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Tesla Delays Cybertruck, Semi to Focus on Model Y Production

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【Summary】The launch of the highly anticipated electric pickup has been pushed back to 2022 because of supply chain issues and a limited supply of battery cells.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jul 31, 2021 7:45 AM PT
Tesla Delays Cybertruck, Semi to Focus on Model Y Production

Tesla unveiled the wonky Cybertruck in 2019 to a large amount of interest. The electric automaker was one of the first to reveal what appeared to be a production-ready electric pickup truck, beating traditional automakers like Ford and General Motors. At the time of the vehicle's introduction, Tesla claimed the pickup truck would go into production before the end of 2021. Unfortunately, Tesla's timelines tend to be unrealistic and it seems like the Cybertruck will continue to follow the automaker's trend of not being on schedule. Additionally, the all-electric Semi, which was first unveiled as a prototype in 2017, has also been delayed because of the same issues.

Delays Hit Upcoming EVs

As TechCrunch points out, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned about supply issues with batteries that could affect the Semi earlier. At the beginning of the year, Musk claimed that work on the Tesla Semi was complete with deliveries set to begin this year. At the time, he did state that battery supply issues could affect the automaker's ability to manufacture the Semi. It looks like the warning was warranted, as a shareholders' letter outlines why the Semi and Cybertruck are being delayed until 2022.

"We believe we remain on track to build our first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin in 2021. The pace of the respective production ramps will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new product and manufacturing technologies, ongoing supply-chain-related challenges and regional permitting.

To better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have shifted the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022. We are also making progress on the industrialization of Cybertruck, which is currently planned for Austin production subsequent to Model Y."

Additionally, TechCrunch reports that comments from Lars Moravy, vice president of vehicle engineering at Tesla, practically confirmed the Cybertruck delay while attempt to not confirm a delay.

Model Y Takes Priority

"Cybertruck is at a stage where we finished basic engineering of the architecture of the vehicle. With the Cybertruck, we are redefining how a vehicle is being made. As Elon said, it carries much of the structural pack and large casting design of the Model Y being built in Berlin and Austin," Moravy said. He added, "Obviously, those take priority over the Cybertruck, but we are moving into the beta phases of Cybertruck later this year and we will be looking to ramp up production at Giga Texas after Model Y is up and running."

Together, it certainly looks like increasing production of the Model Y takes priority over the Semi and Cybertruck. Currently, the Model 3 and Model Y are Tesla's most popular vehicles and are responsible for the majority of its sales. While the Cybertruck has garnered a lot of attention, getting that vehicle off the ground will be difficult for the brand. Musk claims that the new architecture found in the Cybertruck is going to be difficult for the automaker to ramp up since it's so different from the brand's other vehicles.

With the Cybertruck's delay, Ford, General Motors, and Rivian have all beat Tesla to the punch with their own respective electric trucks. Additionally, consumers looking for an affordable Cybertruck will be waiting a lot longer, as the automaker will be coming out with the most expensive tri-motor version before other variants.

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