The Tesla Cybertruck is the prototype of a battery-powered, light commercial vehicle from the American manufacturer Tesla. The vehicle in the form of a pick-up is intended to provide an outlook on the manufacturer’s first production model in this class. Three motors are planned, the range should be around 400–800 km or 250–500 miles (depending on the version). The vehicle is available for a deposit of 100 US dollars for pre-order in the US and 100 euros in Europe. The fourth quarter of 2021 is given as the start of production.
A special feature of the vehicle is its body, which is largely made of 30X stainless steel. Pricing is expected to start at $39,900 for the rear-wheel drive version, and two four-wheel drive versions will be available from $49,900 and $69,900, respectively.
According to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, the provision of a light commercial vehicle in the United States is one of the main concerns of the group, since it is the most profitable class of vehicles in the United States. Within a week, the vehicle has over 250,000 bookings. In February 2020 it passed 500,000 pre-orders.
All models of the Cybertruck should have an autopilot function as standard, which is known from the Model S , Model X and Model 3. In addition, there is a 120/220 V AC output and an adaptive air suspension system, which should ensure optimal operation with different loads to build in the presence of pneumatic system, a connection for appropriate air-powered tools is available. Such feature is often found in larger agricultural machines, whose suspension systems are designed similarly.
The body is made of approximately 3mm thick stainless steel, which is also used in the Starship rocket from SpaceX, and is rather folded in the form of a self-supporting exoskeleton. It is therefore very different from the standard construction of automobiles (chassis design). A similar design was already used for the Chrysler Airflow (1934-1937) and the DeLorean DMC-12. The manufacturer haven’t given any details about its weight.
In addition to the permanent rust resistance, Tesla promises a very scratch and impact resistant surface. The painting of a stainless steel body is technically difficult, so Tesla announced to offer the car in only one color, stainless steel.
There is space for six people in the interior. The cargo hold is approximately 2800 liters.
The Cybertruck should appear in three variants, which differ in the number of motors.
The powertrain itself is very similar to that of other models from the manufacturer, compatibility with the company’s 250 kW supercharger infrastructure. The future planned function for fully autonomous driving is targeted and can be pre-ordered.
The reactions to the vehicle design were mixed. On social media, many commentators expressed disappointment with the unexpected appearance and the group’s shareholders also seemed surprised. As a result of the presentation, the share price lost approximately 6% in value. However, due to the high number of pre-orders, the share price rebounded quickly sustainable.
However, the data on range and the (especially in relation to this) low price expectations surprised positively. According to Tesla, the low selling price is mainly due to the low cost of the skeleton construction and the lack of paintwork.
After other Tesla vehicles were put into police operation worldwide, at least 15 orders have already been placed for a police variant of the cyber truck, including from Mexico and Dubai.
In the course of the presentation, Musk presented a quad bike specially designed for the Cybertruck and tailored to the loading area, the ATV Tesla (now Tesla Cyberquad). So far, no further specifications for the vehicle are known, but it should be possible to charge directly via the 220V on-board network of the Cybertruck. Production is scheduled to begin 2021. The purchase should only be possible in connection with the purchase of a cyber truck.
In addition to the plans for the Cyberquad, Elon Musk also announced the prospect of producing a suitable dirt bike .
Production is due to start in a specially built plant in the fourth quarter of 2021. According to CEO Musk, several locations in the middle states of the United States are possible. The Model Y produced for the east coast may also happen at the same factory.
As part of the presentation, vehicles from films such as Blade Runner and a DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future were exhibited on the premises. The latter vehicle was already used as a model for the wing doors of the Tesla Model X and is also a template for the idea of producing parts of the Cybertruck in stainless steel and titanium.
During the presentation, Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, hit the driver’s door of the vehicle with a sledgehammer without any visible traces being visible. However, the demonstration, which was intended to demonstrate the durability of the windows, failed. The steel balls thrown onto the glass by Holzhausen caused the panes to tear. In another video released by Tesla, the glass holds up. In retrospect, Musk commented on the breakdown with the assumption that the slashes with the sledgehammer against the driver’s door had broken the lower part of the pane, thus affecting the stability of the entire surface. However, the pane of the rear door, which was not hit with the sledgehammer, also broke when the ball was thrown at this pane during the presentation. Since January 2020, Tesla has been self-ironically selling a T-shirt that shows a image of the smashed window.
According to Musk, the inspiration for the design was the Lotus S1 Esprit, which was used as an underwater conversion in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me from 1977.
November 21, 2019 was chosen as the date of the presentation because it is when the story of Ridley Scott’s science fiction film Blade Runner from 1982 begins. The location, an area near the premises of SpaceX, roughly corresponds to that of the film intro. Syd Mead, the film’s art director, was immediately enthusiastic about the futuristic design of the automobile.
When asked whether the vehicle could cross smaller rivers, Elon Musk said yes and announced that the cybertruck would be able to “swim for a while”.