As it turns out, that $39,000 Cybertruck will arrive last instead of first

When Tesla launced the Cybertruck, we were promsied that the two cheaper versions – the single motor, $39,900 model and the dual-motor $49,900 model – would go into prodution in late 2021 while the more expensive tri-motor model with the Tesla Plaid drivetrain would arrive to the production line in late 2022. Now, Tesla has doubled back on its word and will delay the cheapest model until late 2021 so that the more expensive tri-motor Plaid model will enter production earlier.

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

Tesla Just Broke Its Promise on Cybertruck Production and We're Not Surprised One Bit Exterior
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Tesla has a history of running production on the most expensive models first, so it was a big surprise when Musk said the cheapest, single-motor Cybertruck would be the first to production along with the dual-motor model, in “late 2021.” The performance, Plaid-driven, tri-motor cybertruck wasn’t expected to hit production until late 2022.

Now that pre-orders have been pouring in like crazy, Tesla has updated the production timeline.

Here’s a breakdown from the pre-order page:

Tesla Just Broke Its Promise on Cybertruck Production and We're Not Surprised One Bit Exterior
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  • Single Motor RWD: “Fully refundable. You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in late 2021. Single Motor RWD production is expected to begin in late 2022.
  • Dual Motor AWD: “Fully refundable. You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in late 2021. Dual Motor AWD production is expected in late 2021.”
  • Tri Motor AWD: “Fully refundable. You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in late 2021. Tri Motor AWD production is expected in late 2021.”
As you can see, the The tri-motor model will now enter production in “late 2021” while the single motor will now be the last to enter production.

So, if you’ve ordered a base-model Cybertruck, you probably won’t take delivery until at least 2023, at the earliest. Bummer, huh?

2021 Tesla Cybertruck specifications
Single-motor RWD Dual-motor AWD Tri-motor AWD
Horsepower: >400 HP 690 HP 800 HP
Torque: TBA 824 LB-FT 1,000 LB-FT
Range: 250+ miles 300+ miles 500+ miles
0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds 4.5 seconds 2.9 seconds
Top Speed: 110 mph 120 mph 130 mph
Payload Capacity: 3,500 pounds 3,500 pounds 3,500 pounds
Towing Capacity: 7,500 pounds 10,000 pounds 14,000 pounds

Why Did Tesla Revise the Cybertrucks Production Schedule?

Tesla Just Broke Its Promise on Cybertruck Production and We're Not Surprised One Bit Exterior
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There may be a good reason for accelerating production of the range-topping Cybertruck and Delaying the base model. When giving the first pre-order count, Elon Musk said that only 17-percent of reservation holders went for the single motor option, while 42-percent went for the dual-motor option, and 41-percent went for the Plaid-powered tri-motor option. So, in this case, Tesla is sacrificing the wants of the few to better serve the desires of the many, so to speak.

Final Thoughts

Tesla Just Broke Its Promise on Cybertruck Production and We're Not Surprised One Bit Exterior
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I’ve already seen social media posts bashing Musk and Tesla for the timeline change, but this time it really doesn’t seem like it’s just an attempt to make more money of the most expensive versions of the truck. Sure, there’s a better chance for profitability in producing the $50,000 dual-motor truck and the range-topping Tri-Motor truck, but it’s not that cut and dry. Chances of profitability on the Cybertruck are low to begin with because it’s an all-new design platform and body that requires an all-new manufacturing method. The other thing you’re forgetting is that the two higher-trimmed models will require a lot more battery cells, and that in itself will create a completely different problem for Tesla.

2021 Tesla Cybertruck prices
Tesla Cybertruck Single Motor RWD $39,900
Tesla Cybertruck Dual Motor AWD $49,900
Tesla Cybertruck Tri Motor AWD $69,900
Tesla Just Broke Its Promise on Cybertruck Production and We're Not Surprised One Bit Exterior
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Regardless of where you stand on the production shuffle, you have to admit that it’s going to be interesting to see how things actually play out over the next few years. Musk is known for being overly optimistic about production time tables and even specifications (we’re still waiting on a response for what happened with that 300,000-pound towing capacity.) So, a betting man probably wouldn’t be too far on the side of wrong for betting that production for one or all of these models will be pushed back even further in the future. And, don’t forget about the perfecting of a new production and manufacturing process, solving the armored glass situation, making the Cybertruck production ready (what we saw at the debut was a prototype,) and – probably – financial and supply issues along the way. This might turn out to be better than reality television.

Source: Tesla

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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