Haven't we heard this before?
Back in 2017, Tesla shook up the auto industry with the reveal of the new second-generation Roadster prototype. With an astonishing 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 1.9 seconds, a quarter-mile sprint time of under nine seconds, and a top speed of over 250 mph, the Tesla Roadster was hailed as the fastest car on earth.
When it debuted, Tesla targeted a 2020 launch for the Roadster. Fast forward to 2021, and not a single customer example of the electric supercar has been built. During Tesla's 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting, CEO Elon Musk provided an update on when we can expect the mythical Roadster to arrive and explained why it has been continually delayed.
Speaking in response to a question about the Cybertruck's production, Elon Musk said that Tesla is aiming to start production of the Roadster and the long-delayed Semi by the end of 2023. Ongoing supply issues have also forced Tesla to push back production of the Cybertruck, which was initially due to enter production later this year, until late 2022, but it won't enter volume production until 2023.
"This year has been just a constant struggle with parts supply," said Musk. "So just to be clear, if we had like five extra products, we would not change our vehicle output at all because we are just basically limited by multiple supply chain shortages. Like so many types, not just chips."
"There were lots of supply chain shortages. So it really wouldn't matter if we had like the Semi or the Cybertruck or anything. We would not be able to make it." When it was announced four years ago, Tesla claimed the Roadster will have a range of 620 miles, but Tesla's battery technology has improved significantly since then.
By the time the Roadster enters production, it should have an even longer range thanks to Tesla's new 4680 battery cells, which are due to start production next year at Tesla's new Texas plant. With optional SpaceX Package thrusters, the Tesla Roadster will allegedly hit 0-60 mph in 1.1 seconds, but we remain skeptical until we see a production example. With Tesla now aiming to start production by the end of 2023, we won't be surprised if customer deliveries of the Roadster slip into 2024 at the earliest.