Things are moving faster than expected.
The new $400 million Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas is currently under construction. It'll soon be home to the controversial-looking Tesla Cybertruck. As it turns out, building that new facility is moving faster than expected. The Tesla Motors Club has posted a Tesla presentation first shown on the city of Austin website that reveals the Giga Texas factory's "First Dry-In" will take place on December 30, 2020 and its "First Substantial Completion on May 1, 2021.
What does "dry-in" mean? The building's shell will have been finished to a certain degree enabling the facility and its interior to avoid harmful weather, specifically rain and wind. Weather-sensitive materials and other vital Cybertruck production equipment can be installed at that time as well.
"First Substantial Completion," meanwhile, is the stage when construction is completed at a level where the facility can be used for its intended purpose.
Based on this updated timeline, it appears Tesla wants to get Cybertruck production equipment up and running no later than May. If this can be achieved, then Cybertruck pre-production can get underway in the second business quarter of 2021. The original plan was for production to start in late 2021, with Dual-Motor AWD and Tri-Motor AWD versions coming first.
Aside from the brisk construction pace, there are two other possible reasons why the Cybertruck assembly line could begin earlier than expected. The truck's design does not require stamping machines, like all other Teslas. Also, no paint shop is required because of the Cybertruck's exoskeleton.
An earlier pre-production start will also give Tesla vital extra time to work out any quality issues. It's also worth mentioning the Rivian R1T is now scheduled to begin customer deliveries in June 2021, assuming there are no other delays. Given Tesla's brisk pace in general, the first Cybertruck customers could very well receive their orders earlier than expected. Tesla has been accepting refundable $100 Cybertruck pre-orders for a while now and the tally has reached over 650,000 reservations so far.
Cybertruck pricing will begin at $39,900 while more expensive trims, the first to roll off the line, will start at $49,900 and $69,900.