Billionaire Elon Musk told an excited crowd at the CyberRodeo in Austin, Texas, on Thursday that the long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck will finally ship in 2023, revealed the latest prototype which doesn't have any handles
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Billionaire Elon Musk announced that the long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck will finally ship in 2023, revealed the latest prototype which doesn’t have any handles. 

He told an excited crowd at the CyberRodeo in Austin, Texas, on Thursday: ‘I think this will be our magnum opus, and you can see some of the changes we’ve made already, there are no handles.

‘Who needs handles?

‘The car can tell that you’re there and it can just tell that it needs to open. So We’re going to have an incredible Cybertruck product for you next year, it’s going to blow your mind.’ 

The 50-year-old also let slip that Tesla will be making a self-driving ‘robotaxi’ which will look ‘futuristic’ – but did not show any pictures of the vehicle or say when it might debut.

Wearing a black cowboy hat and sunglasses, Musk made the comments at the opening of Tesla’s $1.1 billion factory in Texas, which is home to its new headquarters.

‘Massive scale. Full self-driving. There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi,’ Musk told a large crowd at the factory.

Musk has previously set and missed his own targets for self-driving taxis – In 2019, he said robotaxis with no human drivers would be available in some US markets in 2020.

In January he said he would be ‘shocked’ if Tesla did not achieve full self-driving that is safer than that of humans this year.

Previous versions of the long-awaited Cybertruck presented at events have come with handles which sit flat to the body of the car, like on other Tesla models.

The CyberTruck – which is expected to cost from $39,900 – was driven onto the stage at the event by Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen.

Billionaire Elon Musk told an excited crowd at the CyberRodeo in Austin, Texas, on Thursday that the long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck will finally ship in 2023, revealed the latest prototype which doesn't have any handles

Billionaire Elon Musk told an excited crowd at the CyberRodeo in Austin, Texas, on Thursday that the long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck will finally ship in 2023, revealed the latest prototype which doesn’t have any handles

The latest Cybertruck was unveiled by Tesla on Thursday night. It will ship in 2023, and no longer has any door handles

The latest Cybertruck was unveiled by Tesla on Thursday night. It will ship in 2023, and no longer has any door handles 

The 50-year-old also let slip that Tesla will be making a self-driving 'robotaxi' which will look 'futuristic' - but did not show any pictures of the vehicle or say when it might debut (pictured, the new Tesla Cybertruck)

The 50-year-old also let slip that Tesla will be making a self-driving ‘robotaxi’ which will look ‘futuristic’ – but did not show any pictures of the vehicle or say when it might debut (pictured, the new Tesla Cybertruck)

The truck was driven onto the stage by Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen, who joked with Musk about a previous failed test of the car's armored glass

The truck was driven onto the stage by Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen, who joked with Musk about a previous failed test of the car’s armored glass 

Wearing a black cowboy hat and sunglasses, Musk made the comments at the opening of Tesla's $1.1 billion factory in Texas, which is home to its new headquarters

Wearing a black cowboy hat and sunglasses, Musk made the comments at the opening of Tesla’s $1.1 billion factory in Texas, which is home to its new headquarters

Tesla will start production next year of its Cybertruck as well as a humanoid robot, Optimus, Musk said in Texas on Thursday

 Tesla will start production next year of its Cybertruck as well as a humanoid robot, Optimus, Musk said in Texas on Thursday

Previous versions of the long-awaited Cybertruck presented at events have come with handles which sit flat to the body of the car, like on other Tesla models

Previous versions of the long-awaited Cybertruck presented at events have come with handles which sit flat to the body of the car, like on other Tesla models 

When Musk threw a metal ball at the truck's windows in November 2019, they ended up shattering. He later claimed the front window had been weakened during an earlier test

When Musk threw a metal ball at the truck’s windows in November 2019, they ended up shattering. He later claimed the front window had been weakened during an earlier test 

CYBERTRUCK SPECS

There are three versions available: 

Single motor rear-wheel drive 

  • 250 miles of range
  • 7,500-pound towing capacity
  •  0-60 mph in under 6.5 seconds
  • Costs $39,900

Dual motor all-wheel drive 

  • 300 miles of range
  • 10,000-pound towing capacity
  • 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds 
  • Costs $49,900

Triple motor all-wheel drive*

  • 500 miles of range 
  • 14,000-pound towing capacity
  • 0-60 mph in under 2.9 seconds 
  • Costs $69,900 

(*to begin production in late 2022.)

