Tesla Cybertruck deliveries begin Thursday after long delays

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The long-awaited first deliveries of the Tesla Cybertruck are set to begin on Thursday and the electric vehicle maker will mark the occasion with an event at its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.

The futuristic-looking Cybertruck will be the first electric vehicle Tesla offers that isn’t a sedan and will mark the company’s entry into the growing EV pickup market, joining rivals like Ford and Rivian. 

Tesla completed its first production candidate Cybertruck in July, roughly four years after it was first announced and two years after production was initially planned to begin. Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk cited supply chain shortages affecting the sourcing of components as a factor in pushing back Cybertruck production to 2023.

It remains unclear what the Tesla Cybertruck will cost would-be buyers ahead of the release event, as the EV manufacturer has opted against providing a public price point. When the Cybertruck was first announced in 2019 it had an initial estimated price of about $40,000 for its single motor trim, with dual and tri-engine trims expected to cost more. Potential Cybertruck buyers were initially able to place a reservation for a refundable $100 deposit.

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How Tesla prices the Cybertruck will be particularly notable given its tendency over the last year to regularly discount some of its sedans to account for inflation and higher interest rates facing borrowers – a move that set off a price war in the EV space.

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Analysts for Wedbush Securities said they expect the Cybertruck to cost around $50,000 for the single motor variant, while the dual and tri-motor models will likely cost in the $60,000 to $80,000 range. For comparison, the starting price for the Ford F-150 Lightning currently starts at $52,000 while Rivian raised prices for its quad-motor R1T pickup last year from $67,500 to $79,500.

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Tesla Cybertruck Price

Tesla has previously touted the stainless steel exterior as being resistant to dents and corrosion, while Musk said the Cybertruck will be bulletproof and that Tesla has shot it in tests. It will also have “armor glass” that was famously broken on a prototype Cybertruck at its November 2019 announcement event during a demonstration gone awry.

Musk has said Tesla aims to make 200,000 units of its Cybertruck per year. He had previously said it has the capacity to make over 125,000 Cybertrucks annually and that there is the potential to lift that total to 250,000 in 2025. It’s unclear how many Cybertrucks will be part of the first batch delivered or subsequent deliveries into early 2024.

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During a Tesla earnings call in October, Musk said he wants to “temper expectations” around the Cybertruck even as he thinks it’s “our best product ever.”

“I do want to emphasize that there will be enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertruck and then in making a Cybertruck cash flow positive,” Musk said. “This is simply normal when you’ve got a product with a lot of new technology, or for any new vehicle program but especially for one that is as different and advanced as the Cybertruck, you will have problems proportionate to how many new things you’re trying to solve at scale.”

“It’s a great product, but financially it will take – I don’t know – a year to 18 months before it is a significant positive cash flow contributor. I wish there was some way for that to be different, but that’s my best guess,” he explained. “The demand is off the charts, we have over a million people who have reserved the car. So it’s not a demand issue, but we have to make it, and we need to make it at a price people can afford. Insanely difficult things.”

The public will be able to livestream Tesla’s Cybertruck reveal event in Texas on Musk’s X platform, formerly Twitter, and the event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Central Time. The company’s shareholders of record were given the opportunity to enter a drawing for an opportunity to attend the event in person, although that window closed last week.

FOX Business’ Joe Toppe contributed to this report.

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