The Final Cybertruck
Did you really think the final version of the Cybertruck would be exactly as presented during the reveal event? Well, think again, because the Cybertruck is still very much a work in progress.
The Cybertruck is Tesla’s disruptive electric entrant into the well established light duty truck category. The Cyperpunk inspired pickup truck may be the easiest vehicle for amateur finger painters to draw, but don’t be fooled by its brutalist exterior. Even though the polygonal pickup looks like it hasn’t finished rendering yet, the pointy stainless steel box accelerates like a Lamborghini, and tows like a freightliner. Proof that the game runs faster when you lower the graphics settings on your PC.
Constructed out of ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel, the same material used by Spacex on the starship spacecraft, the Cybertruck is infamously “bulletproof”Although your biggest concern will be neighborhood kids throwing rocks at it to put Elon’s durability claims to the test.
You probably know that the premium tri-motor Cybertruck will have an estimated output of 800 horsepower and 1000 pound-feet of torque, enough muscle to propel the burly electric truck to 60 MPH in 2.9 seconds, and tow up to 14,000 pounds.
But we’re not here to regurgitate all of the Cybertruck’s rumored specifications that have already been repeated ad nauseam.
We performed a technical deep dive into the specifications and story of the Cybertruck and uncovered some obscure facts you might not have known, including some modifications to the trucks design no one ever saw coming. These details really elucidate the engineering strategy that went into the Tesla Cybertruck, and provide a glimpse into the complex mind of Elon Musk.
1. Will Feature a New Stainless Steel Alloy
While the cybertruck is certainly designed as a rugged vehicle, we don’t anticipate your next pickup truck going on any space missions, although with Elon, you never know.
The Cybertruck will share its stainless steel exoskeleton material with the starship spacecraft. The starship is designed to be a fully reusable reentry vehicle. That means it must withstand not just the red hot temperatures of reentering the earths atmosphere, but also the cryogenic temperatures of space.
The 301 stainless steel alloy was originally selected for its strength, corrosion resistance, ductility, and machinability.
Elon Musk recently announced that parts of the starship will be moving to 304L stainless steel, A readily available austenitic steel alloy comprised of roughly 18% chromium, and 8% nickel, which is less brittle at cryo temps.
However, with SpaceX’s materials engineering initiative focused on developing advanced new purpose made metals, the final production alloy will probably be an approximation of 304L, rather than an exact match of the alloy you might commonly find in the pots and pans in your kitchen.
In a move likely related to supply chain efficiencies and synergies in metallurgy operations between Tesla and SpaceX, Tesla has opted to use the same 304L stainless steel for the body of their pickup truck. Although you probably won’t notice the difference, the cybertruck ’s shell will now be slightly more resilient in case a catastrophic meteor impact blocks out the sun and the earth enters a sixth ice age, the low carbon content also makes it better to weld.
The cybertruck makes use of some other unique materials in the vehicles interior as well, and it’s definitely not something you’d expect to find in a vehicle, especially one as tough as the Cybertruck…
2. Dashboard is Made of an Unexpected Material
The Cybertruck’s elegant looking dashboard is an element that attracted attention because it’s in contrast with the raw industrial look of the vehicles outer shell. On first glance the dashboard appears to be made from luxurious marble.
But think again, Marble is pretty dense, it weighs 2.711 grams per cubic centimeter, which would put the Cybertrucks dashboard at a roughly estimated weight of 670 lbs.
and the cybertruck already comes in at an estimated curb weight of 6,500 pounds. A metamorphic rock dashboard wouldn’t make much sense efficiency wise.
The marble dashboard of the Cybertruck is actually made out of… compressed paper.
Paper composite materials are a pretty popular building material since they’re quite sturdy and can be made into almost anything: furniture, bicycle frames, and even buildings. The Christchurch Transitional Cathedral in New Zealand also known as the “Cardboard Cathedral” famously used 24” diameter cardboard tubes in the buildings construction.
