Tesla CEO Musk Says Date Set for Cybertruck Launch: Do You Believe Him?
In Tesla’s 2023 first quarter financials released yesterday, CEO Elon Musk announced updates for the production of the much-anticipated Cybertruck. During a conference call about Q1, Musk said Tesla will present a “handover event” around the first deliveries of the EV truck. He added that it would take place around “the end of the third quarter.”
Does Musk mean Cybertruck deliveries begin this Q3 or 2024 Q3?
We assume that means the third quarter in 2023, but who can say for sure? The Cybertruck has been one of the most delayed vehicles in history. Since its reveal in November 2019, deliveries have been promised several times for 2021, 2022, and this year.
Tesla’s handover events feature the first new Tesla models being given to buyers. So with the event pegged for the end of the third quarter, that means September or October this year. That also means production should begin by June at the latest. “We’re anticipating having a delivery event, a great delivery event probably in Q3,” Musk said.
What is a Tesla Cybertruck “handover event?”
So we’re at the cusp of Cybertruck production if Musk is not being too overly optimistic, as we have seen over the past several years. According to Electrek, these handovers only involve a few vehicles for mostly connected Tesla enthusiasts. Then, there is a slow rollout, with the next deliveries possibly not happening until a month or two later.
So it’s not the panacea reservation holders would like to see. In the conference call, Musk likened production to an S-curve, slow at first, then ramping up. “We continue to build Alpha versions of the Cybertruck on our pallet-line for testing purposes,” he said. “It’s a great product and we’re completing the installation of the following production line at Giga Texas.”
As one can imagine, this is a very big deal for Tesla, and especially its coffers. There has been such an overwhelming response that it stopped taking reservations outside of the U.S. And it also stopped announcing how many reservations it received once it hit 1.5 million. The Cybertruck is also the first new Tesla released since Model Y SUV in 2019.
Has a price been announced?
A big question surrounding the EV truck is price. When announced in 2019, Musk said it would have a base price of $39,995. Since that time, there has not been much said about what the actual price will be.
The Rivian R1T is supposed to have a base price of $73,000, though it is doubtful the automaker is making anything but highly optioned EVs. And the Ford F-150 Lightning has seen its price increase over the last several months. Its base price is around $60,000 but, again, only the highly optioned versions see the light of day.
So with those two trucks as a guide, the $40,000 price seems highly suspect. Maybe the Tesla bean counters are factoring in most reservation holders buying the trucks when they’re available. While that seems optimistic, a recent survey of reservation holders found that 75% plan on making the purchase.