Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) threw a grand party late Thursday to commemorate the opening of its Giga No. 4 – the Giga Texas factory. Key among the headlines emerging out of the event, named “Cyber Rodeo,” is the confirmation that the electric vehicle (EV) giant will finally begin production of its Cybertruck at the plant in 2023. The company also showed off the EV pickup truck to the 15,000-odd attendees who were part of the invite-only event.
As the Tesla Cybertruck prototype rolled onstage, Musk confirmed it is coming next year and also promised that it is “[going to] be great.” The product had some minor updates, such as the absence of door handles. Musk said the truck can sense the approach of people and it only needs to know that doors need to be opened. Some attendees who happened to see the Cybertruck from close quarters shared updates/standout features they spotted on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). One of them said the rear glass on the Cybertruck drops and it has a mid-gate.
Tesla Cybertruck: A Long Time Coming
Why is Tesla’s long-overdue product taking the spotlight? For the unversed, Cybertruck is Tesla’s all-electric pickup truck in the works. The company promotes the truck with the tagline “Better utility than a truck with more performance than a sports car.” It has a unique angular design and a stainless-steel exterior. The truck supposedly has a payload capacity of up to 3,500 pounds and 100 cubic feet of exterior lockable storage. The towing capacity is 14,000 pounds. In terms of performance, Tesla touts the Cybertruck as capable of accelerating from o to 60 miles per hours in 2.9 seconds and having a range of 500 miles.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the production start and delivery times, Tesla is already taking preorders with a $100 fully-refundable deposit. Tesla first announced the Cybertruck in 2019 and it was to come in three variants – a base rear-wheel drive model (RWD) trim, and dual-motor and tri-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) trims. The company originally communicated a production start timeline of late 2021 for the AWD models and late 2022 for the RWD model. The schedule was subsequently pushed back to 2022 and later to 2023.
Is the Cybertruck Driving Into a Crowded Field?
When Tesla’s Cybertruck finally makes it to the market, it will have to compete against the other EV trucks already on the market. Rivian (NASDAQ: RIVN) began selling its R1T EV pickup truck late last year. Legacy automaker Ford’s (NYSE:F) F-150 EV pickup truck is scheduled to begin deliveries by spring of 2022. General Motors (NYSE:GM) has its own version of an electric pickup truck in their Chevrolet Silverado. It is expected to release by spring of 2023.
Tesla, like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), is a disruptor and its competition is invariably with itself. The onus is now on the company to execute its strategy and roll out the Cybertruck without any further delay.
On the date of publication, Shanthi Rexaline did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.