Cybertruck is facing yet more possible delays

Max McDee, 11 March 2023

Tesla is adamant the Cybertruck will be launched this year whatever the future brings. As much as we would love to finally see Tesla’s first electric pickup truck hitting the road, it looks more likely the truck will hit yet another wall.

Production ready Cybertruck Production ready Cybertruck

The Cybertruck has been delayed due to many factors - there was Covid and resulting supply chain issues, the truck is made from stainless steel and the material caused a lot of issues during production. Tesla managed to overcome all of those obstacles but the final one still stands.

The technology Tesla credits with the potential of halving the battery production costs is still causing massive problems for the company. The battery cell known as 4680 has been nothing but a massive headache and despite being in development for a very long time, it is still nowhere near being a finished product.

Cybertruck is facing yet more possible delays

The 4680 cell is a structural battery and is essential for the production of the Cybertruck. Although Tesla managed to nail the process of drycoting of the cathode, the same process for the anode still eludes the engineers. It means the battery energy density is nowhere near the expected levels which leaves mass production out of the question.

According to analysts from Morgan Stanley, the issues with the 4680 battery cell may force Tesla to cut down on expected production numbers with no more than 50,000 vehicles to be made this year. Even those numbers heavily depend on the company being able to deliver enough batteries.

New look steering wheel - neither yoke or a wheel New look steering wheel - neither yoke or a wheel

A recent report from Reuters claims Tesla is already hedging its bets against the battery production issues, and is looking for outside help in a desperate move to deliver the Cybertruck to the waiting customers. The company signed contracts with two Chinese battery suppliers - Ningbo Ronbay New Energy and Suzhou Dongshan Precision Manufacturing - to help it cut the manufacturing costs and speed up the production.

On top of that, Tesla hired Korea’s L&F Co to supply it with the high-nickel cathodes which should help address the energy density issues with the 4680 battery cells. To round up the help hired by Tesla we have the Korean LG Energy Solutions and the Japanese Panasonic stepping in to make sure Tesla can salvage as much as possible from the Cybertruck project.

Cybertruck is facing yet more possible delays

On the one hand, all that help means Tesla may have a chance of starting limited production this year, with a smidgen of hope remaining for the mass production to start in 2024. On the other hand, it means the company realized the 4680 battery cell technology needs far more work than it is willing to publicly admit. There is no denying the 4680 will revolutionize the battery market, but getting it to the market is proving very difficult.

What does it mean for Cybertruck order holders? It means a very long wait. In the best scenario, Tesla, with the help of Chinese, Korean and Japanese suppliers, will deliver 50,000 Cybertrucks this year. That will leave about 1.5 million customers still waiting.

Cybertruck is facing yet more possible delays

The hope is the company can achieve a breakthrough in the 4680 cell manufacturing and ramp up production but even if that happens, it will be years before Cybertruck becomes readily available. Some analysts claim this will never happen and the futuristic truck from Tesla will remain a niche and low volume vehicle - let’s hope they’re wrong.



Reader comments

Man i wouldnt buy even if i will ahve nothing to do with money and being under drugs and tottaly drunk. Rather will buy a moped or a scooter. Even a bike is more vise option.

  • Trb

Believe it or not, there are people who don't give a hoot about the looks of a vehicle. Practical people who aren't vain, brand queens.

I really wonder who in the world which havetn defective rbain or brain cancer would buy this horrid car tragedy. Among all bad looking cars this is the most ugly ever made. I wouldnt get one even if Elon will pay me 100 million euros monthly fo...



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