The Tesla Cybertruck is a battery electric medium duty full-size pickup truck built by Tesla, Inc. since 2023.[5] Introduced as a concept vehicle in November 2019, it features a triangular body design with flat sheet metal panels made of stainless steel.

Tesla Cybertruck
A production Cybertruck in the Tesla Fremont Factory parking lot in November 2023
Overview
ManufacturerTesla, Inc.
ProductionNovember 2023 – present
AssemblyUnited States: Austin, Texas (Gigafactory Texas)
DesignerFranz von Holzhausen with Sahm Jafari[1][better source needed]
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size pickup truck
Body style4-door crew cab
Layout
Powertrain
TransmissionSingle-speed fixed (15:1 ratio)
Battery
Electric range
  • 250–340 mi (400–545 km) (EPA est.)
  • 440–470 mi (710–755 km) (with range extender)
Plug-in charging
  • AC onboard charger:
  •     11.5 kW at 240 V, 48 A
  • DC:
  •     ≤250 kW at 400 V[2]
  •     ≤350 kW at 800 V[3]
  • NACS connector
Dimensions
Length223.7 in (5,682 mm)[4]
Width80 in (2,032 mm)[4]
Height70.5 in (1,791 mm)[4]
Curb weight
  • AWD: 6,603 lb (2,995 kg)[4]
  • Cyberbeast: 6,843 lb (3,104 kg)[4]

Tesla was initially aiming to bring the vehicle into production in 2021. After a series of delays, production Cybertrucks were first delivered to customers in late November 2023. As of December 2023, the Cybertruck is available only in North America.[6][7][8] Three models are offered: the tri-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) "Cyberbeast", a dual-motor AWD model, and a rear-wheel drive (RWD) model, with EPA range estimates of 250–340 miles (400–550 km), varying by model.[9]

History edit

Background edit

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's ideas for a pickup truck were first stated publicly in 2012, envisioning a "Tesla supertruck with crazy torque, dynamic air suspension, and corners like it's on rails."[10] In a 2014 interview with CNN, Musk stated that the Tesla pickup would be the equivalent of a Ford F-150.[10] In mid-2016, the outline for a consumer pickup truck was included in part 2 of the Tesla Master Plan,[11][12] which has been characterized as an ordinary business blueprint akin to that of other more established major automakers, aside from Musk's unique emphasis on the future of electric vehicles.[13] Musk suggested that the same chassis could be used for a van and a pickup truck.[14] In 2017, Musk teased the Cybertruck at the official reveal for the Tesla Semi and Roadster.[10]

In March 2019, following the Tesla Model Y launch, Musk distributed a teaser image of a vehicle described as having a cyberpunk or Blade Runner style, with the form resembling a futuristic armored personnel carrier. It was rumored to be named the Model B.[15][16][17] On November 6, 2019, Tesla filed for a trademark on "Cybrtrk", which was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office but was later abandoned on August 10, 2020.[18]

2019 concept edit

Window damage caused by the steel ball impacting during the unveiling event.

The concept Cybertruck was unveiled in Los Angeles in November 2019[19]—the same month, year, and location that the movie Blade Runner was set. The truck was launched under a graffiti-themed logo of "Cybertruck".[20]

During the unveiling, Tesla claimed that the Cybertruck's "Armor Glass" windows were virtually unbreakable, but two windows shattered when Franz von Holzhausen threw a metal ball at each of them.[21] Musk later claimed that the windows were damaged because, in an earlier demonstration, the door was hit by a sledgehammer that cracked the base of the glass.[22] In mid-2019, the towing capacity of the vehicle was stated to meet or exceed that of a Ford F-150.[23] Tesla released a video of Cybertruck pulling a rear-wheel-drive Ford F-150 uphill in a tug of war.[24] News outlets pointed out this was due to the Cybertruck's heavier weight.[25][26]

Tesla's stated goal was to provide a sustainable energy substitute for the roughly 6,500 fossil-fuel-powered trucks sold per day in the United States.[27]

