Elon Musk Drops "Bad News" About Tesla Cybertruck Price And Specs

Folks patiently eyeing the Tesla Cybertruck are in for some bad news, and this one comes straight from CEO Elon Musk. At the company's annual shareholder conference, Musk revealed that the final specs and pricing of the boxy electric truck likely won't be the same as originally announced.

While Musk didn't drop any further concrete information about the final figures, the state of Tesla cars' pricing over the past few quarters -– coupled with Musk's repeated comments about a bad market and inflation -– is a clear indication that the Cybertruck will be more expensive.

"It was unveiled in 2019 and the reservation was $99, so, you know, the thing is that a lot has changed since then," Musk said during the event, in response to a shareholder question. "So the specs and the pricing will be different — I hate to sort of give a little bit of bad news — but there's no way to sort of have anticipated quite the inflation that we've seen and the various issues.

First 2021, then 2022, now 2023

The all-electric pickup was initially supposed to start at $39,900, which seemed quite a bargain for a machine with capabilities Musk promised would eclipse most gas trucks. Since then, though the reservations books clocked up huge numbers, Tesla has been tight-lipped about its innards and the progress about its market arrival, which has kept getting pushed back over the intervening years. 

Initially, Musk had said at the glitzy unveil for the oddly-angular pickup, the Cybertruck would go into production sometime in 2021. That was subsequently pushed back to 2022, and now into 2023. Tesla, like others in the auto industry, has been impacted by the semiconductor shortage over the past few years, though strategic use of chipsets has seen the EV-maker avoid some of the most significant pitfalls its rivals have faced.

All the same, it's perhaps no surprise that the Cybertruck has been relegated to the vaporware category by some, even though the company has kept parading its prototypes at public events. With the final price hanging in the well of uncertainty, Musk tried to assuage the concerns of investors and potential buyers by adding that it will be "one hell of a product" and "one damn fine machine."

The Cybertruck mystery intensifies

Addressing the production schedule, Musk told attendees at the Cyber Roundup 2022 event that volume production will commence "in the middle of next year." We've seen some public evidence of the evolving design, too, with elements like the side view mirrors and the giant windscreen wiper having undergone tweaks over the past couple of years.

As for the other changes Musk is promising, there's little to no concrete information about that. For now, Musk is only committing that the equipment installation and tooling process for Cybertruck production will begin in the coming months. Interestingly, Tesla removed the specs and pricing details for the three planned Cybertruck models from its website last year.

When asked how much the Cybertruck is going to cost when the car eventually hits the roads next year, Musk evaded the question. Musk also dodged questions about the heating US-China ties, which is not surprising given the fact the China is a hot seat of supply, production, and sale of Tesla cars.

Some positive signs

At this point in time, Musk's promises about the highly anticipated EV truck are hard to digest given the product's tumultuous history. However, given the current state of market inflation, global supply chain issues, and production problems at the Austin and Berlin gigafactories, it is hard to predict how all of that is going to factor in the Cybertruck's final price tag. 

Nonetheless, not everything is necessarily negative about the situation. Just about a week ago, Musk tweeted that "more Tesla commodity prices are trending down than up fwiw," and similar was the case with inflation.

Assuming Tesla hasn't drastically changed plans for the Cybertruck models, it should be up for grabs in three trims. At the bottom of the price ladder is the single-motor variant, capable of doing 0-60mph in less than 6.5 seconds, over 250 miles of range, and more than 7,500 pounds of towing capacity. That was originally supposed to start at $39,900.

Next up is the dual-motor AWD trim that was originally said to start at $49,900, and which bumped up the range to over 300 miles. Finally, the flagship triple motor Cybertruck was supposed to start at $69,900, and offer perks like 500+ miles of EPA range, over 14,000 pounds of towing capacity, and the ability to go from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds.