With the official start of production hopefully just a few weeks away, we now know who will be supplying at least some of the stainless steel for the Cybertruck. That contract has been awarded to the Finnish company Outokumpu Oyj, Europe’s largest stainless steel producer.
Ever since the Cybertruck was unveiled with its ‘ultra-hard 30X Cold-rolled stainless steel exoskeleton,’ there have been questions around who was going to be the stainless steel supplier. It looked like we found our answer a little over a year later when San Patricio County Judge David Krebs said Steel Dynamics Inc. (STI) has been chosen as the lucky supplier. The information seemed accurate as STI was building a $1.7 billion facility just three hours away from Giga Texas at the time.
As it turns out the judge was provided incorrect information, and STI came out to deny the claims. Since then we have seen Tesla file a patent application titled “Ultra-Hard Cold-Worked Steel Alloy,” and now we know Outokumpu will be the supplier of that alloy, marking a major shift in product focus for the company.
Outokumpu is no stranger to the automotive scene, having already worked closely with automakers on exhaust systems, but will now use its expertise to provide the stainless steel panels for the Cybertruck body. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company has been working to adapt its production processes to meet Tesla’s unique requirements. The report noted the materials could be sourced from the company’s plant in Calvert, Alabama, and that Tesla could be using another company aside from Outokumpu to meet their supply demands.
The use of stainless steel panels in a vehicle has not been attempted since the 1980s with the DMC DeLorean. While the DeLorean was plagued by production issues, Tesla’s Cybertruck could set a new standard by using a more modern and high-tech stainless steel alloy, as indicated by their patent application filed earlier this year.
While Tesla has not provided a recent update on Cybertruck production, specs, or pricing, they are likely to provide an update during the Q3 2023 earnings call an October 18.