Tesla has never been great at meeting deadlines, so it’s hardly surprising that the company’s ambitious electric pickup – the Cybertruck – is running a little late. A reference to a 2022 production schedule was recently removed from its website, and Reuters reports now that production of the vehicle will not start until the first quarter of 2023.
The Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019, with Tesla promising the vehicle would roll off production lines by the end of 2021. Then, in August of that year, full production was delayed until sometime in 2022. Now that deadline seems to have passed, too.
Changes to Cybertruck’s order page were first noticed by Edmunds. The site originally told buyers, “You can complete your setup as production approaches in 2022.” Now it says “You can finalize your setup as production approaches”, with archives showing the year reference has been removed end of December 20201.
According to Reutersciting a “person familiar with the matter,” the delay is due to “changing features and functions” Tesla is introducing to make the vehicle more attractive in a growing electric pickup market.
Ford recently pledged to double production of its F-150 Lightning, which it says will ship in the first half of 2022; buzzy newcomer Rivian has finally started shipping his first R1Ts to customers; while brands like Hummer and Chevy have their own electric trucks planned for late 2022 and late 2023 respectively.
Other factors that may have contributed to the slowdown include external challenges, such as the ongoing pandemic and global chip shortage (affecting all automakers), as well as Cybertruck-specific issues. The vehicle’s angular appearance is controversial, attracting both awe and contempt, but it certainly poses unique design challenges, such as the difficulty of making a huge windshield wiper to cover the giant windshield.
Increasing production of the Cybertruck may also be a relatively low priority for Tesla, as its other vehicles have had fantastic years. For example, the Model 3 became the first EV to hit the monthly sales charts in Europe, with the company delivering nearly 1 million cars in 2021 — an impressive 87 percent increase in shipments in 2020.
Tesla’s Cybertruck can afford to experience some delay, but the company risks losing potential customers. However, we should know more about the future of the vehicle soon. Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised to share an official “product roadmap update” for the Cybertruck during the next Tesla revenue call. That is scheduled for January 26. Don’t wait long.
Update January 14, 3:18 AM ET: Updated with Reuters report of a delay to Q1 2023.