Tesla boss Elon Musk has taken to X (formerly Twitter) to confirm that the first deliveries of its wild new Cybertruck will take place this Friday morning, Sydney time.
In one of the most hotly anticipated car launches in memory, Tesla is expected to deliver cars to ten customers in a livestreamed event at its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.
The stainless-steel clad Cybertruck, which stunned the automotive world when first unveiled in 2019, has been plagued by production delays.
It was originally scheduled to launch late in 2021 and the company has been taking refundable deposits of $US100 ($150) for the past four years.
Musk claims more than a million prospective buyers have lodged deposits and it could take five years to clear the backlog of orders.
Despite the imminent deliveries, very little is confirmed about the Cybertruck, including its final price, range, power outputs and towing capacity.
Initially Tesla said the cheapest model would have a range of 400km, while the range-topper could have double that.
The payload and towing claims are rumoured to be impressive, at close to 1600kg and 5000kg. Australia’s top-selling Toyota HiLux can tow just 3500kg.
At the unveiling of the prototype in 2019, Tesla claimed the fastest versions would reach 100km/h in a supercar-rivalling 2.9 seconds.
But that claim was later removed from the Tesla website.
The Cybertruck has also suffered from bad publicity in recent weeks, as critics have taken aim at the poor build quality of prototype vehicles undergoing testing on public roads.
Australians are unlikely to see the Cybertruck any time before 2027, as the vehicle in its current form is unlikely to meet Australian design rules.
The company originally took orders from prospective Australian customers, but removed the ordering function from its local website in May last year, a move many interpreted as confirmation it would no longer be exported here.
But it is believed the brand remains keen to make an Australian version happen eventually. That could mean exploring tweaks to the vehicle to make it compliant with local regulations.
It’s likely that when it arrives it will cost well into six figures, placing it in competition with big petrol and diesel-powered picks from RAM, General Motors, Ford and Toyota.
Tesla initially said Cybertruck prices would start at less than $US40,000 ($60,000), rising to $US60,000 ($90,000) for the most powerful, tri-motor version.
But prices are expected to have blown out since the delays and CEO Elon Musk has admitted it will be a costly vehicle.
There are reports that the most powerful, tri-motor version, could cost $US100,000 ($150,000).
At an investor briefing in May this year, Musk said price may be a barrier to sales.
“We don’t just need to ramp up production but we also need to improve the production cost efficiency which is also going to be a very hard thing,” he told investors.
“We’ll make as many as people want and can afford but it’s going to be hard to make the cost affordable because it is a new car and a new manufacturing method,” he said.
The Cybertruck also enters the market at a time when demand for electric vehicles has plateaued after an initial surge. Ford has cut back on production of the F150 Lightning after demand began to stall.
Originally published as Tesla Cybertruck delivery date confirmed