Cybertruck is one of Tesla’s most exciting new launches. Still, there has been some debate among Tesla enthusiasts on which version of the Cybertruck will be produced first, what variants will be available, and when the trucks will be officially launched for consumers.
The Cybertruck is Tesla’s latest model to launch, and the first version of the electric truck to hit the market will be the full-sized tri-motor variant. It is expected that later a compact dual-motor version for European and Asian drivers will also be put into production for foreign markets.
If you’re ready to buy a Cybertruck, you don’t have that much longer to wait until deliveries begin. There are many things you need to consider while you’re still deciding which version to reserve. Read on to learn more about all the different variants of the Tesla Cybertruck and when you’ll have access to them.
Tesla has confirmed that there will eventually be three variants of the Cybertruck available on the market based on the number of engines they possess. Cybertrucks will come in single-motor, dual-motor, and tri-motor variants. (Source: Electrek)
Since the largest, long-range version of the Cybertruck is Tesla’s most anticipated release in the line, this is the model that Tesla intends to lead with when they begin production on the Cybertruck lineup in late 2021.
The tri-motor variant is the most expensive Cybertruck to both sell and produce. Here are just a few reasons why Tesla may have chosen this variant as their first product line for Cybertruck despite the financial risks:
- The Cybertruck is primarily designed for the North American market. Many Americans are physically larger than citizens from some other countries, and the value of a truck on the American market is often determined by its sheer size. It is expected that the largest version of the Cybertruck will sell better in America than smaller ones.
- International markets are delayed anyway. Whenever Tesla produces cars, it ensures deliveries to domestic customers before taking on international deliveries of its products. This policy is for practical reasons since Tesla produces most of its vehicles in domestic factories, so delivery to adjacent consumers is much easier.
- The tri-motor Cybertruck is the most complicated to design. Because of its engineering, the tri-motor Cybertruck variant is the most complex and difficult to build. The experience of building this variant will make building simpler variants of the Cybertruck easier later in the production schedule.
- It encourages enthusiasts to buy the most expensive version. Putting out the most expensive variant first means that many consumers will pay extra for the larger vehicle just for a chance to get to drive it faster.
All reports indicate that Tesla will begin its Cybertruck lineup in America, with the largest version of the truck taking the vanguard position in the production line.
Going with the tri-motor variant as the launch version means that even if Cybertruck gets started in production in late 2021 with no additional delays, those waiting for a smaller single-motor or dual-motor variant will likely have to wait until 2022 or later when their chosen variant hits production.
When asked about the Cybertruck at Tesla’s Battery Event in 2020, Elon Musk confirmed that the original Cybertruck was designed for a North American audience. In this interview, Musk stated that he expected a “tight Wolverine package” to follow.
This proposed version of the Cybertruck is a smaller truck variant for international markets that don’t need that much size in their vehicles. So what did Musk mean by “wolverine package”?
Musk’s cryptic use of the term “Wolverine” is up for debate, with some analysts concluding that he was referencing an M151A2 military utility truck that an automotive company privatized in Florida under the name Wolverine. (Source: Uncrate) The smaller frame of a Cybertruck this size would be much more suitable to European and Asian markets.
Since the Cybertruck hasn’t even hit official production yet as far as anyone outside of Tesla knows, there’s no way for car enthusiasts to know what the dual-motor or single-motor variants of the Cybertruck will ultimately look like. The original model itself hasn’t hit full production.
The final number of Cybertrucks to be produced will be determined by market demand. However, the investment banking institution Morgan Stanley has predicted that Tesla can produce 100,000 Cybertrucks by the year 2025.
This sounds like a lot, but you have to remember that Tesla received over 100,000 reservations for Tesla Cybertrucks in Australia alone. The total reservations for Cybertrucks across the globe have reached over a million reservations and continue to rise.
This means that even if Tesla goes into full production of Cybertrucks in 2021, they will be well behind consumer demand for years. (Source: CleanTechnica) This is a problem that Tesla has run into in the past. The company’s success causes the demand for its vehicles to sporadically grow and expand outside the realm of its ability to deliver.
