Tesla press events have always been one of the most anticipated ones. From the announcement of solar tiles to the unveiling of the Tesla Roadster supercar, there has always been something fascinating on the horizon for people. On 21st November 2019 however, the company introduced one of its most controversial yet highly debated product ever, Tesla’s Cybertruck.
The futuristic, almost triangular-shaped vehicle instantly became the talk of the town. People criticized it, saying Tesla saved its efforts in the design department while others praised it for being ahead of its time. Either way, the company received more 200,000 preorders in the first few hours since the option was opened for customers. The Cybertruck is an all-electric off-roader that aims to compete with mainstream rivals from Ford and Chrysler.
About Tesla’s Cybertruck
It was 2012 when Tesla founder Elon Musk first voiced his desire to build a truck which came with load-compensating suspension and could compare to popular models currently available on the market. Almost 6 years of planning and testing later, the Cybertruck was finally announced to the world. The truck, like all other Tesla vehicles, is completely powered by electric motors with three models introduced for buyers.
The single motor RWD (rear-wheel drive) version will have an estimated range of about 250 miles or 400 km. The dual-motor AWD (all-wheel drive) is expected to drive 300 miles or 480 km on a single charge while the most expensive tri-motor AWD version will have a range of more or less 500 miles. That’s 800 km give or take. The Cybertruck is expected to begin production in 2021.
Tesla Cybertruck’s Design
From the moment it was unveiled, Tesla’s Cybertruck design became a talking point on social media. It remains so till today. People have differing opinions and although most people agreed that the design didn’t click with them, Tesla did a roaring business on pre-orders alone. The truck features a straight, boxy design made to look futuristic and unveiled in a shiny aluminium finish.
The Cybertruck uses an ‘exoskeleton’ in its construction, unlike conventional trucks that have a body-on-frame design. The exterior is made from 30x-series cold-rolled stainless steel which is more rigid than normal aluminium used in vehicle construction. The choice of material is what’s responsible for the shape of the Cybertruck because 3 mm stainless steel can be bent along straight lines, not stamped like other elements.
Performance and Pricing
The three variants of the Tesla Cybertruck announced by Elon Musk boost different power units. The Cybertruck trumps all other vehicles in its category when it comes to acceleration. The tri-motor AWD version goes from 0 to 60 in just 2.9 seconds. That’s almost the same as a Lamborghini Huracan Performante, which is a sports car. It goes on to a top speed of 210 kmph or 130 mph. This model is also the most expensive costing about 69,900 USD. Tesla has announced that there will be more versions of the Cybertruck coming out in 2022. For now, there are three variants available for preorder. All the versions of Tesla’s Cybertruck have the same 6.5 feet long pickup bed on the back. This is a similar size to conventional trucks available in the market. The complete details about towing capacity, acceleration, top speed and price figures of all three models is given in the table below.
Advantages of the Cybertruck Over Regular Pickup Trucks
Tesla has always been a manufacturer that has brought revolutionary changes to the automobile industry. It’s not just cars but also HUV’s and now the Cybertruck. There are a number of headlining benefits that the Cybertruck offers in comparison to other fossil-fuel-powered vehicles in this category. Here are a few that make it truly stand out from the rest and also justify its price at the same time.
Minimal Fuel Costs
The Cybertruck is not a hybrid. It is completely electric which means that there are huge savings in terms of fuel costs. The supercharger costs an average of $0.26 per kilowatt-hour while a gallon of fuel is $2.85. Tesla offers a greater range on a single charge as compared to what other trucks may give. This is one of the biggest advantages and it is the same reason for which people tend to buy electric cars. Tesla itself estimates that the average owner saves more than $4000 a year in gasoline and this is a substantial figure.
Carbon emissions are becoming a huge concern due to rising global warming and other anomalies happening around the world. Hybrid cars brought a relatively clean alternative to the market but they still used an engine so although the emissions are low, they are still damaging to the environment.
Tesla cars in general and the Cybertruck, in particular, have zero emissions because they are completely electric. The use of renewable fuel sources in cars is the least that we can do to contribute towards the health of this planet and many people are opting for Tesla’s Cybertruck with this in mind.
Most pickup trucks like the Ford F150 and Chevrolet Silverado have little in terms of aerodynamics. They are just huge machines built to carry and tow heavy loads and in order to provide this, all other aspects are completely compromised. The Cybertruck and its design provide an effective shape for the vehicle to slice through the air, even at high speeds. This reduces the drag on the pickup allowing it to be more efficient in terms of mileage. The Cybertruck has this factor going its way providing a huge benefit to people who are looking to purchase it when it finally begins shipping next year.
The Torque Factor
Electric motors are known to provide insane amounts of torque. Torque is the tendency of a force to cause rotation. The reason Tesla vehicles like the Model S and Model 3 are able to launch from a 0 to 60 mph faster than any other vehicle in the same category, is due to the torque that the motors are producing.
A pickup truck is not bought for its capacity to win drag races but torque is helpful in towing heavy loads and moving over sticky terrains like mud or ice. To put it into perspective, a Ford F150 engine produces 265 pound-feet of torque whereas the Cybertruck produce 1000 pound-feet.
People are divided when it comes to the Cybertruck especially when appearance is considered. The Tesla pickup also has other disadvantages. Doug Demuro, a famous auto journalist and YouTuber summarized these quite effectively in a video posted to his channel. You can view the video here and it lists some solid points.
In short, Tesla’s Cybertruck is too expensive if the towing capacity is compared because the dual-motor RWD version which has a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds and costs almost $50,000. In comparison, the base model Chevrolet Silverado can tow 9,800 pounds and starts at $30,000. Similarly, if you were to match the price of the top of the line Cybertruck which costs $70,000, you will have to leave the light-duty domain and move into high-duty trucks category but the vehicles in that segment destroy the Cybertruck in terms of towing capacity.
Just some facts to consider if you are a potential buyer.
The Future of Vehicles
When Tesla stepped into the automobile sector, they brought about a change that has motivated almost every other manufacturer to adopt electric technology. Most major brands have released their all-electric models like the Porsche Taycan, Jaguar i-Pace and Nissan Leaf are all examples of mainstream production vehicles.
With Tesla’s Cybertruck, the pickup industry is going to witness a transformation unlike anything seen before. Yes, the Cybertruck is not perfect and there are several loopholes that still need to be addressed but it sets the course for other companies to pick up the trend and work towards sustainable fuel sources while reducing carbon emissions at the same time. And it’s not like the vehicles are getting any less fun.
The Cybertruck is the start of something new. The vehicle surely doesn’t look exciting although most people differ on that too, it has other drawbacks like price and towing capacity but it indicates the beginning of a new chapter in the automotive book. We’re looking forward to what the future holds but for now the Cybertruck is definitely something to look forward to.