Tesla Cybertruck Delay: The New Release Roadmap

The Tesla Cybertruck now isn't expected to launch until late 2022, with Elon Musk's much-vaunted electric pickup set to play catch-up with other EV trucks. Announced in November 2019, the outlandishly designed pickup divided opinion with its angular styling, but that didn't stop reservations from piling in for the promised 2021 release.

As with previous Tesla launches, however, that timeline has been on rocky ground. Though reluctant to confirm a delay from the original release window, the automaker has been relatively tight-lipped on whether it could actually bring the Cybertruck to market on time.

Signs of a delay seemed more concrete in August, when a new 2022 delivery note was added to the Cybertruck reservations page. It followed Tesla's confirmation that Cybertruck production would only begin after Model Y manufacturing had got underway at its Texas facility. With that not likely to happen until the end of 2021 at the earliest, all signs pointed to the Cybertruck being pushed back.

Now, Elon Musk has reportedly confirmed the delay. Speaking during a company-wide call, details of which leaked to Electrek, the outspoken CEO apparently told Tesla employees that Cybertruck production wasn't likely to begin until the end of 2022. That wasn't the only bad news.

While production may start late next year, it's unlikely to ramp to significant volume until late 2023. Musk blamed that on the degree of technology that Tesla has baked into the electric pickup. Previously Musk has warned that elements like the distinctive steel body will demand new manufacturing processes with a steep learning curve.

It's a worrying setback for what once had looked like it could be among the very first of the electric pickups to reach the market. Instead, it seems that the Cybertruck will follow rivals, some from big names like Ford. The F-150 Lightning, for example, was only announced late in 2020, but Ford expects to begin production early in 2021 and start deliveries in spring. The automaker already has more than 130,000 reservations.

Rivian, meanwhile, has also seen delays with its R1T electric pickup. Announced in late 2018, the EV has a more familiar aesthetic than the Cybertruck, but the initial timeline had suggested it might lag Tesla's truck to market. Now, with R1T deliveries poised to begin in the coming months, it seems it'll beat Musk's vehicle by a considerable margin.

Tesla, of course, hasn't been idle in the intervening years. The Model Y has become a bestseller in its category, and the Model S and Model X have been revamped with more performance and considerable upgrades to their cabins. Meanwhile, Musk has also been promising more outlandish fare, such as the Tesla Bot humanoid-style robot he discussed in mid-August. That, the CEO claimed, would use the same core technology as the long-awaited Full Self-Driving Autopilot system, prewiring for which has proved to be one of Tesla's most controversial options.