After Tesla’s Chief designer Franz von Holzhausen recently revealed that the design of its wildly anticipated Cybertruck is now complete, Tesla today confirmed in its Q4 earnings call, that it plans to finally begin production by the middle of the year.
Tesla warned, however, that initial production rates will be slow – and significant volumes would not emerge until 2024. One of the first customers will be CEO Elon Musk, who said he was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with an image of the C Cybertruck’s infamous cracked window from its launch day.
“It’s an incredible product,” he told the earnings call. “I can’t I can’t wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day.”
The Cybertruck’s battery packs will include Tesla’s new 4680 cells which are being made at its Austin factory in Texas. Of the four production lines which will produce the new cells, the company says that one line is in production with the remaining three in stages of commissioning and installation.
After years of development Tesla says it’s now producing 4680 cells at a rate of 1000 cars per week and that the goal is to ramp production of the new cells as much as possible this year in anticipation of scaling Cybertruck volume production in 2024.
Musk also confirmed that the Cybertruck will include Tesla’s “Hardware 4” FSD computer which will be the first major upgrade of Tesla’s onboard self-driving computer since Hardware 3 was announced in 2019.
On the capability of Hardware 4, Musk said “let’s say for argument’s sake, 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 improve Tesla’s active safety capability even further after the Model Y achieved a 98% Euro NCAP score on driver assist tests in 2022.
Despite the anticipated production ramp up in 2024, most Cybertruck customers will have a long wait ahead as Tesla has over 1 million pre-orders to fill.
Australians wanting to place an order for the Cybertruck will be waiting even longer after Tesla closed reservations for all customers outside the US in May last year.
During today’s Q4 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk said that 2022 was the company’s “best year ever on every level” and that Tesla’s 17% operating margin was bigger than any other car company in the world.
Daniel Bleakley is a clean technology researcher and advocate with a background in engineering and business. He has a strong interest in electric vehicles, renewable energy, manufacturing and public policy.