Cybertruck caught doing testing laps as Tesla ramps up its 4680 battery production
The Cybertruck is a few months from the official shipment of its first batches to customers, so Tesla engineers want to make sure that the launch will go smoothly by ramping up testing on public roads. After being spotted with factory plates here and there, the Cybertruck has now been recorded doing testing laps on the track in Fremont.
Tesla's factory there is the only one which produces all of its models, though it is a fairly old and inefficient before its scheduled facility upgrades, so the Cybertruck will actually be put together down south in the much newer Giga Texas. What the Fremont factory may do, however, is help with the Cybertruck's 4680 battery cells production.
Tesla has filed for an expansion to the second floor of the cramped Fremont facilities, which previous rumors pegged as preparation for a manufacturing ramp-up of the 4680 battery cells there. "New manufacturing equipment adjacent to existing equipment on second floor of assembly building," says the filing. Tesla will need boatloads of those to fulfil all of the 1.8 million pending orders for its electric pickup, as it listed its average battery pack capacity for the Cybertruck's EV category as 100 kWh in size.
The new Cybertruck photos and videos confirm that the single Gigawiper has likely become a done deal for the production version. They also reiterate the choppy design with a front frunk area that has been raising eyebrows in the past few weeks with its disproportionately short dimensions. That's a bit odd, since the Cybertruck's front is said to copy the Ford F-150 Lightning's Mega Power Frunk that opens to a big storage compartment and a slew of power outlets.
During the last quarterly results investor call, Elon Musk said that Tesla is "probably" gunning for a Q3 release and at the tail end of that quarter at that, which would mean a Cybertruck launch in September if all goes well. "We'll save that for the Cybertruck handover, which will hopefully be around the end of Q3 this year," he said when asked about final pricing and new feature updates.
For now, the Cybertruck's price is not clear, but given how quickly Tesla slashed its MSRP tags this year, and the fact that the pickup will be powered by the much cheaper to produce 4680 structural battery pack, it may just turn out to be palatable.