You may not believe it, but Tesla has just announced that the first Cybertruck electric pickup has been built at Gigafactory Texas.
The automaker took to Twitter to make the announcement. "First Cybertruck built at Giga Texas!" reads the tweet, which is accompanied by a photo that shows enthusiastic factory workers posing for the camera with the first production Cybertruck in their midst. Elon Musk retweeted Tesla's announcement on his profile, writing "Congrats Tesla Team!"
We can't see much of the vehicle because it's surrounded by people, with the only visible bits being the glass roof, windshield with the massive wiper resting on the left side, truck bed, and side windows. From what we can see, though, the truck looks pretty much like the latest prototypes spotted on many occasions in recent weeks.
This is obviously a great moment for Tesla and the Gigafactory Texas team, as it marks the start of production of the brand's fifth production passenger car three and a half years after the EV maker began producing its fourth vehicle, the Model Y, in January 2020.
This is arguably a bigger moment than that because of several reasons, the main one being the fact the Cybertruck is, well, a pickup truck, which is the most popular type of vehicle in America. Its success is almost guaranteed, as long as Tesla is able to build as many units as possible in as short a time as possible.
In May, Elon Musk estimated that Tesla could sell between 250,000 and 500,000 Cybertrucks a year when production reaches full pace. "We'll make as many as people want and can afford," Tesla's CEO said, adding that it will be hard to make the cost affordable since the Cybertruck is a new car with a new manufacturing method – i.e. the exoskeleton made of Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel.
Then there's the polarizing design of the Cybertruck, which looks like no other Tesla – and no other vehicle on the road for that matter. Like it or not, the Cybertruck is impossible to ignore and will probably be the most photographed vehicle on the streets when deliveries begin, creating a lot of buzz for Tesla.
Speaking of deliveries, Elon Musk said in April that the Cybertruck handover event would take place toward "the end of the third quarter," which likely means September 2023. Assuming it's a production-spec model, the first Cybertruck made will probably be among the vehicles delivered to customers at the upcoming event.
However, as Model Y handover events hosted at Giga Berlin and Giga Texas have shown last year, we shouldn't expect Tesla to deliver more than a small number of Cybertrucks to customers – most likely Tesla insiders – at the event. Production is only beginning, and Elon Musk has warned that the Cybertruck ramp will be the most difficult and longest yet.
The executive previously said that initial Cybertruck production would start in summer 2023 and that volume production would follow in 2024, with the output expected to be limited until then. "This was a tough product to design and even tougher to build," Musk tweeted in May.
Finally, the start of Cybertruck production is a very big deal in light of the record number of reservations the company has. As of November 2022, Tesla Cybertruck preorders were claimed to surpass 1.6 million, according to a crowdsourced reservation tracker. Obviously, that doesn't mean Tesla has 1.6 million sales in the bag, but still, demand is there for the Cybertruck – lots of it.