The State of Florida was affected by terrible floodings in the wake of Cyclone Ian: the torrential rains have caused catastrophic damage in many parts of the state, widely shown on different media platforms. In the midst of this dramatic situation, Elon Musk has taken the opportunity to announce that the Tesla Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to be able to cross rivers, and to serve as a lifeboat in an emergency situation; a very interesting feature that nobody knew – at least on an official basis – up until now.
There are many cars that are waterproof and actually have no problem crossing rivers or streams, up to a certain depth. At best, off-roaders like the Land Rover Defender are capable of expanding their fording capabilities with very minor modifications, like a raised engine scoop or snorkel. Electric vehicles have the advantage of not having to worry about this kind of inconvenience, although in their case water is a natural enemy of electricity; even though with good insulation everything is possible.
Tesla and Elon Musk have basically proposed to take these characteristics of survival in aquatic environments to a whole new level. In words of the CEO, the Tesla Cybertruck must complete a test of the most unlikely and strange that we have seen so far: the goal is for the electric pick-up to be able to cross the sea channel that separates Starbase and South Padre Island in Texas. It is a small water gap of less than 500 meters, where the Cybertruck will not be able to stand and will have to face the currents of the canal that flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
There is no doubt that Musk has taken advantage of the current situation to make the announcement, although he has not specified when or how such a test will be carried out. Of course, what he has specified is that although the Cybertruck will be able to float for a while, it will be necessary for the body of water to be as calm as possible. If it is actually capable of doing what it says - something that might be actually possible - we are talking about the possibility of the Cybertruck being considered an amphibious vehicle, although it will not have the ability to actually maneuver in the open water; thus being at the mercy of the elements and currents.
Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren’t too choppy— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 29, 2022
Regarding the Tesla Cybertruck project itself, there has been no more talks of Tesla's first pick-up for a long time. The latest news was an increase in the sale prices, and that the company expects to make the first deliveries during the first half of next year; although there is still no official presentation date so far. It is clear that the Tesla Cybertruck will have unique characteristics and features, as Tesla has been quietly showing in its test models for some time. At this point all that is needed – and widely expected by reservation holders - is for the development to be finally completed, so that a massive commercial effort begins, which by the way is expected to be highly successful given the high number of existing reservations.
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.