During the latest earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quoted as saying that if the company would try building the Cybertruck today, it would ‘ literally cost one million dollars a piece ‘ mainly because it can’t build enough 4680 battery cells. The Cybertruck (along with the Semi) will probably be pushed back to sometime in 2022, although nothing official has been announced in regard to this.
There is clearly buyer interest in the Cybertruck, as it has racked up well over one million pre-orders, so there is also motivation on Tesla’s side to try to stick to the announced schedule and get it to market. In the meantime, Tesla is focusing on ramping up Model Y production at its Giga Texas plant that’s being built in Austin, while also completing the factory itself.
The plan is to have the same facility ultimately also produce the Cybertruck, but right now, if the company were to start low volume production, the cost per unit would be way too high. Tesla surely won’t give up on the Cybertruck altogether, as Musk himself said that it would be the company’s best product ever, yet the Model Y with its broader appeal is still more important than either the pickup or the Semi - the Cybertruck is in an Alpha stage right now and Musk hopes to see it hit Beta in 2021.
Even so, the biggest hurdle is providing enough 4680 cells. These will ultimately end up being used in the Model Y (aside from the Cybertruck and Semi), as part of a structural battery pack that would eventually end up being cheaper and lighter too, but the company is having trouble producing them because, in Musk’s own words,
There is a tremendous amount of innovation that we’re packing into that 4680 cell. And so it’s not simply a sort of minor improvements on state of the art. And we went through this on the factory sell date, really dozens of, half a dozen major improvements and dozens of small improvements.