Tesla Cybertruck: release date, price and all you need to know as it enters 'final lap'

Elon Musk's electric vehicle is real eye-opener, edging closer to being on world's roads

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Tesla has no shortage of interesting products in the pipeline but amid the development of the Semi goods vehicle and Optimus robot, the Cybertruck is the one about which consumers are most excited.

The electric vehicle maker first unveiled the Cybertruck back in 2019 to great fanfare and has since faced delays but chief executive Elon Musk has indicated that production is finally close to beginning.

Here's all you need to know about the Tesla Cybertruck:

What is the Cybertruck?

It has been designed to have the pull of an off-road vehicle, while maintaining the speed of a high-end sports car.

It has "a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin, to Tesla armour glass", according to the Tesla website.

Recent social media videos show a full 360-degree view of the Cybertruck.

At the launch demo in 2019, Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen took a sledgehammer to the truck, which withstood the impact. Then it all went wrong.

Mr von Holzhausen took a metallic ball and tossed it at the truck — smashing the front driver-side window, stunning the audience and viewers live-streaming the event.

Some models are expected to go from 0-100kph in only 2.9 seconds.

When will production begin?

Speaking at Tesla's third-quarter profits call last week, Mr Musk, the world's richest person, said the company was in the “final lap” of work on Cybertruck, which will start production in the middle of next year.

It was initially scheduled for a production start date in 2021, which then slipped to 2022 as supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic and then the Russia-Ukraine conflict affected manufacturers around the world.

Preparations are said by Tesla executives to be continuing at the Giga Texas factory which is in the "tooling" phase which involves setting up the assembly line ahead of production commencing.

What will the price be?

When it was launched in 2019, Mr Musk said it would sell for $39,900, although that was with a view to production beginning in late 2021.

Tesla has since raised the price of its vehicles due to significant inflationary pressure in raw materials and logistics during the crisis in Ukraine.

It has this week however cut starter prices for its Model 3 and Model Y cars by as much as 9 per cent in China.

He told analysts last week that demand was strong in the current quarter and said he expected Tesla to be "recession-resilient".

Tesla told Reuters it was adjusting prices in line with costs. Capacity utilisation at its Shanghai Gigafactory has improved, while the supply chain remains stable despite the impact on the economy of China's stringent zero-Covid restrictions, leading to lower costs, it said.

In May, Tesla stopped taking orders on its website for the Cybertruck model outside the US, Canada and Mexico.

"We have more orders of the first Cybertrucks than we could possibly fulfil for three years after the start of production," Mr Musk said at the time.

Customers in North America are able to place an order through the website for a refundable fee of $100.

Will it be available in the UAE?

Buyers in the Emirates were able to pay a Dh500 deposit back in 2019. The UAE section of the Tesla website currently offers the chance to "get updates", but not reserve one.

Will the Cybertruck be able to float like a boat?

According to Mr Musk, yes it will. But should we take him seriously on this?

He tweeted in September that the Cybertruck "will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes and even seas that aren’t too choppy".

He added that it needs to "be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel".

What else does Tesla have in the pipeline?

Production of the Tesla Semi lorry has started, with deliveries to commence on December 1. Pepsi will be the first recipient.

The cost of ownership of the Semi would be 20 per cent less per mile compared with diesel trucks, while also having faster acceleration, better uphill performance and “thermonuclear explosion-proof glass”, Mr Musk said.

Meanwhile, Tesla isn't too far away with its Optimus robot.

At Tesla's AI Day on September 30, a prototype of the Optimus walked out on stage and waved to the crowd before a video showed it doing simple tasks, such as watering plants, carrying boxes and lifting metal bars at a production station at the company's California plant.

Tesla engineers hit Dubai desert for 'extreme heat and durability testing'

Updated: October 25, 2022, 2:45 PM
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