What's the Big Deal about the Tesla Cybertruck?
Interesting facts about Tesla's upcoming electric truck
Since Cybertruck was unveiled in 2019, it has become one of the most highly anticipated electric vehicles with its radical design and promised performance capabilities. But praise for the vehicle is far from unanimous, and observers are not shy to express their opinion. Just recently, in response to a blog post titled "Tesla’s Cybertruck Will Be Company’s First Flop”, Elon admitted the Cybertruck might flop, but he doesn’t care because he loves how unique the Cybertruck is.
Production is slated to start in late 2021 and according to a crowdsourced Cybertruck reservation tracker, there are over a million reservations. Although a reservation only requires a $100 refundable deposit, it’s still an impressive number.
Here’s what we know so far about the Cybertruck, and needless to say, we can’t wait to get our hands on one to see if it lives up to the hype.
The first thing you will notice right away about Cybertruck is the unconventional look. It’s design brings to mind the future aesthetic made popular from sci-fi movies like Blade Runner. The truck's strikingly angular form is unexpected, but auto experts say the design has as much to do with function as it does with form.
According to TechCrunch, Cybertruck utilizes a unibody design made of thick cold-rolled stainless steel. Instead of a body sitting on a frame, which is how standard pickups are constructed, Cybertruck is built around a metal cage. A unibody design cuts down on the vehicle’s overall bulk and weight and allows for the battery to be placed under the vehicle.
With a unibody design, Tesla also placed reinforcing pillars at strategic points within the vehicle to enable high-capacity towing. The high sail pillar on Cybertruck that forms the rear of the vehicle provides structural strength and prevents the body from twisting under extreme pressure.
Another reason for Cybertruck's angular design is because it’s impossible to create the lines seen on conventional trucks with material as hard as stainless steel. As Elon explained on Twitter, “Reason Cybertruck is so planar is that you can’t stamp ultra-hard 30X steel, because it breaks the stamping press. Even bending it requires a deep score on inside of bend, which is how the prototype was made.”
All of these design elements are crucial to helping Tesla deliver a vehicle that claims to have the utility of a truck with the performance of a sports car.
Cybertruck will be available in three different configurations, which are based on the number of electric motors. It’s available with one, two, or three electric motors with each additional motor delivering quicker acceleration, longer driving range, and greater towing capacity. Tesla claims the tri-motor Cybertruck will have up to 3,500 pounds of payload capacity and be able to accelerate from 0 - 60 mph in as little as 2.9 seconds.
Single Motor RWD. $39,900, 250+ miles, 7,500+ towing capacity
Dual Motor AWD. $49,900, 300+ miles, 10,000+ towing capacity
Tri Motor AWD. $69,900, 500+ miles, 14,000+ towing capacity
Cybertruck is also built with heavy-duty materials meant to prevent damage while providing passengers with maximum protection. Its exterior shell is made from ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel and is designed to eliminate dents and long-term corrosion while its windows are made of Tesla Armor Glass, which is intended to be shatter-proof even when hit with the most brutal of flying projectiles. But we’ll have to wait for delivery to see if Cybertruck lives up to that claim as Tesla’s infamous demonstration of the strength of the windows didn’t go as planned at the vehicle's unveiling.
Starting at $39,000, the price of the Cybertruck comes in much lower than what many anticipated. When taking into account the Cybertruck's size, class, performance, and the fact that it's fully electric, many observers are surprised at just how well-priced the Cybertruck is.
So how can Tesla price the Cybertruck so competitively? According to Sandy Munro, an automotive engineer and manufacturing expert, the answer is in the manufacturing process. The Cybertruck has a simple body design and a stainless steel exterior that will not be painted, making it much cheaper to bring to production. Munro estimates that Tesla could produce 50,000 Cybertrucks per year for a capital investment of $30 million, while he estimates that the Ford F-150 would require $210 million of which $150 million would be for the paint alone.
Tesla revealed a list of impressive features at the Cybertruck unveiling and every now and then Elon provides updates on the latest developments. Here are some of the coolest features that have caught our attention.
The Vault. A 6.5 ft. bed covered with a solid retractable tonneau cover that lowers aerodynamic drag and is strong enough to stand on. Tesla's Cybertruck patent applications also revealed the details around a solar tonneau cover that will be able to add at least 15 miles of range per day.
Seats 6. Designed with two rows of three seats, the front middle seat can fold down to transform into an armrest with storage.
Adaptive Air-Suspension. Increased dynamic air suspension travel for better off-roading, plus it will be linked to Full Self-Driving so it adjusts automatically. Elon tweeted that Cybertruck "Needs to kick-butt in Baja", which is an off-road motorsport race held each year on the Baja California Peninsula.
On-Board Power. Comes with an onboard power outlet and compressed air.
CyberQuad. An electric ATV will be made available first to those purchasing a Cybertruck.
Crab Mode. The latest feature to be revealed, ‘crab mode’ will allow rear-wheel steering, giving Cybertruck the ability to perform tight turns and maneuver with high agility.