Electric trucks are starting to emerge in the market with the Rivian R1T upcoming launch and the latest F-150 Lightning unveiling. So, it’s no surprise that Tesla made official contact with Cybertruck reservation-holders. It’s been confirmed that the US auto manufacturer sent the following message:
“Hello from Tesla! Congratulations on taking the first step to becoming a Tesla Owner! The Cybertruck will start production in late 2021 and will be an exciting time for everyone. We have exciting news! We opened a new location in Fort Myers! Since the Cybertruck has yet to be released, we would like to extend an invitation to test drive a Model that is currently available. We have the Model 3 and Y available for test driving.”
A few weeks ago, we reported that the Tesla Technoking was driving around Giga Texas in its all-electric Cybertruck prototype prompting Tesla fans to ask when the new model is expected to come to market.
Back in March, Twitter user and investor, Gary Black asked Musk, “any update on Cybertruck first delivery date, cool features or options? Patiently waiting. $tsla” and he got a swift response: “Update probably in Q2. Cybertruck will be built at Giga Texas, so focus right now is on getting that beast built.”
Now, Tesla has made sure all those waiting in the queue to get a Cybertruck have been notified.
Currently, Tesla is focusing more on the Model Y and Model 3 with the Model Y set to be produced in the Gigafactory in Texas when the facility is operational. These new Models will arrive with the new 4680 battery cells. Musk made the announcement when asked by WholeMarsBlog on Twitter: “will Austin start by producing 2170 Model Y? or jump straight to 4680? saw some huge front castings in austin on YouTube”. Musk’s short and sweet reply was 4680.
There are two battery options, the cylindrical 2170 type, which is used in Fremont and in China, and the all-new cylindrical 4680 type, which is under development.
This is an important update straight from the Technoking. At first, the supply of the 4680 cells are expected to be limited but still great news that the Model Y will be equipped with the latest technology right off the bat. However, it is not known how or if this will affect range, price, or performance. Although, on range and performance, Musk wouldn’t compromise on what the current Model Y offers. It could only be better.
It is assumed that there will only be one version of the Made-in-Texas Model Y and possibly pricier (especially if better) than the current one. Then of course there’s the Cybertruck set for production at Giga Texas that will also have the 4680 cells. Additionally, the Model Y that will be produced in Germany, as well as the Tesla Semi and Roadster are also expected to be shipped with the latest battery technology.
The new cells are not just from a change to the size of the cells. Much like the way Tesla has worked on rewriting its Autopilot to develop FSD Beta, the 4680 cells were a significant rewrite of the history of battery cells at Tesla.
As a result, the new 4680 tabless cylindrical battery cell format brings huge benefits in performance and manufacturing. Named because of their size, the cells are 46 mm in diameter and 80 mm in height. It can hold more active battery material into the casing for a 5x improvement in energy storage and a 6x increase in power. This should deliver an increased range of at least 16%.
The impact in manufacturing is also considerable. Because of its tabless design, it eliminates any pause on the production lines to add the tabs. It will enable a smoother manufacturing line less prone to manufacturing defects. Musk did say that initially there will be some kinks to iron when they get production rolling, but as with anything new, it can only be expected.