Why you won’t see the Cybertruck, Roadster or any other type of budget EV this year from Tesla

TeslaTSLA,
+3.61%
won’t unveil any new models in 2022. The electric automaker isn’t struggling. The announcement follows its most successful quarter and most successful year. But with the entire auto industry hampered by a global shortage of microchips, Tesla will spend the rest of this year focusing on keeping production of its current products as high as possible.

A flurry of Tesla news

Most automakers operate a public relations department that maintains a steady cadence of press releases about future products and answers questions from reporters. Tesla does not.

That leaves reporters to gather all possible information from CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account and quarterly shareholder communications.

The company’s fourth quarter results led to a sudden flurry of news from Tesla.

Model 3, Y keeps everyone busy

New car sales are down, but electric car sales are soaring. Overall new car sales fell by more than 21% between the last quarter of 2020 and 2021. But electric car sales increased by almost 72%.

Tesla Controls US Electric Car Market More than 72% of all electric cars sold in the US last quarter were Tesla products. The Model Y SUV was the top-selling electric vehicle (EV) in the United States last quarter, with more than 63,000 units sold. The Tesla Model 3 sedan came in second, with more than 41,000 sold.

Other automakers have started introducing electric cars, bringing Tesla a fight it has never faced before. But the competition is still small in Tesla’s rearview mirror. The Ford F,
-9.70%
The Mustang Mach-E came a long way behind, with just over 8,000 sales.

With such high demand for the Model Y and Model 3, Musk says, almost every microchip the company can get its hands on is going into building one or the other. “If we were to introduce new vehicles, our total vehicle production would decrease.”

No Cybertruck, Roadster, Model 2

With that in mind, the company has officially delayed the next product it was to bring to market – its cyberpunk-looking electric pickup truck, the Cybertruck. The impending delay of the truck seems inevitable since Tesla removed all dates from its reservation site for the truck last month. But Musk made it official during an investor call on Jan. 26.

It also delayed a plan to resurrect the company’s first product – the Tesla Roadster – and a plan to develop an electric tractor-trailer. Bringing out new products now, Musk said, “wouldn’t make sense because we’ll still be limited in parts.”

As for a rumored attempt to build a sub-$25,000 car — Tesla fans informally call it the Model 2, though the company hasn’t officially named it — Musk says it doesn’t. is not even at the planning stage.

“We’re not currently working on a $25,000 car,” Musk said on the call. “We have too much on our plate.”

See: Where is Tesla’s Cybertruck?

Certain risks of delay

Delaying products whose parts you can’t get to build seems like an obvious step. But there is some risk for Tesla in letting future products slip further into the future.

Musk showed off a prototype of the Cybertruck in 2019, when it appeared to be the first electric pickup on the market.

The best Tesla can do now is fourth. The rival of the startup Rivian RIVN,
+0.84%
has already started deliveries of its well-reviewed R1T electric truck. The first GMC Hummer EV pickups also reached customers. Ford has accepted more than 200,000 reservations for its F-150 Lightning and expects to begin deliveries this year. Lighting is an all-electric version of America’s best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150 pickup.

Also see: Here’s Ford’s F150 Lightning in numbers

If Tesla waits longer on the Cybertruck, it could fall behind Chevrolet’s recently revealed Silverado EV.

The Roadster, as a performance 2-seater, has no current equivalent.

If Tesla were to build an electric car under $25,000, they would likely have that segment of the market to themselves. Currently, it is possible to buy a Nissan Leaf for less than $20,000 once the federal tax incentives are applied. But Nissan NSANY,
-2.73%
intends to replace the Leaf with an SUV that will likely cost more.

Chevrolet has announced plans to build an electric version of its Equinox SUV with a target price of “about $30,000”. Several EVs currently on the market carry price tags in the low $30,000 territory after federal tax refunds, but their sticker prices remain in the $40,000 range.

This story originally took place on KBB.com.

About Robert Pierson

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