We’re fast approaching the two-year anniversary of Tesla’s Cybertruck reveal. If that infamous event, when Elon Musk presented his simultaneously titillating and confounding geometric electric truck to the world, feels like it was just yesterday, we have a clue as to why.
For the last 21 months, our collective news feed has been fed a steady stream of stories about Elon Musk’s futuristic pickup. In the last 30 days alone, we’ve heard that the controversial yoke-style steering wheel currently seen on the redesigned Model S may carry over to the pickup, a new patent application suggests the windshield glass may feature futuristic laser styling, and apparently a company selling Cybertruck camper attachments has hit $80 million in preorders. To repeat: there are $80 million in preorders for a product that does not exist which will be fitted to a truck that also does not yet exist.
At the reveal, Tesla said production would begin in 2021. Delays have been rumored for a while, but the company recently confirmed them as truth: 2022 is the new goal, though a more specific date has not been nailed down. Will it ever be? After all, Musk has gone on record saying his “fallback strategy” is to build a “normal truck” if the Cybertruck doesn’t pan out.
I for one do think the Cybertruck will make it to production — it would be folly to scrap it at this point — but I’m not holding my breath for 2022, especially considering Musk has prioritized the Model Y SUV in Tesla’s new Austin factory over the pickup, and considering, well, the general history of EV trucks. What I cannot abide is the speculative Cybertruck discourse continuing at this rate unabated when, for all intents and purposes, we have no clue when this thing will actually be built.
In short, I’m calling for an immediate moratorium on all news related to the Cybertruck — that is, until we get a firm release date (as in day, date and time) or the first one comes off the production line. Whichever comes first.
Don’t worry, I haven’t made it to Jim Cramer’s level quite yet. Earlier this week the Mad Money host predicted the electric Cybertruck would be Elon Musk’s “first disaster,” calling the angular stainless-steel truck an “eyesore.” “It’s just an ugly thing,” he said, after mentioning he’s seen one in real life. He then proceeded to hold his head in his hands and chuckle in disbelief. His advice: “Go buy an F-150 [Lightning].”
It’s not that I similarly prefer the Lightning over the Cybertruck, or Ford over Tesla in general (though I do think the former is going to win the EV truck war, at least at first). It’s just that when we talk about Elon Musk’s pickup, what we’re essentially talking about is the flying car, a tantalizing idea that has captivated the minds of the masses but has until now been more fantasy than reality.
But fantasies, when they reach a certain threshold, cannot be discounted, and the Cybertruck is on the way to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang status if a fan-sourced reservation tracker is to be believed; it currently puts the number of reservations for the electric truck at 1.3 million, though we can’t verify those numbers. With an invested following like that, not to mention the dedicated Tesla fanbase drawn in by its legendary stock market runs, it’s no wonder that Cybertruck news continues to be published and gobbled up at an alarming rate.
Things don’t have to be this way. If you are a person who would like to reclaim your time in the future, go ahead and skip over any Cybertruck news you come across. I will dutifully continue to report on any vital updates out of professional obligation, but you, dear reader, should do what I cannot: live in the real world where real vehicles exist and real people drive them.
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