Cast your mind back to late November 2019, when the world was unknowingly recording its first COVID-19 cases. Seems like a long, long time ago, right? Well, the same period also included the reveal of an all-electric full-size pick-up that still hasn’t entered production.
Yep, two years on and the divisive Tesla Cybertruck still seems as futuristic as it did when it debuted.
To be fair, though, Tesla did say at the time it would take about two years for Cybertruck production to start, but we’re now in late November 2021 and it seemingly won’t be coming to fruition for a while longer.
Now, there are several reasons why the Cybertruck isn’t in series production yet, with the prominent semiconductor shortage and question marks hanging over battery availability among them, but Tesla has been typically quiet on the topic since its unveiling.
Of course, the Cybertruck isn’t even Tesla’s most delayed upcoming model, with both the second-generation Roadster sports car and all-new Semi truck revealed in prototype form in late November 2017 – two years before the Cybertruck made its debut.
But the Cybertruck means more things to more people and, therefore, has huge sales potential as full-size pick-ups go all-electric in droves.
Speaking of which, the Rivian R1T recently became the first all-electric full-size pick-up to enter production, just ahead of the Ford F-150 Lightning, with both models shaping up as the most serious Cybertruck competitors.
So, when will the Cybertruck actually start series production? A few months ago, Tesla claimed it’s now on track for late 2022, with it set to roll off at the new line in Austin, Texas.
Needless to say, that timing needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but Tesla said then the Cybertruck would move into the beta phase of its development “later this year”, but whether that means we see an updated version soon remains to be seen.
As reported, the Cybertruck that was unveiled two years ago was a prototype, so changes are likely, although their significance is not yet known – but you can get bet on windshield wipers and side mirrors being added.
Which brings us to arguably the biggest question of all: which markets will Tesla be able to sell the Cybertruck in?
If the Cybertruck’s design doesn’t evolve in the beta phase, then it risks running afoul of local regulations, including in Australia, where ADRs (Australian Design Rules) are among the strictest in the world.
Even Tesla boss Elon Musk admitted in an August 2020 interview with Automotive News that the Cybertruck was unlikely to be sold outside of its target market of North America due to regulation challenges elsewhere.
So, why does Tesla Australia continue to take pre-orders (with a fully refundable $150 deposit) for the Cybertruck on its website? Clearly, there’s some hope it will receive ADR approval eventually – but, as always, time will tell.