Even though it may be several years before everyone who has reserved a Cybertruck gets their vehicle delivered, this is a realm of uncertainty that Tesla fans have found themselves in before. For diehard enthusiasts, a longer wait won’t be enough to keep them from enjoying their Cybertruck when it finally arrives.
The tri-motor Cybertruck has been billed at $69,900 or just under seventy grand, a price tag in keeping with other luxury pickup trucks on the North American market. Many consumers have noted the relatively affordable price of the Cybertruck in comparison to some of Tesla’s luxury SUV models such as the Model S and the Model X.
With an SUV lineup that tops out at over $120,000, why is Tesla’s pickup truck so much cheaper by comparison? Here are a few of the reasons (Source: Eric Engheim):
- Flat steel sheet design: The controversial geometric and flat-planed design of the Cybertruck contributes to it having a much lower construction cost than curved panel vehicles. It takes a ton of physical force to curve steel into organic automotive shapes such as fenders and bumpers.
- Stainless steel: Automobile paint is expensive and difficult to maintain without the vehicle’s appearance degrading over time. Tesla side-steps this engineering challenge by making the Cybertruck completely out of stainless steel. While this limits cosmetic customization, it also keeps prices very reasonable for the quality you get.
- Simple interiors: By deliberately going with a stark and minimalist design in the cabin of the Cybertruck, Tesla keeps the car’s interior spacious and reduces the need for additional construction materials inside the cabin. Reducing digital input to a single large-screen console also reduces construction costs.
- Reservation system: By allowing customers to reserve a Cybertruck by making a cash deposit, Tesla managed to bankroll a large part of its investment in the new model while also getting hard numbers on how many consumers to anticipate for a full launch. This “kickstarter” system is much cheaper than the company funding through its line of credit.
For Tesla fans who experienced sticker shock at seeing the cost of the Model S or X, the cost of the Cybertruck may seem deceptively cheap. But it’s the clever engineering and business decisions that went into this model that made it so economical to produce.
The dual-motor variant of the Cybertruck is predicted to be sold at $49,900. At just under fifty grand, this puts it at significantly lower in cost than many conventional luxury pickup models. (Source: Kelley Blue Book)
While the dual-motor Cybertruck won’t be as large as the tri-motor version and is only expected to get a little over half of the same battery range, this variant will be much more affordable for the average consumer and will have plenty of power to handle most daily travel needs for most people.
Even though it has a lower anticipated cost, the biggest drawback of waiting for a smaller Cybertruck variant is not knowing when the smaller variant of the truck will be launched.
Since full production of the tri-motor Cybertruck isn’t expected until 2022, people who are waiting on a dual-motor variant may be stuck waiting for a few more years after that while Tesla tries to catch up with its orders.
It looks like the production of Cybertruck will get into full swing in the first half of 2022 at the latest, so what does this mean for buyers? If you reserved a Cybertruck today, when could you expect your truck to be delivered?
The real answer to that question is that nobody knows for sure. Elon Musk has been confident in his communications on social media that the Cybertruck will hit full production in 2021 or 2022, but has made no promises regarding the launch of the first Cybertruck deliveries following full production.
Tesla may be holding its cards tight to its chest this time for a good reason. The company has experienced several production delays in 2020 and 2021 related to parts shortages and other issues that put them behind on vehicle deliveries. Considering the public relations backlash related to these delays, Tesla has become more guarded in its predictions moving forward.
It’s not likely that Cybertruck is undergoing major design changes in 2021, but the Cybertruck has undergone design changes in the past. When Elon Musk first revealed the futuristic-looking pickup truck in November of 2019, reactions to the truck’s design were mixed. Here are a few design changes that were made in response (Source: MotorBiscuit):
- The truck was resized. The original design for the Cybertruck was huge, so big that it was determined it would not easily fit into most standard-sized garages. This caused Tesla to go back to the drawing board and redesign the Cybertruck to be more parking-space friendly by scaling it down slightly.
- The cargo capacity has likely been increased. While there has been no confirmation of this rumor one way or the other, it’s thought that Tesla has increased the amount of cargo space in the truck in response to consumer criticism following its unveiling.
