You’d have to be mad to say the Tesla Cybertruck was anything other than, well, mad. Futuristic, powerful and fully electric, it’s a truly exciting car. But there’s a good chance that Australians will miss out on it entirely.
At last week’s FT Future of the Car conference in London, Tesla CEO (and potentially Twitter’s new overlord) Elon Musk has announced that the electric car company has stopped taking orders for the Cybertruck from outside of North America, explaining “we have more orders of the first Cybertrucks than we could possibly fulfil for three years after the start of production”.
As Carsguide reports, Tesla revealed the Cybertruck back in 2019 and said rollout would happen in late 2021 – but that never happened. The Cybertruck, as well as the long-anticipated second-generation Roadster and the Tesla Semi, have all been delayed with production not likely to begin until next year.
Of course, Tesla – like all car manufacturers – has been hit ridiculously hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing, ongoing computer chip shortage (although Tesla is less exposed to the latter thanks to its largely vertically integrated supply chain). New car releases have been delayed across the board.
But there’s a very good chance that Australians will never get the chance to buy a Cybertruck, even if they’re one of the lucky few who’s got their order in.
As Forbes pointed out back in late 2019, the sheer, angular Cybertruck would not be streel-legal in the EU as it fails many key Euro NCP safety requirements. As Australia’s ANCAP is closely aligned to Euro NCAP, it would almost certainly not be street-legal here either.
A recent leak of the most up-to-date prototype shared to the Cybertruck Owners’ Club forum suggests that Tesla hasn’t made many major changes to the 2019 design, too – so questions still remain about its roadworthiness.
Add in the production delays, Tesla’s historical teething issues with supplying right-hand drive markets and the vaporware-like nature of the Cybertruck project as a whole… We reckon Aussies shouldn’t have their hopes up about actually getting to drive one any time soon. We’d love to be proven wrong, though.
On the plus side: the Cybertruck’s big rival, the super-adventurous Rivian R1T, is actually in production and is confirmed to be making its way Down Under. More on that car here.