Tesla‘s Cyber Rodeo took place on Thursday, April 7, and while there were many expectations of things we’d see – new Roadsters! Updated Model Y’s! 2 Cybertruck prototypes? – the actual event was a little tamer than anticipated. (Tesla CEO Elon Musk did say, “I’m not gonna spill all the beans right now.”) Here’s what we learned about Tesla’s plans for the new Cybertruck and Model Y and just how many hampsters the new Gigafactory can hold.
The new Tesla Gigafactory Texas is huge
We already knew that Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas was going to be huge, and at Cyber Rodeo, Musk made it clear just how big it would be. After an audience member asked an inaudible question, Musk laughed and replied that he was glad they’d asked. Then he said, “According to our calculations, you could fit a hundred and ninety-four billion hamsters in this building.” That’s a lot of hamsters.
To be more specific, the Gigafactory Texas will have 10 million square feet of floor space, take up 2500 acres along the Colorado River, and have western windows made from 32-foot glass, offering views of downtown Austin. In addition, it will have over 70,000 solar panels. It’s basically enormous.
We only saw one Cybertruck at Cyber Rodeo
The Cybertruck arrives on stage and the driver gets out and says, “We’re gonna smash the window again.” The crowd cheers, but they don’t smash the windows, and the audience tries to egg them on. While they appear tempted to give it a go, in the end, they promise to try again next time.
Musk must have heard the rumors about there being two Cybertruck prototypes being unveiled at Cyber Rodeo. It all stemmed from drone images taken by drone pilot Joe Tegtmeyer, which showed mysterious vehicles resembling two Cybertruck vehicles – among others. Musk said there would only be one truck, and that was all anyone really needed, anyway. He showed off one of the Cybertruck’s more unique features, which is its lack of door handles. Musk said no handles are necessary. “The car can tell that you’re there and it just needs to open.”
Musk says that Cybertruck production will begin next year and it will be worth the wait. “It’s gonna blow your minds.”
The Model Y was discussed
Everyone knew that the new Tesla Model Y would be discussed at Cyber Rodeo. It is, after all, the first vehicle that will be produced at Gigafactory Texas. The new Model Y is different from SUV models from the past, because the new Model Y will have a structural battery pack. Essentially that means that the battery will be a part of the SUV’s body, therefore making it lighter. This is a huge advantage to electric vehicles, whose range benefits from little unnecessary weight. Musk pointed out that the Model Y with the structural battery pack will also be cheaper and safer.
Tesla plans on producing half a million Model Ys in the first year, and then it will begin production on the Cybertruck. If Tesla reaches that goal, it would be the highest-volume automotive factory in the United States. Musk noted that in the past twelve months, Tesla has delivered a million vehicles, yet this makes up just about 1% of worldwide automotive sales. He wants Tesla’s portion to be closer to 20%.
Cyber Rodeo revealed Tesla’s big plans
In the very beginning of Musk’s on-stage appearance, he drove up in an original Tesla Roadster. He said, “We’re gonna talk about past, present, and future.” Then he admitted that when Tesla first started, he believed it only had about a 10% chance of success. When he tells the crowd to look at where Tesla is now, they cheer, they whistle, some cry. It’s part rock concert, part auto show.
Tesla’s future plans include scaling up in a big way. Musk says this is essential to making the world more sustainable. He also plans on expanding Full Self-Driving (which at present is a misnomer, as it is truly anything but fully autonomous).
In addition, Musk wants to make a dedicated robo-taxi and make progress on the Tesla robot, which he promises will be safe – “No Terminator stuff.”
All in all, we got a look at many things we already knew about Tesla and its plans, and a few things that we didn’t. Seeing images of the Tesla Gigafactory Texas was certainly incredible, and Musk’s promises about the Cybertruck’s production just may be enough to renew hope in its eventual appearance.