In an article in TorqueNews yesterday we talked about AI positions and the kinds of software engineering jobs available right now at Tesla. Now, regarding the Cybertruck, Elon basically said during the interview with the WSJ that it will be "… the best product ever"; that is, when it comes to the market in 2023, which is the year it will reach volume production. It will have a lot of new technologies, but he did not give many details, saying that he will be providing more detailed information during the earnings call in early 2022. But he did say that the Cybertruck will be "… a very special product that only happens once in a while."
The Cybertruck, as everybody knows, is an all-electric, battery-powered, light-duty truck announced by Tesla in November 2019. Three models have been announced, with EPA range estimates of 400 - 800 kilometers (250 - 500 mi) and an estimated 0 - 100 km/h (0 - 62 mph) time of 2.9 - 6.5 seconds, depending on the model. The stated goal of Tesla in developing the Cybertruck is to provide a sustainable energy substitute for the roughly 6,500 fossil-fuel-powered trucks sold per day in the United States. When first introduced to the general public, Elon Musk said the following about the chassis and basic shape:
“We moved the mass to the outside. We’ve created an exoskeleton. The way that trucks are normally designed, you have a body-on-frame, a bed-on-frame. And the body and the bed don’t do anything useful. They are carried like cargo, like a sack of potatoes. It was the way that aircraft used to be designed when we had biplanes, basically. The key to creating an effective monoplane was a stressed-skin design. You move the stress to the outside skin. Allows you to do things you can’t do with body-on-frame.”
The Cybertruck is built with an exterior shell made for durability and passenger protection. Starting with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component was designed by Tesla for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armor glass. Tesla says about the Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel, “... if there was something better, we’d use it. Help eliminate dents, damage and long-term corrosion with a smooth monochrome exoskeleton that puts the shell on the outside of the car and provides you and your passengers maximum protection.”
The Cybertruck’s solar tonneau is certainly another key feature for many reservation holders, given the fact that it would give the possibility of semi-total independence from the grid and charging stations; obviously depending on the number of miles a day driven. With 15 miles of added solar range, and with the option of adding another 25 miles (totaling 40 miles on 100% solar) by adding extra foldable solar wings, the feature is certainly attractive.
The patent for the solar tonneau states that “…in one embodiment, the tonneau cover comprises solar electric cells that are electrically connected to a photovoltaic charging system and battery. … When the tonneau cover is deployed to cover the bed, and the solar electric cells that make up the slats are facing the sun, the battery within the electric vehicle can be charged by the solar electric cells.”
As per the latest information in an article by Tinsae Aregay in TorqueNews last December 3rd, "… the Cybertruck was originally scheduled to start production by the end of this year; however, the worldwide parts shortage coupled with battery constraints have forced Tesla to delay the start of production to the end of 2022. Tesla has also recently removed all pricing and variants of the Cybertruck from the company’s online configurator."
Aregay continued "… this move sparked rumors Tesla is planning to redesign and raise the price of Cybertruck. This made some sense given the single motor Cybertruck had become the cheapest Tesla you can buy before pricing was removed from the online configurator. And now a new rumor circulating on Twitter suggests more detailed reasoning for why Tesla removed all Cybertruck trims from the online configurator. According to the rumor, Tesla is considering getting rid of the single motor Cybertruck and replacing it with a new higher-end 4 motor variant."
Another source, Jeremy Johnson from TorqueNews, stated that "… Tesla recently announced that it would be starting with the dual and quad motor versions of the Cybertruck. Tesla has scrapped the single motor Cybertruck for now. That leaves us with dual, tri, and quad motor options and it looks like the tri motor is not going to be available until possibly a later date. Elon Musk stated that the Cybertruck will have post apocalyptic technology and be able to move sideways like a crab."
Interesting features, indeed. Finally, at the end of the on-line interview with the Wall Street Journal, and totally apart from any technicality or business reference, Musk also talked about the on-going China-US relationship, saying "… we are headed to an interesting and different world. I hope that we can remember that we are all human beings. Let's just try to have as positive a relationship as possible and work towards mutual prosperity for humanity as a whole."
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.