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Tesla sets EV production goals for 2030, Cybertruck pricing expected to rise

Yahoo Finance autos correspondent Pras Subramanian details Tesla's outlook for the Cybertruck, EV production targets, and the latest in CEO Elon Musk's legal battle with Twitter.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Speaking of EVs, the king of them, Elon Musk, a faucet of news this week. He talked about a mild, 18-month recession. He says we have seen peak inflation, which is good news.

But he also talked about the Cybertruck. You know I love the Cybertruck. Hinting that the prices might not be under $40,000 after all. What do we know?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, so basically, it came up in the call-- in the actual meeting yesterday, what's the future of the Cybertruck? And Elon confirmed, yes, we're going to make this truck. We're going to start producing in 2023, mid-2023 at the Giga Austin plant. But he said, a bit of bad news-- quote-unquote "bad news," the specs and pricing will change.

Like you noted, Dave, he introduced the truck as a starting point of $39,000. He's saying that because of inflation and things that they couldn't have foreseen, they cannot meet that actual price range. I'm not surprised, by-- the truck has been taking a long time to actually, as they say, industrialize and put into production. So not surprising they wouldn't start at $39,000.

The question is, how high will it go? How will that base model go? And where will that top end model go? I'm guessing over $100,000, but we'll see.

SEANA SMITH: And Pras, we also heard him reiterate his goal here to produce 20 million vehicles per year by 2030. What do you make of that? I mean, is that something that's attainable, do you think, at this point?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, he said at the end of this year, they want to be able to be at two million installed base by the end of 2022. So in 10 years, he wants to have-- [CHUCKLES] what's-- more than 50 times that, around 50 times that.

I wouldn't necessarily count him out, but it's gonna take a number of plants. And Elon said, that they'd like to have 12 plants around the world, you know, putting out cars. And if they can make around two million a year, that's only 24 million, right? So I'm not sure where you intend to get 100 million from.

But he did tease at the next plant that's coming could be in Canada. He had already talked about how a plant would come in North America probably at the end of this year. That's their next plant, they announce. And some people are talking about Canada. And he said, yeah, Canada, I'm also half Canadian, how about that? Hahahaha. So it sounds like, at least for now, the short term, the Canadian-- north of the border for the next plant will be.

SEANA SMITH: And Pras, what about the latest when it comes to Twitter and the argument there? Obviously, he's in a legal battle here with Twitter whether or not he should be held responsible for the deal that he did make with the company earlier this year. How big of a worry do you see that being for Tesla shareholders, for Tesla investors in the second half of the year, while this battle continues?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, initially, I would have thought it was just a distraction for Elon, and something that he could actually shake off. But it sounds like Twitter is going all out here. They're not only subpoenaing people who work in the VC world that Elon's friends with, but also Tesla executives.

So I think as this expands, and if more Tesla proper gets sucked into this investigation, it could be a big headache for them. But as of right now, I think it's OK to say that the company will go on just fine with this going on in the background.

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, Senior Autos Reporter Pras Subramanian, have a great weekend, my friend. Good to see you.