Nov 1 (Reuters) – Tesla (TSLA.O) is aiming to start mass production of its Cybertruck at the end of 2023, two years after long-awaited pickup truck chief executive Elon Musk’s initial target unveiled in 2019, two people with knowledge of the plans told Reuters.
Tesla said last month it was working on preparing its Austin, Texas factory to build the new model with “early production” expected to begin in mid-2023. “We’re in the final round to Cybertruck,” Musk said at a conference. call with financial analysts.
A gradual ramp-up through the second half of next year to full production of the sharp-edged electric truck would mean Tesla wouldn’t record revenue until early 2024 for a full shift of production on a new one. model expected to be essential to its growth.
It would also mean another year’s wait for the hundreds of thousands of potential buyers who paid $100 to reserve a Cybertruck in one of the most anticipated and followed electric vehicle launches of all time.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla shares rose 0.4% after rising 4.3% earlier on Tuesday.
He didn’t announce a final price on the Cybertruck, show the production version of the vehicle, or elaborate on how it will handle battery power for the new model.
In 2019, Tesla had forecast an initial price of less than $40,000, but new vehicle prices have since risen and Tesla has raised prices across its lineup.
Another source said Cybertruck was designed to use Tesla’s vaunted 4680 batteries. But Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid said Tesla has been unable to significantly increase production of internal batteries, which could lead to further delays of Cybertrucks beyond the end of 2023.
Tesla may have to significantly redesign Cybertruck batteries to switch to conventional 2170 batteries, he added.
Musk said last month that 4680 batteries shouldn’t be “a limiting factor for Cybertruck or anything else.” He said battery production was increasing exponentially, without giving details on the production volume.
Musk featured Cybertruck in a 2019 reveal where the vehicle’s designer cracked the supposedly unbreakable “armoured glass” windows. The company has pushed the production schedule three times since: from late 2021 to late 2022, then to early 2023 and most recently to the initial production target of mid-2023.
The launch of Cybertruck will give Tesla an entrant into one of the most profitable segments of the U.S. market and a competitor to electric pickup trucks like Ford Motor Co (FN) and Rivian Automotive (RIVN.O), both of which launched models in number still limited.
In January, Musk cited supply component shortages as the reason for pushing back Cybertruck’s launch to 2023.
In May, Tesla stopped taking orders for the Cybertruck outside of North America. Musk then said the company had “more orders for early Cybertrucks than we could fill for three years after production began.”
Automakers often slowly ramp up production of an all-new model like the Cybertruck.
Analysts also warned that a weakening global economy would start to weigh on sales for Tesla, which has so far been able to sell all the cars it makes. Musk said he expects a coming recession to last “probably until spring 24”.
IDRA Group, the Italian company making the Giga press that will be used for the Cybertruck die-cast parts, said in a LinkedIn post last week that the 9,000-ton machine for producing truck parts was packed and ready. to be shipped.
The message did not name Tesla. Tesla is using the Giga Press to reduce the cost and complexity of producing its Model Y, an innovation that other automakers, including Toyota, have been exploring.
Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Zhang Yan in Shanghai; Written by Kevin Krolicki; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Josie Kao
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. Exclusive Cybertruck Tesla will start production mass late