The Unexpected Cybertruck Feature That Is Giving Elon Musk Trouble

A Tesla Cybertruck prototype made an appearance at the Elkhorn Battery Energy Storage Facility in California's Moss landing, with some notable tweaks in tow. The facility, which is owned by Pacific Gas & Electric and uses Tesla's Megapack for storing excess electrical energy, brought Tesla's upcoming EV to a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and videos of the car started making rounds of Twitter and Instagram.

The biggest change noticed by netizens is the much smaller windshield wiper. Interestingly, the wiper appears to reach only halfway across that giant windshield, but Tesla has apparently come up with a neat solution. It appears that the wiper relies on a hinge mechanism that keeps it folded in half when not in use.

So far, neither Tesla nor Elon Musk have publicly shared any information about the modified windshield wiper apparatus. However, the Cybertruck unit seen at the PG&E event appears to be much more polished than the prototype unit last seen at Tesla's Cyber Rodeo event earlier this year, which looked like a work in progress.

Feels less prototype-y now

Notably, the Cybertruck's last appearance stirred quite some chaotic debate, especially around that giant windshield wiper. Even Musk had to jump in on the conversation and explain what was really going on. Responding to a user's dilemma about the odd design, Musk clarified that it was not the final design that would appear on the production version.

"The wiper is what troubles me the most. No easy solution. Deployable wiper that stows in front trunk would be ideal, but complex," Musk wrote on Twitter while answering another query regarding the windshield wiper's large profile. The new switchblade knife design of the wiper appears to be yet another experiment, but there's no certainty whether it will serve as the final version.

News outlet KSBW managed to get pictures of the Cybertruck's interiors, which still lack the airbag assembly, but appear a lot more refined now than before. The truck has a large cluster screen and a center console, while the rest seems unchanged. According to Musk, the Cybertruck will enter production next year after a string of delays.

Not the first hiccup on the road to launch

Cybertruck's windshield wiper might be giving Musk some grief, but that certainly hasn't been the only roadblock Tesla has come up against. Tesla has grappled with delays — both rumored and confirmed — in its quest to bring Cybertruck to the masses. Despite being announced in 2019, Cybertruck still doesn't have a confirmed release date.

However, things are looking up on that front. At the Tesla Cyber Rodeo, which took place back in April in Austin, Texas, Cybertruck made an unexpected appearance. Musk confirmed that Cybertruck would be built at Tesla's new production facility in Austin and that it would arrive at some point in 2023. In front of the crowd, Musk apologized for the delay but promised that Cybertruck is "really going to be great" when it finally does launch.

Obviously, a 2023 release window is quite a bit broader than most Tesla fans would prefer, but the hope now is that Tesla can stick to that window and narrow the release date from there. At the very least, fans are hoping for no more delays from here on out, though Musk's problems with the windshield wiper make us wonder if he'd delay the Cybertruck to perfect something that seems so minor in the grand scheme.

Competitors on the horizon

Musk may not have the luxury of tweaking Cybertruck and its components until everything is perfect, as potential competitors to Cybertruck are on the way or — in some cases — already here. Ford's upcoming F-150 Lightning has generated a lot of hype, and while that might not be a direct competitor with Cybertruck when comparing raw specifications, one has to imagine that any positive attention on other EV pickups is a potential detriment to Tesla's Cybertruck.

Other companies are making moves in the EV pickup space, too. Chevrolet kicked off 2022 by revealing the Silverado EV Pickup, while the GMC Hummer EV already has rubber on the road. In short, the EV pickup market is becoming increasingly crowded — something that should prompt haste from Tesla.

Then again, perhaps Musk is unconcerned about competitors beating Cybertruck to release? After all, this is the same man who once said that he doesn't care if Cybertruck is a failure. While we're sure he does care to some degree, he may be hedging his bets on Cybertruck's unique design and its ability to turn heads. We'll see what happens from here, but one thing is clear: We still have a while to wait before Tesla sets a release date for its much-anticipated EV pickup.