Von Holzhausen and Musk joked about testing out the car’s armored glass again, in a nod to a spectacular mishap that happened when the car was first unveiled in 2019.  

Tesla will start production next year of its Cybertruck as well as a humanoid robot, Optimus, Musk said.

The firm’s new giga factories in Texas and Berlin, which will make vehicles and its own battery cells, face challenges of ramping up production with new processes, analysts have said.

Musk said Tesla was simplifying car making by making a car using three major parts.

Despite record deliveries in the first quarter, a recent COVID-19 spike in China has forced Tesla to suspend production at its Shanghai factory for several days.

Thursday’s event comes after Musk bought a stake of 9% in Twitter earlier this week, and will now join the board of the social media network.  

That saw von Holzhausen throw a metal ball at  one of the car’s windows, only for it to shatter.

Musk later claimed the glass would have survived the blow had it been made by a sledgehammer – but he and von Holzhausen avoided repeating the test on Thursday, despite encouragement from thousands of people watching in the audience.   

Musk offered no further clues as to how exactly the door handle system will work during the CyberRodeo event, which was held to celebrate the opening of Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Austin. 

Thursday’s event seemed carefully scripted, and yielded none of the controversy that the South African billionaire is famed for – especially on his Twitter account.  

The factory is now home to the firm’s global headquarters. On Thursday, Musk refuted claims he’d moved his man base from California because of tax and COVID rules, claiming that there was no longer sufficient room to expand as he wanted to in the Golden State.   

Musk said the Austin Gigafactory would primarily produce Tesla’s Model Y SUV, which he hopes will ship 500,000 units in 2023. 

The entrepreneur bragged that Tesla has sold a million cars over the last year – but teased that bigger things are still to come.

He said the firm was set to grow ‘on a truly massive scale’ that ‘no company has ever achieved in the history of humanity.’ 

Musk has previously set and missed his own targets for self-driving taxis - In 2019, he said robotaxis with no human drivers would be available in some US markets in 2020

Musk has previously set and missed his own targets for self-driving taxis – In 2019, he said robotaxis with no human drivers would be available in some US markets in 2020

Musk, pictured at the opening of his new Gigafactory in Austin Thursday, said the Cybertruck car would know when you were close, and open up automatically

Musk, pictured at the opening of his new Gigafactory in Austin Thursday, said the Cybertruck car would know when you were close, and open up automatically

Robotic machines line the manufacturing line at the new Tesla Gigafactory Texas as many of the invited 15,000 guests tour the new Tesla Gigafactory Texas

Robotic machines line the manufacturing line at the new Tesla Gigafactory Texas as many of the invited 15,000 guests tour the new Tesla Gigafactory Texas

Aluminum frame stamping machinery on the manufacturing floor pictured at the grand opening event of the Tesla Gigafactory in Texas

Aluminum frame stamping machinery on the manufacturing floor pictured at the grand opening event of the Tesla Gigafactory in Texas

The factory (pictured) is now home to the firm's global headquarters. On Thursday, Musk refuted claims he'd moved his man base from California because of tax and COVID rules, claiming that there was no longer sufficient room to expand as he wanted to in the Golden State

The factory (pictured) is now home to the firm’s global headquarters. On Thursday, Musk refuted claims he’d moved his man base from California because of tax and COVID rules, claiming that there was no longer sufficient room to expand as he wanted to in the Golden State

Musk said the Austin Gigafactory would primarily produce Tesla's Model Y SUV, which he hopes will ship 500,000 units in 2023. Cars seen on the assembly line during a tour of the manufacturing facility

Musk said the Austin Gigafactory would primarily produce Tesla’s Model Y SUV, which he hopes will ship 500,000 units in 2023. Cars seen on the assembly line during a tour of the manufacturing facility

The entrepreneur bragged that Tesla has sold a million cars over the last year - but teased that bigger things are still to come

The entrepreneur bragged that Tesla has sold a million cars over the last year – but teased that bigger things are still to come

Elon Musk will address Twitter staff after he became its largest shareholder and sent woke workers into a frenzy over remarks they say ’caused harm to the trans community’

Elon Musk will hold a town hall with Twitter staffers fearful his purchase of nine per cent of the firm’s stock could spell and end to their ultra-woke ways.

