Tesla to use European steel supplier for Cybertruck panels: report

Key Points

  • 🚗 Tesla is reportedly using Finnish steel provider Outokumpu Oyj for Cybertruck panels.
  • 🧩 The Cybertruck features unconventional stainless steel panels known for their strength and corrosion resistance.
  • 🏭 Tesla may source steel from Outokumpu’s Calvert, Alabama plant for the Cybertruck.
  • 🧰 The choice of steel for the Cybertruck is believed to have contributed to production delays.
  • 🌍 The Cybertruck is set to compete with other electric trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV, and Rivian R1T.
  • 📅 Tesla intends to hold a first delivery event for the Cybertruck before the end of 2023.

Tesla is reportedly tapping Finnish stainless steel provider Outokumpu Oyj to supply some of the panels of the Cybertruck. Outokumpu Oyj is a key producer of stainless steel in Europe, and it is known for producing steel products for a variety of sectors, including the automotive industry. 

The Cybertruck, which is expected to go into full production later this year, has drawn attention for its unconventional design and flat stainless steel panels. The material is more expensive than regular steel, but it is also stronger and more corrosion-resistant.

Citing people reportedly familiar with the matter — who opted to remain anonymous because the contract is reportedly private — Bloomberg News noted that Tesla may source the Cybertruck’s steel from Outokumpu’s Calvert, Alabama plant, which is about 650 miles away from Gigafactory Texas. The publication’s sources also stated that Outokumpu may not be the only supplier being tapped for the Cybertruck’s steel. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that the Cybertruck’s stainless steel exterior will provide the vehicle with a lot of durability. But while steel is strong, it is also difficult to work with. Thus, Tesla’s decision to use steel for the Cybertruck is widely believed to be one of the reasons behind the all-electric pickup truck’s delays.

Elon Musk said as much, noting that the Cybertruck “was a tough product to design & even tougher to build” and that the all-electric pickup truck has brought the company to “uncharted territory, because it (the Cybertruck) is not like anything else.”

Early prototypes of the Cybertruck have been spotted in Austin, Texas, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Other Cybertruck units have also been filmed in countries such as New Zealand and Iceland. Tesla has stated that it intends to hold a first delivery event before the end of 2023, though no specific date has been shared by the company.

When released, the Cybertruck will join a number of other electric trucks on the market, including the Ford F-150 Lightning, the GMC Hummer EV, and the Rivian R1T. These all-electric pickup trucks are yet to see massive production numbers. It should be noted that the Cybertruck could target a different demographic, however, since the Rivian R1T is more like a lifestyle truck, the Ford F-150 Lightning is optimized for utility, and the GMC Hummer EV seems more like a novelty electric pickup truck that’s only produced in limited numbers. 

Considering the popularity of pickup trucks in the United States, there may very well be more than enough space for the Tesla Cybertruck and every single one of its peers from young companies like Rivian and veteran automakers like Ford.

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