Back in May 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that a smaller Cybertruck might be in the works at some point. Everyone thought, “Sure, someday maybe.” But now comes word through a big investor with inside Tesla knowledge that, in fact, there will be a smaller Cybertruck, with the announcement coming this March.
A special Tesla event will debut a smaller Cybertruck
“We’ll probably do a smaller, tight world truck at some point,” Musk tweeted back in 2020. A special Tesla event is taking shape for March, where a smaller version of the Cybertruck will be revealed, according to a stock analyst with Global Equities Research. This coming from Inside EVs.
According to Trip Chowdhry, this smaller version will be about 20 percent smaller than the one first shown in November 2019. Both truck’s bodies will be built by Steel Dynamics, located about 100 miles from Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory, where the Cybertruck, or Cybertrucks, will be made. News of this “event” probably won’t be part of an earnings call set for later this month.
The two versions to be shown will feature “significant tweaks” from the ones we’ve seen so far, according to Chowdhry. What those tweaks might look like is not known. But certain compromises for pedestrian regulations and government-mandated manufacturing requirements would need to be incorporated into the design.
A smaller version of the Cybertruck has its advantages
A second, smaller Cybertruck makes perfect sense, especially with the backdrop of other automakers’ truck models. Virtually all of the standard-size pickup truck manufacturers offer at least one smaller pickup. Some, like Ford, have wedged in a third, with its Maverick pickup that should be arriving to buyers any day.
It also makes sense for it to be based on one of Tesla’s current sedans. Much of the development work has already been done and amortized when using existing platforms. And some automakers, like Toyota, make far more of their midsize Tacoma pickups than its full-size Tundra models.
Toyota sold more midsize pickups than full-size
In 2021, Toyota sold around 80,000 Tundra pickups in the US. But its Tacoma trucks sold over 250,000 last year. So you can see that there could be a big advantage for Tesla to offer a smaller Cybertruck.
And a number of manufacturers are working on all-electric versions of their midsize trucks including Nissan and Ford, with a Ranger EV due in a couple of years. And the Ranger’s size is what Tesla is shooting for.
Finally, Tesla needs something to buoy the news this week that the full-size Cybertruck has been delayed again. It will now reportedly be ready for production in 2023. Delays with new Tesla launches are very typical, and supply chain issues plus starting production of an entirely new vehicle in a brand-new facility is a lot for any manufacturer to confront.