New Tesla Roadster likely years away from production

At the reveal of Tesla’s redesigned Roadster in 2017, the company said the car would start production in 2020.

At the time we said the company was notorious for being late on deadlines, and we were right to say it.

In a podcast interview with comedian Joe Rogan on Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the redesigned Roadster would be pushed back to allow the company to focus on more pressing issues, Reuters reported.

2020 Tesla Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster

“Roadster is kind of like dessert,” Musk told Rogan after being asked when the redesigned Roadster would be available. “We gotta get the meat and potatoes and greens and stuff.”

The more pressing issues, Musk said, included the ramp-up in production of the Model Y crossover SUV, the construction of a vehicle plant in Germany, and the start of production of the Cybertruck pickup truck.

Considering the Cybertruck isn’t due to start production until late 2021, it means the earliest start for production of the redesigned Roadster would be sometime in 2022—assuming Tesla actually sticks to its deadline.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

We’ll add that Tesla also needs to start production of its Semi semi-trailer truck, which the company only last week said would be delayed until 2021. At its reveal in 2017, Tesla said the Semi would start production in 2019.

The Roadster will be worth the wait, if Tesla sticks to its previous claims for the car. These include a 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds, a quarter-mile ET of 8.8 seconds, and a top speed of 250 mph. The Roadster is also said to be coming with 620 miles of range from a 200-kilowatt-hour battery.

Other companies like Lotus and Rimac are much closer to starting production of electric cars with similar performance to the Tesla, though they don’t come close to matching the Tesla on range. They also don’t come close to matching the Tesla on price. Anyone interested in the redesigned Roadster will need $200,000, which is a fraction of the price that rival EVs with similar performance currently cost.

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