By on April 8, 2022

Last night, Tesla held a “Cyber Rodeo” to celebrate the Gigafactory that’s opening in Austin, TX. The invitation-only event saw thousands of attendees, fireworks, a drone light show, Elon Musk in a cowboy hat, and a list of manufacturing promises so long that you almost have to believe that one of them will actually come true.

Among these were claims that Cybertruck would undoubtedly enter into production in 2023, along with the similarly delayed electric semi and Roadster. The CEO also touted Tesla’s often-criticized Full Self Driving (FSD) as poised to revolutionize the world after its public beta test is expanded later this year. Robotaxis are also said to be in the works and a humanoid robot, named Optimus, will help usher in “an age of abundance.” 

It’s a lot and would probably have really impressed us if we had not already learned to be highly skeptical of any promises issued by industry leadership. While no automaker can confidently be relied on to tell the whole truth, Tesla is infamous for shifting the goal post in terms of timing and often makes wild claims about its products to excite its acolytes. But it doesn’t seem to have hurt the company. Prolonged wait times only seem to make the masses hungrier and the rampant online speculation effectively serves as free advertising.

We may be able to follow companies to a point where we can point out every major indiscretion. But the rest of the public hasn’t the time, nor the interest, to mull over the shortcomings of FSD and whether or not Tesla’s business model is better or worse than what passes for standard with the rest of the industry. Warranted or not, the bottom line is that the automaker has the kind of profile legacy rivals clearly envy, and the company’s EVs account for roughly 80 percent of all purely electric vehicles that are currently registered in the United States.

The new factory in Austin serves as another tangible achievement for the brand. While the closed nature of the event means we’ll probably never know what type of hors d’oeuvres were served, we do know the Texas Gigafactory is something Elon Musk seems to be proud of.

“We are really entering a new phase of Tesla’s future,” the CEO told the crowd. “I can’t wait to see this baby in production, it’s going to be epic.”

With the primary vehicle factory in Fremont, California, battery facility in Sparks, Nevada, and solar factory in Buffalo, New York, this will be Tesla’s fourth production facility in North America. Musk stated that the new plant will lack some of the spatial restrictions of the overtaxed Fremont, allowing for larger vehicles to be manufactured. Production in Texas also means expanded capacity, with the company estimating 1.5 million units for 2022. That’s about 500,000 more than it managed to produce in 2021 and allegedly just the warm-up act.

The site actually started building Model Ys before the factory was even completed. But now that it’s officially open, Tesla plans to add the Model 3, Cybertruck, and all-electric semi-trucks. Situated on about 2,100 acres of land near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the manufacturer expects to hire up to 5,000 workers initially. But it’s expected that the plant will eventually see numbers rivaling Fremont once truck production begins.

For now, that’s estimated to take place sometime in 2023 — two years behind schedule.

As a consolation prize, Tesla said it would be hitting the gas on Full Self Driving by expanding the beta in 2022 and is working on a humanoid robot that would take whatever job flesh-and-blood people don’t want. Musk said the automaton would likely enter into production alongside Cybertruck next year. Formerly Tesla Bot, the project has been renamed Optimus and has been given heightened priority as a possible solution to labor shortages. Though some have suggested this may be a shrewd way of recruiting robotics and AI experts for its self-driving aspirations.

Riding on the same token will be those robotaxis automakers like to bring up every so often. Musk promised his would look quite futuristic and were still in active development. But that was the extent of the details Musk was willing to share. If any of the promises made at the Cyber Rodeo end up being swept under the rug, I would wager it would be the ones pertaining to robotics and AI.

But what do you think? Will 2023 be the year Tesla checks every single box and delivers on all promises or will this be another year of delayed gratification? Does that even matter for a brand that practically has the entire EV segment to itself?

[Image: Tesla]

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47 Comments on “Tesla CEO Says Cybertruck, Semis, & Robots Coming in 2023...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “a humanoid robot, named Optimus, will help usher in “an age of abundance.” ”

    And how!

    youtu.be/eiRSkB9gHps

  • avatar

    Why would this promise be any different than the other broken product promises over the past years?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      One reason (for production promises): Competition is already present, and Tesla can’t wait forever.

      As for FSD, that will never work or be released as Level 5. It’s a promise that cannot be fulfilled.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        as soon as planes move to 1 pilot, then maybe the tech is legit

        • 0 avatar
          redapple

          Passenger planes will never be 1 pilot. Never.
          ( See Germanwings )

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @redapple: Quite right – good example.