At the end of the presentation, a concept Tesla Cyberquad all-terrain vehicle (ATV) was driven onto the bed of the Cybertruck using a built-in ramp in the tailgate. The Cyberquad was plugged into the Cybertruck's onboard power outlet to charge its batteries. The ATV was anticipated for future sale as a Cybertruck option.[28]

In 2019, many social media commentators criticized the sharp contours and unusual exterior shown in the concept vehicle.[29] The prototype was exhibited at the Petersen Automotive Museum in June 2020[30] and returned in November 2022.[31]

In January 2020, Automobile Magazine named Cybertruck the "Concept Car of the Year" for 2019.[32]

Reservations edit

 
Cybertruck prototype on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum

Beginning in November 2019, Tesla accepted Cybertruck reservations with a refundable US$100 deposit.[33] On November 23, 2019, Musk tweeted that Tesla had received 146,000 reservations in the first 1.5 days after the unveiling.[34] Musk updated the number of preorders to 250,000 on November 26.[35]

In October 2021, Tesla removed the Cybertruck's pricing and specifications from its website without explanation while still accepting deposits.[36] An updated prototype was spotted undergoing testing in December 2021. The newer prototype could be distinguished from the 2019 concept vehicle by the presence of a large windshield wiper and the omission of the truck's front light bar.[37]

At the 2022 annual shareholders meeting, in response to a question, Elon Musk stated that final specifications and pricing would be materially different from those unveiled on the concept vehicle in 2019.[38]

By the end of November 2023, there were approximately 2 million reservations for the Cybertruck with Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives estimating that only 30 to 40 percent would convert into actual sales.[39]

Preorders were temporarily shut down prior to the delivery event on November 30, 2023.[40] Since the delivery event, the price for a deposit was increased to $250.[41] As of January 2024, the Cybertruck is sold out until 2027 for customers placing new reservations.[42]

Pilot production edit

 
Release Candidate testing in San Mateo, California, during October 2023

Franz von Holzhausen drove a prototype to the Petersen Automotive Museum for an event in late June 2023.[43]

In July 2023, the first Cybertruck was built on the production line at Gigafactory Texas;[44] and Tesla clarified in October that this was pilot production.[45]

Delivery edit

Production-specification Cybertrucks were sent to Tesla showrooms starting in late November 2023.[46][47]

During the delivery event at Gigafactory Texas on November 30, 2023, Tesla delivered the first 10 or 12 production units to customers.[48][49] The event featured a 30-minute presentation including a demonstration where the Cybertruck's armored glass successfully withstood a baseball thrown by von Holzhausen.[50] During the delivery event the speed of the Cybertruck was highlighted as being able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.6 seconds which was demonstrated by a video of the Cybertruck winning a drag race with a Porsche 911 while also towing another Porsche 911,[51] which Musk claimed was over a distance of 14 mi (0.40 km), but based on pavement markings and grandstand position at Sacramento Raceway Park, where the race was recorded, was more likely to be 18 mi (0.20 km).[52]

At the delivery event, final pricing, availability, and product details were also announced. Three models were announced: single-motor RWD, dual-motor AWD, and a tri-motor AWD branded as the "Cyberbeast." The RWD model base price was US$60,990 to be available in 2025. Its range was 250 mi (400 km) with a top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h). The all-wheel drive was to be available in 2024 at a starting price of $79,990, with a range of 340 mi (550 km) and a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h). The tri-motor Cyberbeast variant was offered at $99,990, also to be available in 2024.[40] Compared to the 2019 unveiling of the concept Cybertruck, base prices had risen by US$21,000–39,000, depending on the model, an increase of 53% to 64%.[53]

Design edit

Inspiration and styling edit

 
A lineup of preproduction Tesla vehicles, including the 2019 Cybertruck prototype, the Cyberquad, the second generation Roadster, and the Tesla Semi on display in September 2020

