Among the many topics addressed by Elon Musk yesterday during Tesla's 2023 Annual Shareholders Meeting, the Cybertruck inevitably popped up.
As reservation holders and EV enthusiasts are waiting for initial production to start this summer at Gigafactory Texas, Elon Musk has provided an estimate of annual sales for the electric pickup truck.
He said he expects the Tesla Cybertruck to sell between 250,000 and 500,000 units per year once production is fully ramped, which is a huge number for an electric truck whichever way you look at it. For example, America's pickup truck sales leader, Ford, sold just over 653,000 F-Series trucks last year, including 15,617 of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup.
"I'd say a quarter million a year is a reasonable guess and it might be 500,000, I don't know. We'll make as many as people want and can afford. It's going to be hard to make the cost affordable because it is a new car, new manufacturing method, so in the grand scheme of things relative to the production rate of all the other cars we make, it will be small. But still very cool."
The part about the high production cost will probably worry many reservation holders because Musk seemed to suggest the Cybertruck will be an expensive vehicle.
While no one expects the Cybertruck to start at $40,000 as Tesla originally said in 2019 – Musk has since said the price would be higher – his statement above sounded like he is preparing customers for some significant hikes compared to the initial pricing.
Gallery: Tesla Cybertruck
He also said Tesla does not just have to ramp up production for the Cybertruck, it also needs to improve the production cost efficiency, which is going to be "also a very hard thing."
Tesla's most affordable vehicle is the base Model 3 sedan, which starts at $41,880 with shipping, while its most expensive is the Model X Plaid or Model S Plaid, each carrying a starting MSRP of $109,880.
Pricing aside, Musk said the Cybertruck will be better than expected and he plans on using one as a daily driver. "Cybertruck is the car I will be driving on a day-to-day basis […] I think the product is better than expectations," he noted.
Musk refrained from providing an exact production and delivery timelines for the Cybertruck, although he confirmed both manufacturing and deliveries will start this year.
"We'll start production later this year and we'll start handing over cars later this year," Musk said. Previously, Tesla's head honcho said a Cybertruck handover event would be held toward the end of the third quarter, which likely means September.
While the event will mark the start of deliveries, it will also provide reservation holders with a long-awaited update on the electric truck's specifications and pricing.