Tesla has built its first Cybertruck nearly four years after founder and CEO Elon Musk touted the automaker’s first electric pickup.
At the company’s so-called Gigafactory near Austin, Tesla workers tweeted a photo of the completed vehicle with the caption “First Cybertruck built in Giga Texas.” Four years after CEO Elon Musk unveiled the silver, futuristic-looking vehicle, the goal was accomplished.
Originally, Musk unveiled the Cybertruck in 2019, with the aim of starting production in late 2021.
Musk claims that the Cybertruck’s stainless steel alloy body is strong enough to withstand certain types of small arms fire. He also estimated the truck will be able to tow 14,000 pounds.
When the Cybertrucks will be available for purchase remains unclear, as does the price. Musk revealed in April that the company expects to deliver the first truck sometime between July and September.
The Cybertruck will join an increasingly competitive electric vehicle market once it hits dealer floors. According to Kelley Blue Book, rival manufacturer Rivian sells its R1T, which has a starting price of $73,000 (£55,760 as of the currency rate of this article). General Motors also sells the Hummer EV pickup, and Ford produces the F-150 Lightning.
Recently, Ford dropped the price on seven models of the Lightning by between $6,00 (£4,583) and $10,000 (£7,638), citing easier access to the truck’s battery material. The price reductions largely undo a series of price increases that the automaker attributed to rising material costs in 2022 and the first half of 2023.
Ford officials may also be prompted to lower pricing because they “hear the footsteps of the Cybertruck and others, such as Rivian, coming,” according to Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, in a research note.
Tesla previously claimed it would make three versions of the Cybertrucks, but later removed the price difference from the webpage where customers could pre-order the vehicle.
In the image of the Cybertruck that was tweeted by the Tesla creators, the only parts of the car that are visible since it is engulfed in people are the glass roof, windscreen with the enormous wiper sitting on the left side, truck bed and side windows.
A pickup truck is the most popular type of vehicle in America, leading to the success of the Cybertruck being almost guaranteed as long as Tesla is able to produce a large number of units in a short period of time.
When produced at full price, Elon Musk predicts that Tesla could sell between 250,000 and 500,000 Cybertrucks a year.
The CEO of Tesla stated, “We’ll make as many as people want and can afford,” noting that it will be challenging to keep the price reasonable given that the Cybertruck is a new vehicle made using a new manufacturing technique, specifically an exoskeleton constructed of ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel.
The polarising design of the Cybertruck looks nothing like anything else on the road, making it impossible to ignore and probably becoming the most photographed vehicle on the streets, which is great exposure for Tesla.
The CEO earlier stated that the first Cybertrucks would be produced in the summer of 2023, with volume production beginning the following year in 2024, with the output anticipated to be constrained until then. Musk tweeted in May, “This was a tough product to design and even tougher to build.”
Finally, given the record number of bookings the company has received, the beginning of Cybertruck production is a highly significant event. According to a crowdsourced reservation tracker, the number of Tesla Cybertruck preorders has reportedly surpassed 1.6 million as of November 2022. Obviously, that doesn’t mean Tesla has 1.6 million sales locked up, but the Cybertruck is still in high demand.