Leaked Tesla documents have provided new insights into the reasons behind the delay in the production of the highly anticipated Cybertruck. While Tesla CEO Elon Musk initially projected a late 2021 start for production, internal documents reveal that the company was still grappling with performance issues of a pre production “alpha” version of the truck as recently as January 2022, including problems with braking, body sealing, and suspension.
Despite the setbacks, over a million customers have reportedly placed a $100 deposit to reserve the Cybertruck since its controversial unveiling in 2019. During the unveiling event, Musk attempted to demonstrate the vehicle’s durability by smashing its windows with metal balls, which resulted in unexpected breakage. Although the Cybertruck may not become Tesla’s best-selling model, its eventual release will be seen as a significant achievement for a company that has not introduced a new consumer model since the 2020 launch of the Model Y.
The leaked documents, which were originally reported by German newspaper Handelsblatt, paint a picture of a tumultuous development process for the Cybertruck. The January 2022 prototype faced braking issues, such as excessive pedal travel, inconsistent stops, and problems with braking during turns. Furthermore, achieving effective sealing for the vehicle, a crucial aspect for maintaining weather resistance and cabin noise insulation, presented a significant challenge. The documents stated that there were unresolved issues in multiple sealing areas. Additionally, the prototype exhibited shortcomings in suspension performance, falling short of the desired targets.
The difficulties encountered in the development of the Cybertruck should not come as a surprise to those who have been closely following its progress. The truck’s polarizing design has attracted intense scrutiny, even for seemingly minor features like windshield wipers. Its angular stainless steel body, which sets it apart from traditional car manufacturers, brings both advantages and challenges. The New York Times highlights that stainless steel is costlier and heavier than the steel commonly used in the automotive industry, making it more expensive and difficult to shape and weld.
Despite these obstacles, Tesla, as the world’s most valuable automaker, possesses the financial resources to address these issues. Elon Musk has announced a Cybertruck delivery event scheduled for the third quarter of this year, with mass production expected to commence in 2024.