Tesla's Cybertruck will be more expensive than expected. Elon Musk explains why.

"A lot has changed", says Musk.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Gettin Images/FREDERIC J. BROWN

Tesla's Cybertruck is scheduled to go into mass production in mid-2023 but it will be more expensive than the starting price revealed in 2019, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. 

Speaking to enthusiastic shareholders at Tesla's annual shareholder meeting, Musk said specs and pricing of the Cybertruck will be different because of inflation. Musk unveiled the Cybertruck in November 2019 with a starting price of $39,990. 

"A lot has changed since then, so the specs and pricing will be different," said Musk. "I hate to give a little bit of bad news but there's no way to have anticipated quite the inflation that we've seen and various issues. But what I can tell you is that the Cybertruck is gonna be one hell of a product and it's gonna be like a damn fine machine." 

Earlier this year Tesla pushed back Cybertruck production from the end of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023, Reuters reported. Tesla raised prices of all models except the Model 3 by 10% in June due to inflation

Musk also teased Tesla's 5'8" humanoid robot, Optimus, which he first unveiled in 2021 at Tesla's AI Day. Tesla plans on unveiling a working prototype of Optimus on September 30 at Tesla AI Day 2022.   

Musk said the Optimus robot "will be more valuable than the car long term and in fact it will turn the whole notion of what's an economy on its head." 

"The point at which you have no shortage of labor … an economy can be arbitrarily huge," said Musk. 

Tesla will also complete development of its Full Self Driving (FSD) option, which has been in beta in North America for the past year and is available to customers who paid $12,000 for the driver assistance system. 

"Solving autonomy... will really be an amplification of free cash flow," said Musk.

Tesla in July said it had rolled out the FSD beta to over 100,000 Tesla drivers in North America, up from a couple of thousand in Q3 2021. Musk confirmed in a tweet on Sunday that the FSD Beta will be version 10.69 and will be released on August 20.

Musk also reckons the US has reached "peak inflation" based on trends in the price of commodities Tesla needs for manufacturing.   

"When you're making millions of cars, you have to purchase commodities months in advance. So we have some insight into where prices are heading over time. More than half of the things that go into Tesla, the prices are trending down in six months from now. But the trend is down, which suggests that we are past peak inflation."

Musk gave his usual caveat when he predicts macroeconomic conditions.  

"Now, making macroeconomic prognostications is a recipe for disaster but my guess is that we are past peak inflation and that we will have a recession. I think it will be a relatively mild recession.

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