Tesla debuted the Cybertruck with great fanfare and (window-breaking) back in 2019. The brand's initial target for production was late 2021. That was later pushed back to 2022. Then mid-2023. Now, production for America's most Blade Runner-inspired pickup truck has all but been pushed back to 2024.
On Tesla's Q4 earnings call, Elon Musk — who serves as Tesla's PR department — noted that Tesla would build a low number of Cybertrucks starting "maybe sometime this summer," but "volume production" would not begin until 2024. He also noted the Cybertruck "won't be a significant contributor" for Tesla sales in 2023.
Tesla's announcement isn't too surprising. Overpromising in headline font initially and ratcheting things back in small print later has been a hallmark of the brand. We still haven't seen the production version of the truck, its specs, its pricing (likely to be more than the $40,000 base model originally promised) or how "briefly" it can serve as a boat.
Getting the Cybertruck to market will be Tesla's most intriguing challenge to date. Previous launches have seen Tesla racing ahead of the market into untrod territory for EVs. But with the Cybertruck, Tesla will be following the leaders.
Legacy manufacturers are already building electric pickups. Two of America's big three already have electric pickups on the road. Ram's EV truck should be close behind the Cybertruck if it doesn't beat it to "volume production" in 2024. Well-funded EV startup Rivian is already cranking out R1T pickups. The Cybertruck won't be first. And while it may look distinctive, it probably won't arrive with the coolest tech on the market either (though what constitutes cool is subjective).
The Cybertruck at least feels more tangible than the new Tesla Roadster, which debuted in 2017. Musk has talked up the Roadster, claiming it will have features like rocket propulsion. But no firm timeline has emerged, despite Tesla accepting $50,000 deposits on them.