Even if small design changes are made to the Cybertruck since it was initially shown to consumers in 2019, these design chances are unlikely to drastically shift the look and feel of the Cybertruck. Since the Cybertruck has gathered over a million reservations based on its radical looks, changing them too much causes Tesla to run the risk of alienating its customer base.
There have been some rumors surrounding the Cybertruck that this tank-like truck is bulletproof, and Elon Musk himself has helped fuel those rumors by claiming that the window glass is somewhat bulletproof (this claim was summarily put to rest by Tesla accidentally busting the Cybertruck’s glass window with a ball bearing during a live tech demonstration of the vehicle).
But how armored is the Cybertruck really? It’s true that the Cybertruck has a strong exterior stainless steel skin that is made of the same cold-rolled stainless steel that is used to construct the spacecraft in Tesla’s sister aeronautics company SpaceX.
While the Cybertruck doesn’t meet the security ratings to be considered an armored vehicle, the company has claimed that both the metal panels and the windows are capable of stopping a 9-millimeter bullet. (Source: MotorTrend)
Not many commuters will have need for an armored vehicle as their daily driver, but the tough nature of Cybertruck’s engineering also stands to make it one of the safest vehicles on the road next to the SUVs that Tesla has already produced.
As Elon Musk and Franz von Holhausen demonstrated during Tesla’s hilarious faux pas at the Cybertruck’s unveiling in 2019, its sleek windows billed up to that point as “unbreakable” were completely breakable after all. Audiences watched in equal parts horror and delight as von Holhausen broke not just one but both windows of the Cybertruck with a ball bearing.
However, despite the embarrassment of this failed tech demo, it was determined later that from a physics perspective, the reason the windows broke was that the Cybertruck had already been struck by a sledge hammer earlier in the demonstration on the same side, weakening the glass on that side of the vehicle. (Source: Forbes)
Luckily, Tesla’s engineers have demonstrated in countless other tests that while not unbreakable, the Cybertruck’s armored windows are incredibly break-resistant under normal driving circumstances. You might not want to drive your Cybertruck into a shootout, but it’ll still offer top-of-the-line protection from debris and danger in the case of a real-world car accident.
By all accounts, Cybertruck is Tesla’s most ambitious vehicle launch yet. Its unusual cosmetic design, radical engineering choices, and associated hype have made it one of the most anticipated Tesla vehicles since the company’s inception.
Despite these advantages, Elon Musk has recently admitted to Tesla fans on social media that the Cybertruck could still flop. Here are a few reasons why Tesla might have trouble launching the Cybertruck:
- Production delays: Tesla has been plagued by production delays over the past several years, and this problem could only snowball on the company as they continue to add new models and variants to their vehicle lineup without getting caught up on previous production orders.
- Lack of lasting interest: Even though there’s been over a million reservations for Cybertruck, those are optimistic numbers. Realistically, Tesla only expects to deliver on half of the vehicle reservations it takes deposits for, so the true demand for the Cybertruck is likely less than half a million deliveries.
- Questionable engineering: There might be a reasonable physics-based explanation for Tesla’s tech demonstration snafu with the Cybertruck’s unbreakable windows in 2019, but that won’t matter for many potential buyers. Since the video went viral it has likely caused some uncertainty in the market concerning Cybertruck’s real durability.
- Lack of cosmetics: Many Tesla fans will be purchasing or reserving the Cybertruck specifically for its unusual stainless steel looks, but the simplistic chrome design of the truck is equally likely to turn off many consumers who want a more traditional-looking electric truck with paint and other cosmetic options.
Tesla has plenty of reservations for Cybertruck orders, so in 2021 the demand is definitely there. However, only time will tell whether Tesla and Elon Musk are capable of delivering on the design promises made by the Cybertruck. There’s no denying that between the Cybertruck, the Model Y, and SpaceX, this technology guru has a lot on his plate.
The Cybertruck isn’t the first one-of-a-kind vehicle design to come along, and there have been many similar failed experiments on the automotive market in the past.
Tesla has the market know-how and the engineering innovation to succeed in a task where others have failed. It remains to be seen whether Cybertruck will become one of the most common sights on the road heading into 2030, or just another flash in the pan.