According to Musk, the design of the Cybertruck was inspired by Blade Runner and "Wet Nellie", the Lotus Esprit driven by James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me, which doubled as a submarine.[54] In June 2019, Musk noted that amphibious vehicles were technically possible and claimed Tesla had a design for one;[55] he also said that he believed the market for such vehicles would be "small but enthusiastic."[55] Musk had bought the Wet Nellie used in filming at a 2013 Sotheby's auction.[54] Like most vehicles, the Cybertruck can float for short periods of time.[56]

In a Musk biography by Walter Isaacson, Musk's son Saxon was quoted as asking, "Why doesn't the future look like the future?", which Musk used as an inspiration for the design[57] and repeated during the delivery event.[49][58] Lars Moravy confirmed Musk's involvement: "Elon threw in that it had to drive like a sports car but have all the utility of a pick-up truck... basically, we were sweating bullets". Franz von Holzhausen stated the design process "started [by] unpacking existing pick-up trucks and realis[ing] that the market hasn't changed at all. [...] Like Gandini, we wanted to do something dramatic that changed everything. I had this simple idea right in the beginning: this exoskeleton idea, a low-resolution-looking type of truck. And out of that side project, we made a full-size clay model to show Elon. And he's like, 'that's what we're doing.'"[3]

Syd Mead, Blade Runner's artistic director, called the Cybertruck "stylistically breathtaking" shortly after the unveiling.[59] Frank Stephenson was critical, calling the design "almost repulsive" but tempered his criticism by noting it "has the potential to be extremely beautiful" by softening the hard lines.[60] Automotive designer Adrian Clarke was more unsparing: "The Cybertruck is a low polygon joke that only exists in the fever dreams of Tesla fans that stands high on the smell of Elon Musk's flatulences".[61] Giorgetto Giugiaro, credited with originating the "origami" car design trend with the Lotus Esprit, BMW M1, and DMC DeLorean, stated in 2023 that "when you step outside the norms, it's almost always seen as a provocation [...] the Cybertruck will surely be successful [...] I'm convinced it will find its admirers".[62]

Exterior edit

 
Production-spec Cybertruck and Cyberquad in Tesla showroom (November 2023)
Tesla Cybertruck in Tokyo, Japan (2024)

Sources vary regarding the precise nature of the Cybertruck's chassis, with two Motor Trend publications asserting that it is a conventional unibody,[56][63] and a Top Gear review stating that the vehicle is an exoskeleton.[3] Sources conflict on whether the stainless steel body is load-bearing.[56][63] The 300-series stainless steel panels have a thickness of 1.8 and 1.4 mm (0.071 and 0.055 in) for the doors and body, respectively, according to a factory tour video;[64] for comparison, the 2019 prototype featured 3 mm-thick (18 in) cold-rolled panels, according to Musk.[65] These panels cannot be stamped like conventional automobile parts, but instead are laser-cut and then bent along straight lines.[66][verification needed] According to Tesla's VP of Vehicle Engineering Lars Moravy, Tesla had to invent a manufacturing process called "air bending" which shapes the steel with high air pressure without actually touching the surface.[67]

In 2019, it was reportedly going to use the same stainless steel alloy developed by Tesla[68] in partnership with Aperam.[66]

Powertrain edit

Tesla stated that they use a platform approach to the powertrain components—using only a single permanent magnet motor rotor/stator design, a single induction motor rotor/stator design, a single motor inverter design, and a single gear set design—for all three configurations of Cybertruck—tri-motor AWD, dual-motor AWD, and single-motor RWD—delivering a range of power from 845 hp (630 kW) on the tri-motor down to 315 hp (235 kW) in the single-motor version. All powertrain components for both motor types are housed in a liquid-cooled integrated subassembly that includes the rotor/stator, inverter and the 15:1-ratio gear set.[69]

The dual-motor AWD version uses an induction motor on the front axle with a maximum output of 303 hp (226 kW) and a permanent magnet motor on the rear axle with a maximum output of 297 hp (221 kW) for a total power output of 600 hp (450 kW).[70] The tri-motor AWD version—"Cyberbeast"—swaps motor locations (PM to front axle, IM to rear axle) and adds a second induction motor on the rear axle, offering a maximum combined output of 845 hp (630 kW) in Beast Mode,[4] split as 276 hp (206 kW) for the front motor and 284 hp (212 kW) for each rear motor.[70] The rear-wheel drive version, announced for delayed production not before 2025, will be equipped with the single permanent magnet motor on the rear axle.[69]