          • 0 avatar
            zerofoo

            I suspect what SCE to AUX is referring to is AI that is sufficiently capable to operate a car in any condition at a far safer level of safety than any human operator.

            Such AI would prevent an intentional downing of an aircraft.

            Is such AI possible? SCE to AUX does not appear to think so – and I agree with that assessment.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Yeah – I mean he is onl revolutionizing transport, built the largest and only profitable EV company, has 1 of only 2 objects that can take people into space and back, has a constellation of satellites that provide internet to the Ukrainian Army – what loser POS.

  • avatar
    GrayOne

    He still has the optimistic futurism of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, like when they assumed robots would be cleaning our houses and we’d have Pan Am flights to the moon by the year 2000.

    And that’s why I like him even though I know 75% of what he says is total bullshit.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Response to the headline: Marcia brady saying, “Sure, Jan.”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “claims that Cybertruck would undoubtedly enter into production in 2023, along with the similarly delayed electric semi and Roadster”

    I think the Cybertruck has been development heck. More than 1 exists now, anyway. But they’ll enter the consumer EV truck market with lots of competition, and I’m sure they’ve lost many reservations since Rivian, Ford, and GM are mostly here now.

    As for the Semi, that could be revolutionary. Walmart and Pepsi didn’t pre-order just for fun; those companies look to squeeze every penny out of S&H, which are non-value-add activities.

    “Prolonged wait times only seem to make the masses hungrier”

    Not me; I eventually cancelled my Model 3 reservation after waiting 2 years, and moved on to a different brand. Many others did the same.

    While it’s fun to criticize Tesla’s missed dates, they’re in the arena. How many EV plants and products do their competitors have again?

    GM built 457 EVs in Q1-2022. Tesla builds that many in 4 hours.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    They must have gotten the windshield wiper figured out on the cyber truck. I think that was the only thing holding up production. I think they’re going with the one big wiper theory.
    My prediction: all these things will be delayed again.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    I would absolutely buy a Tesla cybertruck. Musk gets it. If you make the infrastructure seamless it is game set match. Long Live Elon Musk.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Until Tesla improves their suspension refinement, all-screen ergonomics, interior materials, and exterior fit and finish, I’ll pass.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @MasterBaiter: I’d add to that the thing I’m most concerned about and that’s the post-sales service.

      • 0 avatar

        Postsale service will be SW/FW/FPGA update service pack. Hardware today is just another code.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          Well, when they can push a missing brake pad through the JTAG connector.. Actually a 3D printer and a brake pad material filament might work. Maybe the Tesla Robot could come to your house, poop out the parts, then install them?

          • 0 avatar

            You do not need brake pad. You can use electric motor to brake and regenerate energy at the same time. It is just a matter of programming. Or you can grow brake pads in place using genetic engineering i.e. code. You can send genetic code to other solar system using lasers and grow objects there including both cars and humans.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      To the one who masturbates a lot>>>
      I agree !

      I used to think Elon was a clown. Non serious man running various clown shows. I was wrong. He is a true innovator and game changer. I still dont like his way of self promotion ( smoking grass. taking TSLA private – funding secured. Cybertruck here next year (in 2019)).

      But Paypal, SpaceX and Tesla have changed the world. He s a billionaire who changed things for the better. Unlike colored air peddlers at tweeter, fckuface and so on. Actually bookface has done tremdous damage to the world.
      1 -millions of human hours wasted on this garbage.
      2- $435 Million dollars donated to a vote harvesting scheme that gave Bidet and Klamydia the Presidency.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      OK

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “…working on a humanoid robot that would take whatever job flesh-and-blood people don’t want.”

    Like talking to my ex-wife?

  • avatar
    redapple

    Tesla Tractor/semi.
    I am very very curious how they will solve the puzzle.
    You need a really heavy battery to pull 30,000 lbs 40,000, 60,000. It will weigh a LOT. This destroys payload.

    2 -And a battery that big will take 2 weeks to recharge.

    3- Cost? If my new Volvo VN Costs me $125,000 and lasts 1,000,000 miles. How will- How can a Tesla be more attractive?

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      If a Semi battery was 10X the size of the Model S battery, it would charge just as fast – you just need 10X the charging current. Although is practical use I don’t know that you’d need to “super” charge an electric semi. It’s definitely doable, it always has been, There’s a use case for an EV semi even if it won’t overlap perfectly with a convention diesel semi. It’s all about the Benjamin’s.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “You need a really heavy battery to pull 30,000 lbs 40,000, 60,000. It will weigh a LOT.”

