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Tesla Finally Gives a Cybertruck Release Date: November 30

It’s coming. Probably.

A Tesla Cybertruck.
Heatmap Illustration/Tesla

Tesla’s electric Cybertruck might actually hit the roads before the end of the year.

The automaker will deliver its first pickup trucks on November 30, it announced today, amid a disappointing set of financial earnings that saw its sales rise but profits fall.

“I’ve driven the car — it’s an amazing product,” Elon Musk said on Wednesday evening. “But I do want to temper expectations for Cybertruck,” he added, warning that production of the vehicle will take at least 18 months to scale. “While I think this is potentially our best product ever, I think this is going to require immense work to reach volume production and be cashflow-positive at a price that people can afford,” he said.

The delivery will (probably) end a chapter of the Tesla-made pickup’s nearly decade-long odyssey to market. As early as January 2014, Musk expressed interest in selling an all-electric pickup. Two years later, he mentioned a pickup in the company’s master plan, before teasing the truck again in early 2019.

Musk finally unveiled the Cybertruck in November of that year — you might remember him accidentally smashing the truck’s window when trying to demonstrate its shatterproof glass — and he promised to deliver the first vehicles by 2021. But the stainless-steel-clad pickup faced supply chain and scaling issues, and its debut was kicked to 2022 … and then to early 2023 … before getting delayed again to late 2023. We’ll see next month whether the automaker can hit this final deadline; in the meantime, Ford beat Tesla to market with an all-electric pickup, and Musk bought a social network.

Setting aside its production delays and Pokemon-like geometry, the Cybertruck may help the broader car industry better understand the contours of the electric-pickup market. Ford, GM, and other automakers have slowed down their EV pickup build-outs after initially embracing the body type. Tesla says that nearly two million people have paid $150 to “preorder” the Cybertruck, but it has yet to announce a price for the vehicle, and Musk sounded uncharacteristically daunted on Wednesday by how challenging its scale-up might be. Now we’ll see whether customer interest for the Cybertruck translates into actual demand — and whether America’s most famous electric automaker can produce, and sell, America’s most iconic type of vehicle.

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Robinson Meyer

Robinson is the founding executive editor of Heatmap. He was previously a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covered climate change, energy, and technology. Read More

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