After Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, recently revealed that the design of his highly anticipated Cybertruck is now complete, Tesla today confirmed in its fourth quarter earnings call that it finally plans to begin designing. production by the middle of the year.
Tesla has, however, warned that initial production rates will be slow – and that significant volumes will not appear until 2024. One of the first customers will be CEO Elon Musk, who said he was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a image of the C Cybertruck. infamous cracked window since launch.
“It’s an amazing product,” he said on the earnings call. “I can’t, I can’t wait to drive it personally. This will be the car I drive every day.
The Cybertruck’s batteries will include Tesla’s new 4680 cells that are manufactured at its Austin, Texas plant. Of the four production lines that will produce the new cells, the company says one line is in production and the other three are in the commissioning and installation phase.
After years of development, Tesla says it is now producing 4,680 cells at a rate of 1,000 cars per week and the goal is to increase production of the new cells as much as possible this year in anticipation of increased volume production of Cybertruck in 2024.
Musk also confirmed that the Cybertruck will include Tesla’s “Hardware 4” FSD computer, which will be Tesla’s first major standalone on-board computer upgrade since announcing Hardware 3 in 2019.
About the capability of Hardware 4, Musk said “let’s say, for the sake of discussion, if Hardware 3 can be, say, 200% or 300% safer than a human, Hardware 4 might be, you know, 500% or 600%”
The new computer would further improve Tesla’s active safety capability after the Model Y achieved a Euro NCAP score of 98% in driver assistance tests in 2022.
Despite the planned production ramp-up in 2024, most Cybertruck customers will have a long wait, as Tesla has over a million pre-orders to fill.
Australians wishing to place an order for the Cybertruck will have to wait even longer after Tesla closed reservations for all customers outside the United States in May last year.
During today’s fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Elon Musk said 2022 was the company’s “best year across the board” and Tesla’s 17% operating margin was superior to that of any other automaker in the world.
Daniel Bleakley is a cleantech researcher and advocate with a background in engineering and business. He has a keen interest in electric vehicles, renewable energy, manufacturing and public policy.