In late 2021, Tesla contemplated adding a quad-motor option, but this was not retained in the production vehicles as brought to market in late 2023.[71]

Cybertruck model specifications[4][2][72][73]
Model
Spec
Single-motor
Rear-wheel drive
Dual-motor AWD Tri-motor AWD
"Cyberbeast"
Range (EPA est.) 250 mi (400 km) 340 mi (550 km) 320 mi (510 km)
Range with extender ? >470 mi (760 km) >440 mi (710 km)
0 to 60 mph 6.5 sec. 4.1 sec. 2.6 sec. (with rollout subtracted)
Top speed 112 mph (180 km/h) 112 mph (180 km/h) 130 mph (210 km/h)
Power 315 hp (235 kW)[69] 600 hp (450 kW) 845 hp (630 kW)
Wheel torque ? 7,435 lb⋅ft (10,081 N⋅m) 10,296 lb⋅ft (13,960 N⋅m)
Payload capacity ? 2,500 lb (1,100 kg)
Towing capacity 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) 11,000 lb (5,000 kg)

Glass edit

The windows use borosilicate glass. Should a chip form, a hoop stress ring forms, preventing spread.[74]

Suspension, chassis and steering edit

The Cybertruck uses active air suspension at both axles. The truck has self-leveling suspension that can compensate for variable load weights. Up to 12 inches (30 cm) of suspension travel and 17.4 inches (44 cm) of ground clearance are provided,[3] with a 35 degree approach angle, and 28 degree departure angle.[75]

 
Interior view, 2019 prototype

The Cybertruck uses steer-by-wire,[76] controlled by a "yoke-style steering apparatus".[63] All turns can be completed with less than a full rotation, 340° lock-to-lock, 170° in each direction.[77] Four-wheel steering (rear wheels up to 10°) reduces the turning circle.[49][78] Steering is speed sensitive and damped to mitigate whipping violently in rough terrain. The front motor can deliver all of its torque to one wheel using a locking differential. The wheels have 6 lug nuts to handle the available torque. The handling balance can be adjusted to allow drifting.[74]

Range, battery, and charging edit

Dual motor all-wheel drive is specified with an estimated range of 340 mi (550 km), while Cyberbeast models have a range of 320 mi (510 km).[77] On November 30, 2023, the RWD model with a range of 250 mi (400 km) was announced for delivery in 2025.[4]

The Cybertruck has an 816 V nominal, 150 Ah[70][79] structural battery pack with a maximum capacity of 123 kWh.[3] The pack serves as a structural member and is composed of 4680 lithium-ion battery cells; with a stated energy density of 170 Wh/kg for the entire pack, the overall battery pack weight is approximately 1,590 lb (720 kg).[70]

The battery is claimed to charge at a maximum rate of 350 kW at charging stations capable of supplying 800 V DC power.[3] Tesla claims that up to 128 or 136 mi (206 or 219 km) (tri-motor or dual-motor versions, respectively) of range can be added in 15 minutes of charging at 400 V DC.[80] The onboard charger can accept AC power at a maximum rate of 11.5 kW at 240 V, 48 A.[2] The 800 V split-pack battery is composed of two smaller 400 V batteries, contactors connect them in parallel for backwards compatibility with existing 400V DC charging infrastructure.[81] The service menu shows the current state of "Series" or "Parallel" (High Voltage/Charging).[82]

Range extender edit

The dual-motor and tri-motor configurations can be ordered with a "range extender" option, which adds a 50 kWh battery to the vehicle. The battery occupies approximately 13 of the truck bed and increases range by 120–130 mi (190–210 km).[77] It is intended for long trips or towing heavy loads up mountains.[83]

Vehicle-provided power edit

The Cybertruck offers up to 9.6 kW of vehicle-to-load (V2L) continuous AC power through five outlets:[84]

