The Tesla Cybertruck generated a ton of media attention upon its debut in 2019, mostly to its strange exterior styling, but also in part due to its low starting price of $39,900. While the Cybertruck’s sci-fi-inspired looks will carry over to the production model, the enticing sub-$40,000 starting price will not.
During a Q&A session held during the automaker’s shareholders’ meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was asked about the pricing of the Cybertruck and if it will still start at $39,900 as initially promised. The outspoken executive confirmed the pickup’s “specs and pricing will be different,” than what was divulged in 2019, before saying he hates “to sort of give a little bit of bad news.”
The Cybertruck’s $39,900 base price would have applied to the single motor, rear-wheel-drive model only. The dual-motor AWD version of the truck was set to be priced from $49,900, while the range-topping tri-motor version started at $69,900. This pricing structure was considered to be a bargain in 2019, so it’s unsurprising to see Tesla apply new prices given the inflation-related challenges many automakers are currently facing.
Tesla’s decision to go back on its sub-$40k base price is interesting given that both Chevy and Ford appeared to have followed its lead with pricing for their respective battery-electric trucks. Pricing for the Chevy Silverado EV in the base WT trim level will start at $39,900, while the Ford F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974.
Tesla had initially said the Cybertruck would begin rolling off the assembly line in late 2021, with the range-topping tri-motor version arriving in late 2022. Musk now says the company is targeting a production start of mid-2023 following years of delays, some of which were related to the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor chip shortage. Production of the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV will begin in early 2023, while production of the automaker’s first new EV truck, the GMC Hummer EV Pickup, began late last year.