Photos show Elon Musk and a Cybertruck prototype visiting the automaker’s under-construction Gigafactory in Texas

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Chris Saucedo/Getty Images for SXSW
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited the company’s upcoming Austin Gigafactory Thursday.
  • Musk drove a Tesla Cybertruck, which is still in prototype stage, and spoke to construction workers.
  • Photos suggest it wasn’t a new prototype because it had door handles, unlike the planned final version.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Elon Musk took a prototype of Tesla’s Cybertruck for a drive on Thursday at the automaker’s under-construction Gigafactory in Texas, which will be the home of its Cybertruck production.

-Tesla (@Tesla) April 16, 2021

Musk replied to a tweet about the Cybertruck visiting the Gigafactory, saying: “I was just there, driving Cybertruck around the site where it will be built!”

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Photos also show him speaking to the site’s construction workers.

-Owen Sparks ???? (@OwenSparks_) April 16, 2021

This is the first time a prototype of the vehicle has been seen in more than six months, electric-vehicle outlet Electrek reported.

The publication added that this could be the same prototype that Musk was seen driving around Los Angeles in December 2019 – partly because of the presence of door handles.

Musk had said on Twitter in March that the updated Cybertruck would come without door handles.

The electric pickup truck doesn’t yet have a launch date, but Musk said in January that deliveries could start at the end of 2021 “if we get lucky.” He added that he expects volume production to start in 2022.

Musk had teased a Tesla pickup truck for years before the Cybertruck made its debut in November 2019, Insider’s Tim Levin reported.

-Anuarbek Imanbaev (@anuarbekiman) April 16, 2021

Tesla said in January that its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, which will be the automaker’s fourth factory, would be operational sometime this year.

Musk has been one of the driving forces behind the tech migration from Silicon Valley to the Lone Star State. Alongside the Tesla factory, Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, neurotechnology company Neuralink, and infrastructure company The Boring Company all have operations in Texas.

In March, Musk announced that he was trying to form a new city called Starbase at SpaceX’s launch facilities in Texas.