Tesla CEO Elon Musk, infamous for making grand promises and not following through on them, announced Thursday that the company would be releasing its monstruous Cybertruck in the middle of 2023. Knowing Musk, the date could be something he just threw out on the spot. Yet, it might also be true, in which case, may God have mercy on our roads.
In a call with investors on Wednesday, Musk said Tesla was very excited about the Cybertruck and declared that it might be the company’s “best product ever.” The electric car company unveiled the truck — which Musk once described as “an armoured personnel carrier from the future” — in 2019, delighting Tesla fanboys everywhere. However, exactly when the pickup would reach customers has never been clear, as the company has repeatedly changed its expected production dates. As late as January of this year, the company said the Cybertruck would be on the road in 2022. Then it removed that date from the Teslas website.
“We are still expecting to be in production with the Cybertruck in middle of next year,” Musk said on Wednesday. “We’re very excited about that product. It might actually be our best product ever.”
The company plans to produce the Cybertruck at its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, and Musk explained in the call that Tesla has been working on preparing it for production. He said that the truck would benefit from what Tesla has learned on increased efficiency in manufacturing.
“We’ll bring another level of simplicity and manufacturing improvements with Cybertruck and future products that we’re not quite ready to talk about now,” the Tesla CEO said.
Tesla has not publicly announced how many reservations it has received for the Cybertruck, but an online tally managed by fans put the number at nearly 1.5 million earlier this year. Tesla requires interested customers to fork over $US100 ($139), which is fully refundable, to make a reservation to buy a vehicle.
In May, the company stopped taking reservations for the Cybertruck in Europe and Asia and only currently accepts reservations from customers in North America. At that time, Musk said that Tesla had more orders of the first Cybertrucks than it could possibly fulfil “for three years after the start of production.”
The tech billionaire’s proclamation on Cybertruck production is no doubt a welcome distraction from Tesla’s second quarter results, also released on Wednesday, which revealed that the company had seen a decline in profits for the first time in over a year. Tesla also reported converting 75% of its bitcoin into cash, adding $US936 ($1,299) million to its balance sheet, an surprising development considering Musk’s support of cryptocurrency.