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What the heck is going on with the Tesla Cybertruck?

tesla cybertruck
(Image credit: Tesla)

Elon Musk’s pet project, the Telsa Cybertruck, may have just suffered another delay. Originally slated for launch late last year, last August saw the automaker delay the truck until late 2022. Now it looks like that launch window isn’t guaranteed.

Tesla has removed the 2022 launch estimate from the Cybertruck order page. That suggests that the automaker isn’t sure whether the car will arrive before the end of the year. Pre-orders are still open, though some people will likely think twice about handing over a deposit with no guaranteed delivery window. Even if it is fully refundable.

The original Cybertruck delay wasn’t a huge surprise. There had been rumors that a delay was going to happen in the weeks leading up to the official announcement, and the company dodged questions about the Cybertruck production schedule during its Q2 earnings call.

As far as we know, production is set to take place at Tesla’s gigafactory in Austin, Texas, but the company has made it clear for a while that production of the Model Y would be taking priority. Model Y production has yet to commence, but it is rumored to be kicking off in the next couple of weeks. 

However, the Model Y isn’t the only thing standing in the way of Cybertruck production. The truck’s unique design, which comes from its steel exo-skeleton frame, requires an all new casting process that needed time to be finalized. 

Last August, CEO0 Elon Musk also claimed shortages of 4680 battery cells meant that it would be impossible to make the Cybertruck cost effective at the time. If he’s to be believed, the Cybertruck would have cost “a million dollars a piece” had production began last summer.

Tesla is also not immune to supply chain issues that have plagued the automotive industry. Last year the automaker started shipping certain cars without certain components, including USB-C ports and wireless chargers. This was likely only the tip of the iceberg, and it could well be that the supply chain is one more obstacle the Cybertruck has to overcome.

We’re going to have to wait and see what happens, and whether Tesla makes any formal announcements about the Cybertruck’s fate. Thankfully the company’s Q4 2021 earnings call is scheduled to take place on January 26, and an updated roadmap has already been promised. No doubt the Cybertruck will be one of the key topics of discussion.

Tesla is no stranger to delays, however, and given Musk’s enthusiasm for the bizarrely-shaped truck, I have no doubt that the Cybertruck will hit the roads. It’s just a matter of when.

However, every delay just gives rival electric trucks, including the Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning, more time to flourish.

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.