Musk has agreed to sit down for a question and answer session with staff at the San Francisco-based firm after snapping up 9.2 per cent company on April 4 for $3.7 billion, making him its largest shareholder.

Many have spent the week moaning about Musk and accused him of being a transphobe over a 2020 tweet mocking pronouns, as well as a bully.  

Announcing the ‘ask me anything’ session in an email sent Thursday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal wrote: ‘We say that Twitter is what’s happening and what people are talking about right now. Often, we [at] Twitter are what’s happening and what people are talking about. That has certainly been the case this week.

‘Following our board announcement, many of you have had different types of questions about Elon Musk, and I want to welcome you to ask those questions to him.’ 

It is unclear when the session will take place, and whether it will be in-person at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, or held virtually. 

Such town halls are common in Silicon Valley – but only for CEOs and other executives. It is exceptionally-rare for a shareholder to be put under the spotlight, the Washington Post reported. 

Elon Musk

Parag Agrawal

Elon Musk, left, will address a Twitter question and answer session hosted by the firm’s CEO Parag Agrawal, right, after staffers there blasted him for remarks on transgender people 

Musk infuriated Twitter staffers with this tweet sent in December 2020…

...but later insisted he wasn't transphobic, and highlighted Tesla's high rankings in the best places to work for LGBTQ Americans surveys

…but later insisted he wasn’t transphobic, and highlighted Tesla’s high rankings in the best places to work for LGBTQ Americans surveys 

Workers at the firm – which has been blamed for exacerbating ongoing culture wars across the world – are said to have spent all week in a frenzy over Musk’s purchase.

Writing on an internal message board, one raged:  ‘We know that he has caused harm to workers, the trans community, women, and others with less power in the world.

‘How are we going to reconcile this decision with our values? Does innovation trump humanity.’

Another wrote: ‘Quick question: If an employee tweeted some of the things Elon tweets, they’d likely be the subject.’

And a third ex-Tesla worker said they were fearful of a repeat of what they claimed was a toxic work culture fostered by Musk at the electric car firm.

That worker said: ‘I’m extremely unnerved right now, because I’ve seen what he can do firsthand.’  

Agrawal insisted that Musk posed no threat to the firm’s culture, saying that he wouldn’t be put in charge of major decisions. 

Musk joked about his purchase of nine per cent of Twitter stock in this tweet sent Thursday

Musk joked about his purchase of nine per cent of Twitter stock in this tweet sent Thursday

Earlier this week, he asked tweeters if they'd like to see an edit button, with the firm subsequently confirming that one was already in the works

Earlier this week, he asked tweeters if they’d like to see an edit button, with the firm subsequently confirming that one was already in the works 

Earlier this week, Musk tweeted a poll saying ‘Do you want an edit button?’ for Twitter.

A majority of voters said yes, with bosses there confirming one is already in the works.

News of Musk’s purchase also sent shares soaring by 27 per cent, sparking excitement among investors who hope he’ll help Twitter catch-up with its far more profitable rivals Facebook and Instagram.  

But staffers there have been angered over his stance on issues including pronouns and free speech.

In December 2020, he shared a meme that said ‘when you put he/him in ur bio’ with a snap of a soldier rubbing blood onto his face.

That sparked online fury, with Musk later adding: ‘I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare.’ He also highlighted Tesla’s high-ranking in surveys on the best places for LGBT people to work. 

And in March this year, Musk tweeted: ‘Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?’

It is still unclear if Musk will appear in person at the town hall. Twitter's San Francisco headquarters is pictured

It is still unclear if Musk will appear in person at the town hall. Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters is pictured 

A day later, he added: ‘Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?’   

Many conservatives have voiced hope that Musk will reactivate Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

The president was permanently kicked off the platform in January 2021 after he was accused of stoking the Capitol riots. 

Musk has 80.9 million users, and regularly uses the site to communicate with his fans.

He has even found himself the subject of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission probe over his use of the site.

In August 2018, he tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla public at $420 a share – a joke referring to cannabis, which is also known as 4:20. 

But Musk was accused of meddling with the markets, and was told by the SEC that he must have his tweets checked by lawyers before posting them. 

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