February 6, 2023

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EV pickup visionary Tesla now trails the pack with Cybertruck, but Elon Musk confirms progress

Tesla was also early to recognize the market for a mass-produced pickup to accelerate EV adoption and excite younger, tech-focused buyers.

When the Cybertruck was revealed in 2019, Musk promised production by 2021, beating rivals. In March of this year, Musk said Tesla plans to finish development of the pickup this year and start production in 2023.

Meanwhile, Ford said it delivered 201 Lightnings to dealers in May. Rivian had 1,145 R1T registrations in the first four months of the year, according to Experian, and GMC had 159 through April. Rivian and GMC don’t report monthly sales.

Ford has even ribbed Tesla fans by including a charging adapter for early Lightning buyers that allows the pickup to use its battery to charge a stranded Tesla. Also, one of the first Lightnings delivered went to a customer who canceled his Cybertruck order since the Ford EV arrived first.

For now, Tesla fans are hanging on Musk’s every word about Cybertruck development, confident that Tesla’s EV leadership will produce a superior vehicle that’s worth the wait.

On Twitter, Musk responded with the comment “Cybertruck body” below a video of Idra’s NEO 9000 Giga Press being assembled in Italy. And in response to a video of the Cybertruck prototype in California, he wrote, “It will be our best product ever imo,” meaning “in my opinion.”

The prototype appeared at a Pacific Gas and Electric event to mark the installation of Tesla Megapack batteries at a renewable energy facility in Moss Landing, Calif.

Photographers were able to take images of the truck’s interior, which takes cues from current Tesla vehicles. The prototype had the yoke-style steering wheel now standard in the freshened Tesla Model S and X, along with a large center screen and instrument cluster that mimic those vehicles.

YouTube content creator Ryan Shaw, who presents Tesla news and commentary to his 182,000 subscribers, said earlier prototypes omitted the instrument cluster. That had sparked some guessing since Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y have only the center screen and not the instrument panel.

“Lots could change before the final version of the Cybertruck comes out for real, but it seems very, very likely that this is the current prototype they are going with, and by the time the Cybertruck launches, it will have both displays,” Shaw said in his video last week.

Other new prototype details include a smaller, single windshield wiper and a center console between the front seats similar to other Tesla vehicles.