Tesla late on Wednesday held an event dubbed the Cyber Rodeo, to mark the official opening of its plant near Austin, Texas. Sporting a cowboy hat, CEO Elon Musk took to the stage and made some new claims about Tesla’s future plans.
Musk said the delayed Tesla Cybertruck, Roadster, and Semi would all start production in 2023. Tesla design boss Franz von Holzhausen drove a prototype Cybertruck on stage but, unlike during the pickup truck’s original 2019 unveiling, there were no broken windows this time.
Musk said during a January earnings call that Tesla wouldn’t launch any new vehicles in 2022, but at the time he didn’t confirm 2023 launch timing for the Cybertruck.
2020 Tesla Roadster
The Cybertruck was originally promised to arrive in late 2021 with a starting price of $39,900. In December 2021, Musk announced a four-motor variant that wasn’t part of the truck’s 2019 reveal. Tesla has removed the Cybertruck page from its website, so it’s unclear what the final lineup will look like.
The second-generation Roadster was unveiled in 2017 with a claimed 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds. Production was originally slated for 2020, and Tesla has been accepting reservations for the $200,000 standard version and $250,000 Founders Series since the reveal. The automaker asked for the full price of the Founders Series up front, and $50,000 to reserve a standard Roadster. Musk said in 2021 that production would likely be delayed to 2023.
Also announced in 2017, the Tesla Semi tractor truck was originally scheduled to start production in 2019. Several commercial fleet operators have expressed interest in testing the Semi, including Wal-Mart, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, UPS, and DHL. Both the Semi and Cybertruck are slated to be built at the Texas factory.
At the opening event, Musk also said the factory would build a futuristic-looking “robotaxi.” Musk has been promising self-driving Teslas since 2016, when he said the company’s driver-assist tech would eventually be developed to the point where owners could rent out their cars as robotaxis. Tesla currently offers its Full Self-Driving driver-assist package, but does not build self-driving cars.
In addition, Musk said Tesla’s previously announced humanoid robot could be ready for production next year. The company hasn’t shown any prototypes yet; the original 2021 presentation used an actor in a suit.
While all of these things are merely promises, Tesla also showed the first Model Y crossovers built at the Texas factory during the event. Musk said the factory is capable of building 500,000 vehicles per year once production is fully ramped up. In March, Tesla opened a similar sized plant located near Berlin, Germany, and there have been recent reports that Tesla is looking to double its Chinese capacity to almost one million vehicles by building a second plant in China.