      The new 4680 cells are quite a bit more energy-dense and lighter than the older cells. Plus, electric trucks are allowed more weight.

      The charging problem was solved. The charging connector is essentially multiple separate charging ports. They can use the new Tesla MegaChargers which are over 1MW. They’ve submitted the standard to CharIN which is the industry association behind the CCS standard.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The rough math say a battery 20X the weight or 20,000 lbs, using the Model 3 as an example, or 80K vs 4K

        Semi trucks usually do up to 700 miles a day (before the DOT required break) so 40X/40,000 lbs battery will be needed for the equivalent.

        Totally doable, and I see a split; 100,000 lbs limit instead of 80K (normal, no extra permits), 15K max lost in load including 4K for no diesel engine/misc/emissions and 1K for fuel.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          I wonder haw the math pencils out – in the end does the electric semi (charged with the generating mix we have today) produce less CO2 than a diesel version? A full “well to wheel” study that also takes into account how much product is shipped…if it does not what would be the point of doing this in the first place? Frankly we would be better off using rail to cover the really long distances but trucking is a hot button in the US and no, I’m not thinking about the dopey “freedom convoy” nonsense.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “using the Model 3 as an example,”

          You can’t use the Model 3 as an example. It has older technology heavier cells and a conventional battery pack. The Semi uses much lighter 4680 cells and might be using CTP technology. CATL’s CTP 3.0 technology is even lighter. In fact, CATL’s chief scientist is saying we’ll see 621 mile range EVs in 2023. Hyundai has licensed CTP 3.0.

          Battery tech is moving really fast. Defense is driving some of it, especially since lithium battery dependent weapons have been having tremendous success in the Ukraine/Russian war. If you have any kind of promising new battery or motor tech, you won’t have to wait long to hear the beep-beep-beep of the Pentagon money truck backing up to your loading dock.

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        This is a good point and one engineers have brought up for years whenever I ask about the feasibility of extremely large electric vehicles or all-electric semis. Their concerns usually flow out like this:

        1. Long-haul trucks would need exceptionally large batteries that add a massive amount of weight on top of whatever they’re pulling without some miraculous technological breakthrough — creating some efficiency problems in the interim.

        2. Such vehicles would also be totally ineffective trying to use the chargers that are currently available. There would need to be a global network of ultra-fast dedicated chargers to avoid crippling levels of downtime, which is why Tesla is working on the Megacharger. Grids would also need to be upgraded for the additional load, requiring plenty of supportive investments from the local communities.

        3. All-electric semis are assumed to consume the kind of energy per day that the average American household does in a full month. Without major improvements in both energy production and storage, electricity would get much more expensive wherever they’re fielded. This raises a lot of concerns about whether or not they’re actually going to benefit the environment or save consumers money in the long run.

        That’s not to suggest they might get there eventually, just that we’re probably nowhere near that point yet.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    “Tesla CEO Says Cybertruck, Semis, & Robots Coming in 2023”

    No they’re not.

    Next?

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know about semis and trucks but robots are certainly coming and not alone.

      Yesterday sitting in the traffic on Vineyard avenue (shooting on I-580) I saw 2(two) Mustang Mach Es 10 meters from each other. SO they are coming, the are coming.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        Tesla has a run rate of about 1.200,000 without the Austin and Berlin ramp up. After that they will have over 2,000,000. US legacy companies have maybe 50 – 60000 if you count Mexico, and might be at 150,000 by sometime in 2023. That’s the gap.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Cybertruck, semis, and robots Oh My! The wizard of EV has spoken. If I had spare funds to buy EV and needed EV pickup I’d buy F-150. Kia EV6 is my choice for EV car/suv. ICE manufacturers have caught up with TESLA. They won’t pass TESLA this year or next. 2024 who knows.

  • avatar
    fendertweed

    When monkeys fly out of Musk’s egomaniacal butt …

  • avatar
    kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh

    I find it funny all the red state EV haters now like his muskness after he dons a hat … hes using your state for cheap labor and tax shelters. he hates every one of you truck driving fools.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Yes – he will lead them out of Parler, to the vast green fields of Twitter, where they can troll and sh*t on everyone as they express their “freedom of speech”. That’s the fever dream. Their Moses has come – so it’s not Dallas, it’s Austin – not JFK jr – whatevs – it’ll do until the space laser is calibrated.

  • avatar
    fendertweed

    He said the same vapid tripe years ago (and repeatedly in various areas) as he moved one deadline/prediction after another. #PedoMusk.

    Tool.

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