The Tesla Cybertruck is an all-electric, battery-powered, light commercial vehicle in development by Tesla. Tesla announced three models of tesla trucks, with estimated range of 250–500 miles (400–800 km) and an estimated 0–60 mph time of 2.9–6.5 seconds, depending on the model.
The main focus of Tesla in developing the eco-friendly Cybertruck to provide a sustainable-energy substitute for the roughly 6,500 fossil-fuel-powered trucks sold per day in the United States. The base price of the rear-wheel drive model of the vehicle will be US$39,900, with all-wheel drive models starting at $49,900. Tesls Cybertruck production is slated to begin in 2021, with more models being offered by 2022.
In 2012 and 2013 Elon Musk discussed the desire to build a truck with load-compensating suspension, making comparisons with a Ford F-250.In early-2014 Musk predicted 4–5 years before work could start on the product.
In mid-2016, Musk outlined the intent for a new kind of consumer pickup truck, and suggested using the same chassis for a van and a pickup truck.In late-2017, the size was estimated to be at least that of a Ford F-150, in order to be large enough to enable a “game-changing” feature. During the Tesla Semi and Tesla Roadster unveiling in November 2017, a picture of a “pickup truck that can carry a pickup truck” was displayed.Background ideas had been in preparation for nearly five years.
In March 2019, following the Tesla Model Y launch, Elon Musk distributed a teaser image of a vehicle described as having a cyberpunk or Blade Runner style, with the form resembling a futuristic armoured personnel carrier.It was rumored to be named the Model B. Tesla filed for a trademark on “Cybrtrk”, which was granted under United States Patent and Trademark.
In mid-2019, the towing capacity of the vehicle was stated to meet or exceed that of a Ford F-150. In June 2019, Musk noted that an amphibious vehicle design concept—based partly on Wet Nellie, the submarine car from the film The Spy Who Loved Me—was possible. Musk had bought a Wet Nellie used in the filming at a 2013 Sotheby’s auction.
In response to queries for an unveiling date, Musk stated in late July “We’re close, but the magic is in the final details. Maybe 2 to 3 months”, indicating late-2019. The unveiling was later scheduled for 21 November 2019 at the Tesla Design Studio, next to SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles—the same month, year and location that the movie Blade Runner was set in. The truck was launched under a graffiti-themed logo of “Cybertruck”, and a new trademark request was filed with the graffiti logo at the same time.
The truck will use self-leveling suspension which compensates for variable load and some models will have all-wheel drive. Other standard features include on-board power inverters for supplying both 120 and 240-volt electricity, allowing use of power tools without a portable generator. An air compressor for powering pneumatic tools is included. The exterior stainless steel sheet-metal is bullet-resistant against 9 mm caliber bullets. All vehicles will also come with Tesla Autopilot, and will have the hardware capabilities for fully autonomous operation. As of November 2019, Tesla was accepting pre-orders for $100, with a $7,000 ‘full self-driving’ option.
The range of the Tesla Cybertruck varies from 250–500 miles (400–800 km), depending on configuration selections.
The interior of the prototype unveiled on 21 November 2019 includes a 17-inch center display, seating for 6 using two bench seats with the front middle seat being a fold-down center arm rest, a digital rear-view camera based mirror, a race car style steering yoke, and a dashboard with a surface resembling marble. The rear middle seat folds down to allow loading long cargo extending into the cab from the vault (enclosed lockable bed). The “marble look” dashboard of the unveil prototype vehicle was a paper composite material made from “paper, wood-based fibers, natural wood pigments and non-petroleum based resins.”
The bed of the truck is 6.5 feet (2.0 m) long and similar to a conventional pickup truck bed with tailgate. It has sloped side walls and an integral motorized roller shutter style tonneau cover to improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Because of the additional security this provides, Tesla terms this 100-cubic-foot (2.8 m3) enclosed space “the vault”. It includes LED light strips along each side, an additional under-floor storage space behind the rear wheels, 110 and 220 V AC outlets, and a compressed air outlet for pneumatic tools. One article claims that there is a pass-through to the cabin for long cargo, the displayed prototype lacks any corresponding opening in the front of the bed. Elon Musk indicated in a tweet that the cabin’s climate control will also be available in the vault for uses such as camping. One feature demonstrated on the prototype, but not explicitly advertised, is a ramp that extends from the tail gate to the ground for loading cargo.
The Cybertruck uses unibody construction like most passenger cars, rather than the body-on-frame construction which is typical of trucks, as a standard vehicle frame would conflict with the under-floor battery pack. It uses unusually thick 3 mm (1⁄8 in) 30x-series cold-rolled stainless steel body panels, which cannot be stamped like conventional automobile parts. The panels can only be bent along straight lines resulting in a very distinctive faceted design which has been called “low-poly” or likened to origami. This material is the same material SpaceX uses on their Starship, because it distributes stress more evenly and allows for more interior volume. Earlier design concepts for Cybertruck had included using titanium for the outer panels, but this was later switched to stainless steel for additional strength.
The powertrain is similar to the Model S/X, with an inductive rear motor and the Model 3’s permanent-magnet in front for the medium model. Other versions are single-motor rear wheel drive, or tri-motor with one front and two rear motors.
Similar to other Tesla models, the cybertruck can be pre-ordered with Full Self Driving software upgrade, adding an additional $7,000 to the price of the configuration.
The Cybertruck was unveiled at the Tesla Design Studio in Los Angeles on 21 November 2019. During the presentation, Musk demonstrated the durability of the vehicle and its materials. Despite successful drop tests conducted on a pane of the specialized ‘Tesla armor glass’ and a successful pre-show test where a steel ball was thrown at the windows of the truck itself by chief of design Franz von Holzhausen with apparently no damage, the windows were damaged when Holzhausen repeated the test during the show. Musk jokingly exclaimed that “the ball didn’t make it through” and “we’ll fix it in post” after the unexpected outcomes. He later explained that the windows were damaged because in an earlier demonstration, the door was hit by a sledgehammer and that cracked the base of the glass.
At the end of the presentation, the Tesla Cyberquad, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), was driven onto the bed of the Cybertruck using built-in ramps in the tailgate. The Cyberquad was plugged into the Cybertruck’s onboard power outlet to charge the Cyberquad batteries. The ATV will be available for sale as an optional package with the Cybertruck.
The Cybertruck unveiling event was covered heavily by traditional media and online blogs/social media. In social media, many commentators expressed dislike of the sharp contours and unusual exterior of the Cybertruck.
Tesla, Inc. stock was down 6% following the Cybertruck announcement.
On 23 November 2019, Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla had received 146,000 pre-orders in the first 1.5 days after the unveiling—each requiring a US$100 refundable deposit—with 42% choosing the dual-motor configuration, 41% choosing the tri-motor configuration, and 17% choosing the single-motor configuration. The number reached 250,000 on 26 November.
Additionally, a video of the Cybertruck pulling a rear-wheel-drive Ford F-150 uphill in a tug of war resulted in 14,000 comments and 619,000 likes on Twitter. A Ford vice president tweeted that he wanted to arrange a rematch, and while Musk agreed in principle, a Ford spokesperson later clarified that the tweet had been ‘tongue in cheek’.