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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.


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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What Do Rich Countries Owe Their Old Colonies? More Than Once Thought.

A new report from Carbon Brief shows how accounting for empires tips the historic emissions balance.

British colonialists in India.

The British pose in India.

Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

At the height of Britain’s power, it was said that the sun never set on its empire. The crown’s tendrils stretched around the world, with colonies on every continent but Antarctica — though I’m sure if there had been anybody around to subjugate on the ice, the crown would have happily set up shop there, too.

The British were not, of course, the only colonial power; many of their European brethren had empires of their own. All that colonization takes energy, and the days of empire were also, for the most part, the days of coal. But as countries around the world gained their independence, they also found themselves responsible for the historic emissions that came from their colonizers burning fossil fuels within their borders.

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