  • Four 120 V 20 A outlets (NEMA 5-20), two in the bed and two in the cabin
  • One 240 V 40 A outlet (NEMA 14-50) in the bed

In addition, the Cybertruck also supports up to 11.5 kW AC output for vehicle-to-home (V2H), or vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) charging.[85][86] A Tesla Wall Connector and either a Tesla Gateway or Powerwall are required to enable bidirectional loads to a home.[87]

Powershare in the Cybertruck does not directly support vehicle-to-grid (V2G) supply due to regulations for feeding power to the grid.[88]: 42:42 

Wade mode edit

Wade mode allows the vehicle to cross water up to 2.5 feet (0.76 m) deep. It uses scuba pack to create positive pressure inside the battery to keep water from entering.[74]

Mid-voltage electrical system edit

The Cybertruck uses a 48-volt electrical system; this 48 V DC is fed to electric-powered components including steering actuators, oil pumps at the drive units, window regulator motors, wiper motor,[88]: 18:02  accessory power feed to the frunk (400W)[89] and to the roof (400W),[89] three domain controller ECUs, the touchscreen [90] and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery.[91]

Interior edit

The Cybertruck has five seats,[63] two in the front and a three-seat bench in the back row.[3] The vehicle has a 18.5 in (47 cm) touch-screen display in the front for most of the climate, media, and vehicle controls.[63][3] The vehicle also contains a 9.4 in (24 cm) touch-screen for the rear seat passengers.[63][3]

The Cybertruck has a steering wheel in the shape of a "squircle" (combination of a square and a circle), with a flat top and bottom, and round sides.[4]

Cargo bed edit

 
Rear view, 2019 prototype

The cargo bed is 72 in (1,800 mm) long and 48 in (1,200 mm) wide. It has a motorized roller shutter style tonneau cover enclosing a storage area of 67 cu ft (1.9 m3).[92][93] The cargo bed has sloped side walls.[94][needs update]

When the tonneau is closed, it covers the rear window, blocking rear visibility.[95] This is resolved by front and rear-facing cameras to aid visibility when reversing, parking, and towing.[95][63] In the bed area there are LED light strips along each side, a storage area below the main floor behind the rear wheels, and 120 and 240 V AC outlets.[96]

Network edit

The Cybertruck uses a central, bi-directional gigabit Etherloop network with CAN bus satellite networks to operate vehicle systems. The result is that data travels over the same network, as opposed to traditional CAN bus systems which require individual connections, reducing the amount of wiring in the vehicle. Audio travels over the same network, eliminating the need for audio-specific wiring. For comparison, while the number of endpoints increased 50% over the Model 3, the amount of cross-vehicle wiring was reduced by two-thirds.[69]

Production and availability edit

 
Cybertruck in Austin, Texas in March 2024

Cybertruck production began in Gigafactory Texas in Austin, Texas,[97] with pre-production models in July 2023.[44][45] Serial production had begun by November 2023. As of December 2023, Tesla confirmed that the Cybertruck will be available exclusively in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with no plans for release in other global markets, including Europe and Australia.[6][7][8] The decision to limit the Cybertruck's availability was first indicated in May 2022, when Tesla stopped taking orders for the vehicle from customers outside North America.[6]

Safety concerns edit

The Cybertruck's angular design and stiff stainless-steel exterior have raised concerns among safety experts that it could hurt pedestrians and cyclists and damage other vehicles on roads.[98][99] Particular concerns have been raised about the high stiffness of the "exoskeleton" exterior, potentially reducing crumple zones. The tall, flat front of the truck may increase the severity of pedestrian leg injuries.[98][100]

Tesla has defended the design, saying that the structures of the truck would absorb an impact during a crash.[98] The Cybertruck had passed U.S. regulatory review according to Musk.[98]

On April 17, 2024, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that Tesla had recalled all 3,878 Cybertrucks sold as of that date to fix an accelerator pedal pad that could come loose and get lodged in the interior trim, causing the car to unintentionally accelerate.[101]

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