For several years, the promise of an electric truck from Tesla has loomed on the horizon. In November 2019, Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and founder unveiled the Tesla Cybertruck. The all-electric truck looks like nothing on the planet, except maybe a DeLorean DC-12. Unfortunately, you can’t buy a Cybertruck yet. For the moment, Tesla has only released some of the specs of the truck. In all likelihood, the initial Tesla Cybertruck price, power, and specifications may give it an advantage over other soon-to-be-released electric pickup trucks. Tesla intends to release three Cybertruck models with different specifications and prices shortly. However, the biggest question is and still remains: will buyers get behind the weird design?
Tesla Pickup Truck -or is it a Sports Car with a Trunk?
Buyers want trucks that can haul heavy loads, pull trailers, and get work done. Few buyers are looking for the fastest accelerating truck on the market. Even though most truck manufacturers released a high-performance truck at some point, the result is rarely a success. The Dodge Ram SRT-10 and Chevrolet Silverado SS were impressive at first but sales were not. Truck owners, usually want a reliable tool to get the job done instead. With that being said, the Tesla Cybertruck is something of an anomaly. Tesla aims to build the best work truck possible while also being one of the fastest available.
Tesla Cybertruck Specifications
Any new vehicle from Tesla is going to grab buyers’ attention. The revealing of the Cybertruck in 2019, though, was a shock to many enthusiasts. Simply put, the Cybertruck looks more like origami art than a conventional truck. The silver body of the Cybertruck is a collection of sharp creases and angles. While the design may seem out-of-the-ordinary, the reason for the style is quite simple.
The Reason for the Cybertruck Starship Design -Hint: It’s Not the Price
The Cybertruck sports a cold-rolled stainless steel body that can resist handgun bullets, sledgehammers, and door dings. Tesla decided early in the development of the Cybertruck to use 30X ultra-hard stainless steel rather than carbon fiber to build the toughest truck possible. Tesla engineered the steel for use in the SpaceX rocket program. While the Cybertruck is made of “space-age” components, some of the claims about its strength are probably overblown.
Elon Musk says that the steel panels are so hard that they can break a press. Instead, engineers must bend the panels in straight lines. In spite of it, he sheet metal engineering website StampingSimulation.com points out some problems with the claim made by Tesla’s CEO.
First, the website identifies that the term “hard” is misused. The correct term should be “strength”, as hard, brittle materials are not as strong as soft, flexible ones. The actual composition of the stainless steel is unknown. Experts assume the material to be either a variation of 300-series stainless steel or has been cold-rolled 30 times.
In either case, the press would be more than capable of bending the material. At a certain point, the sheets of steel would break rather than bend. Either way, Tesla demonstrated the strength of the truck by hitting the door with a sledgehammer. The impact did no damage to the body of the truck.
The Cybertrucks Bullet-Proof Windows
Tesla intends to install “Tesla Armor Glass” in the truck. The company says the special glass is highly resistant to impacts. In a pre-show demonstration, a steel ball thrown at a window did no damage. During the unveiling, the demonstration was repeated by Chief Designer Franz Von Holzhausen with somewhat humorous results. The window shattered, but the ball did not penetrate the glass. Tesla engineers later discovered the glass was, in fact, cracked while hitting the door with a sledgehammer, not because of the ball.
Overall, the Cybertruck should be about as close to buying an armored personnel carrier as most people will get. The strength of the body and windows is probably something most truck buyers welcome.
A pickup truck is recognizable for its cargo bed. The Tesla Cybertruck uses a very different design than what other companies are building. The Cybertruck bed is called “The Vault” by engineers because of the retractable, locking hardcover. Tesla engineers say the Vault will be similarly sized to conventional pickup truck beds. Tesla intends to include a few features found nowhere else: 120v and 240v electrical outlets and access to pneumatic air connections for air-powered tools. These features will give owners the ability to use power tools on the spot, no matter where they are.
The Tesla Cybertruck Interior
So far, Tesla announced that the Cybertruck will offer seating for six using dual bench-style seats. The front seat has a foldable center armrest that doubles as a seat back for front-row passengers. The dash features a 17-inch touchscreen monitor similar to the ones used in other Tesla products. Versatility is key with the Cybertruck design. Drivers can fold the rear seat forward for extended cargo carrying capabilities. Tesla Cybertruck interior specifications will be the same regardless of the price of the model.
Cybertruck Performance Specs According to Tesla
Tesla has a reputation for building some of the fastest vehicles on the planet, and the Cybertruck should have no problem going up against supercars in a drag race. Initially, three versions will be available. The highest performing variant will allow 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 3 seconds.
Buyers like fast acceleration, but a truck must also be able to pull a load. Tesla advertises that the Cybertruck will be capable of pulling loads ranging from 7,500 lbs (base model) to 14,500 lbs (tri-motor AWD model). All models will have a payload capacity of 3,500 lbs.
Off-Road Capabilities of the Cybertruck
Sooner or later, every truck owner is going to find themselves in the dirt. The Cybertruck may offer some superior numbers on the pavement, but how does it stack up against today’s off-road capable vehicles?
One of the must-have features of any off-road capable truck is a generous approach angle. Approach angle refers to the steepness of a ramp the truck can climb before the bumper hits. Tesla claims the Cybertruck will have an approach angle of 35 degrees with the air suspension fully raised. To put that into context, a comparably sized Ford F-150 4×4 with a 6.5′ bed has an approach angle of only 25.5 degrees.
The Cybertruck benefits from having the battery pack mounted along the floor of the truck. This provides a full 16″ of ground clearance while off-road driving. Ford is only able to manage 9.4″ with the F-150 4×4 crew cab.
The all-electric Cybertruck should provide astounding off-road performance. The top-of-the-line model boasts an equivalent 800 horsepower and around 1,000 ft-lbs of torque. Fords F-150 tops out at 395 horses and about 400 ft-lbs of torque.
What is the Price of a Tesla Cybertruck?
Tesla expects the base model Cybertruck to have a retail price of around $39,900, while the high-performance specification model will be in the $70,000 range. The F-150 currently tops out at around $58,900. Pre-orders for the Tesla Cybertruck exceeded 250,000 in November 2019. Pre-orders for the dual- and tri-motor configuration vastly exceed those for the base, single motor version.
A self-driving option will be available. The option will add $7,000 to the price of the truck.
What will the Range Be for the Tesla Cybertruck?
The base model will have a functional total range of around 250 miles, while the dual-stacked battery available in the dual- and tri-motor versions should have a range of about 500 miles. Tesla’s quick-charge technology will allow rapid charging of the battery to 80 percent in less than 45 minutes.
When will the Tesla Cybertruck be Available?
Tesla expects production to begin in 2020 or 2021, with production vehicles on the market for the 2022 model year. If you just can’t wait that long to try an electric truck, several companies including Rivian, Ford, and Bollinger are expected to have electric pickup trucks on the market first.