The Tesla Semi and Cybertruck are being parked on the back burner.
Elon Musk revealed during the company’s second-quarter earnings call that the Semi won’t launch until 2022 and that the Cybertruck isn’t being built until Model Y production is up and running at volume at the Texas factory that will manufacture both it and the pickup.
Musk said production of the vehicles faces various parts supply and engineering challenges, but the Model Y is the priority at the new plant. Tesla plans to incorporate its next-generation 4680 battery technology into the Texas-built Model Y, but has a “backup plan” that uses the packs currently used in Model Ys produced in California and China.
The Cybertruck and Semi are also designed around the 4680 battery, which is still in development, but the large vehicles are “heavy users of cell capacity” so they won’t become economically viable until there is a steady supply. Musk said if Tesla started building the Cybertruck at low volumes the pickups could cost “$1 million a piece,” so it will be holding off until things get sorted out.
Tesla had been aiming to have the first Cybertrucks delivered by the end of 2021, and still advertises it as such. Musk didn’t confirm that target still stands, but added that he thinks the vehicle, which is currently listed with starting prices ranging from $39,990 to $69,990, will be Tesla’s “best product ever.”
According to a crowdsourced tally, Tesla already has over one million reservations for the radically styled Cybertruck, which Musk admits could be the company’s first “flop.”
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Along with the new battery, the Model Y and Cybertruck are engineered with dozens of parts replaced by large single castings produced by the world’s largest presses and the processes to build them like that are also still being ironed out.