The Tesla Cybertruck is slowly approaching its - final – production, ramp up phase. It has been three years since the Austin-based manufacturer launched the Model Y, an electric car that has become a complete success and and which has served to push the firm to the top of the sales charts around the world. But now that popularity is somehow waning - due to the push and innovations of the competition, both from traditional brands and from new ones - Tesla needs to start selling the Cybertruck as soon as possible in order to regain momentum, which the million and a half reservations it has accrued so far seem to guarantee.
Will the electric pick-up live up to the expectations of Elon Musk and these 1.5 million reservation holders? The CEO has been touting the Cybertruck as the best electric vehicle Tesla has ever created; not only that, he has come to say that it is the best product in history. Exaggeration and hyperbole aside, Musk may have a good degree of credibility when it comes to Tesla's new electric car launch schedules: each of them has actually raised the bar in one way or another within the whole automotive industry. The Tesla Model Y is on track to become the world's best-selling electric car, despite the many initial problems with its production ramp up.
In the case of the Cybertruck, despite the controversy created over its demonstration of the unbreakable window or the polarizing design, that received in equal parts criticism and praise, the number of reservations gives an idea of the huge success it can achieve when it finally reaches the market. If Tesla manages to deliver the Cybertruck with the announced price and specs as stated back in 2019, it may very well - largely - outperform the Model Y.
Musk assured that a week after the presentation, the electric pick-up had already accumulated 250,000 reservations. While it is common for this to happen right after a new model is unveiled, this has not been the case with the Cybertruck: even during the pandemic it kept the pace so that pre-orders even helped boost sales of other models. By 2021 the one million reservation milestone was already reached and now, at the end of 2022, the count has already reached 1.5 million.
That's a huge number even though Tesla asks for nothing more than a $100 down payment, which is also refundable. Even if this 1,5 million figure were to drop significantly, the demand would still be extremely strong.
Tesla is making some movements that show that the electric pick-up is steadily progressing in its production phase at the Gigafactory in Texas, which may suggest that the first units could already leave production lines in the middle of next year, 2023. At that time, it will be necessary to verify if the Tesla Cybertruck lives up to the enormous expectations that it has raised even beyond the United States, the traditional market for that vehicle format, which may also have be reflected in European and Chinese markets.
Tesla #Cybertruck now has over 1.5 million reservations!That's unprecedented demand, and even if most of the $100 reservation holders back out closer to production, that'll still be extremely strong numbers for #Tesla. pic.twitter.com/GqkXHPfTHC— Intellectual Genius (@242Pnabdp) November 24, 2022
As it has already happened before with its previous models, Tesla will most probably start by producing the most expensive, top of the line versions of the Cybertruck. Inflation rates and supply chain issues will also cause the prices to rise well above the price estimated back in 2019. Tesla is bringing the best HR of the house to the launch program, including David Zhang, former program manager for Model S and Model X, who also led the Model Y program for a year, and did the same for the Cybertruck until design was finally blocked and went ahead to production.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.