is that Tesla is facing challenges to reach volume production of the company’s newest 4680 batteries. According to Tesla’s Battery Day presentation, high-energy 4680 batteries are necessary for weight-sensitive vehicles such as the Cybertruck and Tesla Semi.

And at Tesla’s recent Q2 earnings call Musk said they are having difficulties scaling 4680 battery production.

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As a result, according to Elon, Tesla has designed a fallback strategy were the refreshed Giga Berlin and Giga Texas Model Y, which Musk says “will be most advanced with 2/3 of the body cast” can initially start production with the current 2170 batteries.

Given Tesla’s comment of how weight-sensitive the Cybertruck is, it’s unlikely Tesla can take the same approach the company might possibly take with the Model Y, and ship the Cybertruck with the 2170 cells.

However, on the bright side, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, Drew Baglino speaking at the Q2 2022 earnings call said, the issue with the 4680 sales is simply that of scaling up and engineering and that there are no remaining fundamental issues.

And if Tesla can scale 4680 cell production sooner than later, that will mean the Cybertruck could also come in early 2022.

However, there is also a second issue that makes Cybertruck’s delay likely. And that is Giga Texas construction progress and Model Y ramp.

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According to Tesla’s recent earnings report, the EV maker is planning to start initial production at Giga Texas with the Model Y. And as of now, the mile-long Giga Texas factory that will build the Model Y is still under construction.

This would mean, in order to deliver the Cybertruck in early 2022, Tesla will need to build an adjacent plant to build the Cybertruck, finish tooling, and begin preproduction all before the end of this year.

And even if we assume the current Giga Texas plant can accommodate both the Model Y and Cybertruck’s production, that would still mean Tesla will have to ramp 4 vehicles to volume production simultaneously.

These are the Giga Texas refreshed Model Y, the Cybertruck the Giga Berlin Model Y, and a new compact vehicle designed in China that is expected to begin production by the end of 2021.

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Given the number of times Elon Musk has emphasized that “building a prototype is easy, volume production is 1000% to 10,000% harder”, Musk and team might just decide to simply delay the Cybertruck till they have a handle on the rest of Tesla’s plans.

Having said that, when we take into account all the audacious projects Tesla is trying to undertake simultaneously, it’s my opinion we give the company some slack even if the Cybertruck were to be delayed by few months.

We still don’t have official confirmation from Tesla regarding the Cybertruck’s timeline, but, we will keep you updated as soon as we hear any new information. Make sure to visit our site regularly for the latest updates.

So what do you think? Do you think Tesla will be able to deliver the Cybertruck in early 2021? Let me know your thoughts down in the comment below.

For more information check out: Breaking: Tesla To Begin Fully Drivable Refreshed Model Y Test Vehicle Production At Giga Texas Also, see Tesla Notifies Model X Plaid Reservation Holders To ‘Prepare For Delivery’

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.