Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup set for 2022 production

Tesla unveiled its Cybertruck electric pickup in November 2019, but production is now not expected to begin until sometime in 2022 at the earliest

Tesla Cybertruck

The eagerly awaited Tesla Cybertruck pickup was revealed by company CEO Elon Musk at an event in Los Angeles in November 2019, but it looks set to be 2022 at the earliest before the model enters production. In January 2021, Musk revealed that although development and design had been completed, delays in battery-cell production were holding up the truck's debut.

July 2021 saw Tesla confirm that it would be prioritising a ramp-up in production of its Tesla Model Y family SUV – likely to sell in much bigger numbers than the Cybertruck – before turning its attention to making the futuristically styled pickup. That makes a target date of late 2021 for getting the very first Cybertrucks into customer hands now seem unlikely.

When it does eventually enter production, the Tesla pickup – which Musk has described as "looking like something out of Blade Runner" with its radical, angular lines – will face competition from fellow US-based electric truck contenders the Rivian R1T and Bollinger B2, as well as the more recently unveiled Ford F-150 Lightning.

The Cybertruck is what's referred to in the US as a ‘full-size’ pickup: that means it'll be much bigger than the likes of the Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi L200 that dominate the market in the UK. It measures 5.9 metres long, two metres wide and 1.9 metres high. There's seating for six inside and the load bed is 1.9 metres long. A lockable storage area – referred to as the 'Cybertruck Vault' – gives 2.8 cubic metres of secure storage, while the exterior of the truck is made of cold-rolled stainless steel, which Musk says will not scratch or dent.

Tesla Cybertruck price, range, performance and payload

The Cybertruck is based on the same platform as the Tesla Model X, but as it's a bigger vehicle, it's able to use bigger batteries. Three variants are planned: Single Motor Rear-Wheel Drive, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive and Tri Motor All-Wheel Drive, priced at $39,900, $49,900 and $69,900 respectively (approximately £30,000, £38,000 and £54,000 at the time of writing).

The single-motor truck will have a range of 250 miles, go from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 110mph. The dual-motor can go for 300 miles, accelerates from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and tops out at 120mph. For the range-topping tri-motor, acceleration from 0-60mph takes just 2.9 seconds, with top speed pegged at 130mph.

All three variants will be capable of carrying a near-1,600kg payload, while tow ratings are 3,500kg for the single-motor, 4,500kg for the dual motor and 6,350kg for the tri-motor. All versions of the Cybertruck will come with self-levelling air suspension as standard, in order to aid stability whether unloaded or fully loaded. Among the features touted by Musk at the truck's launch was armoured glass, however this seemed to fail in a live demonstration at the event, shattering in a spiderweb fashion, prompting Musk to comment that there was "room for improvement".

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