The Cybertruck’s stylish dashboard being made from paper reinforces Tesla’s commitment to sustainability, and is a component that can be easily recycled at the end of the Cybetruck’s life cycle.
Tesla has a history of using sustainable interior materials. In 2020 Tesla announced that the Model 3 was moving to a 100% leather free interior, with a plan to make all Tesla cars fully vegan in the future. You’re welcome to try and eat the seats in your model 3, although it is not recommended.
3. The Design Was Inspired By Science Fiction
Detractors think the utilitarian design style of the cybertruck looks ugly and unfinished, While supporters love the iconoclastic multangular form, saying it is indeed an innovative and functional electric vehicle body style.
But one thing’s for certain, The Cybertruck’s design definitely contains elements of pop culture sci-fi inspiration.
The Cybertruck was partially inspired by the Blade Runner universe. A fact that was not hidden during the reveal event that looked like a dystopian sci-fi convention. In an interview with recode Elon referred to the Cybertruck as a “futuristic-like cyberpunk, Blade Runner pickup truck”
Musk has been accused of simply “playing to the public’s science fiction fantasies” as a marketing scheme.
But if you know anything about Elon Musk, you’ll know that his early upbringing was defined by seminal sci-fi titles such as a the Foundation Series, and the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. The galactic scale storylines were formative to Elon’s unbounded world view and the futuristic concepts are deeply embedded in his psyche. If you read some of Elon’s favorite books, his astronomical initiatives will start to make more sense.
Elon is also an avid gamer and cites video games as the source of his early interest in computer programming. He does not hide the fact the Cybertruck has an uncanny resemblance to the Warthog from Halo. On twitter, Elon said, “Cybertruck is inspired by games like Halo. Warthog irl!!
Sorry about that, I won’t do that again.
The real life Ironman himself is quite happy with how his ludicrous lorry turned out, and he’s mentioned on multiple occasions that it was his dream to build a car inspired by the James Bond movies: “It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater. I was disappointed to learn that it can’t actually transform. What I’m going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real.”
Can the cybertruck really traverse through water? Well, that leads us to our next fact.
4. Tesla Cybertruck Can ‘Float’ according to Elon Musk
When Elon was asked on twitter if the Cybertruck could cross streams, the Tesla CEO proclaimed that the Cybertruck won’t just be able to drive through water, but also float because:
“A Tesla works as a boat for short periods of time, as an electric car has no air intake or exhaust to block & the battery/motor/ and electronics are water-sealed. Submarines are just underwater EVs.”
In a weird internet video that surfaced from Shanghai, a Model 3 is seen wading through deep flood waters like a dinghy, and people weren’t sure whether to be more amazed by the dogged determination of the driver, or the aquatic abilities of the automobile.
But it’s not just the model 3 and cybertruck that are for scuba.
The Tesla Model X and S can also pull the floating trick as Elon Musk has been touting since 2016 and even though his technical description for how to the use the Model S as a boat sounds like spy movie fiction, he’s actually serious… we think.
5. The final design of the Cybertruck will be even better than revealed.
Elon doesn’t like when car manufacturers show you one thing at the reveal event, and then drop something else entirely for the final production car, usually compromising all the most novel features that were promised.
During a Tesla earnings call, Elon said,
“Generally, at Tesla, we really aim to make the car that is delivered better than the car that is unveiled. Because it always drives me crazy, car companies would unveil these awesome looking cars, like, great, you can’t wait until they make that “And then the car they actual[ly] make is like much worse, and—but it’s just—it’s like really disappointing? So man, we always want to make the car that we deliver be better than the car we unveil. And that’s the goal with the Cybertruck. So there’s like a lot of small improvements compared to what was unveiled. I think it’s going to be better than what we showed.”
The final production version of the Cybertruck will feature some minor tweaks.
Elon announced that the Cybetruck will feature an improved air suspension with active ride height and active damping systems for better offload performance, even teasing the cybertruck’s entrance into the famed Baja 1000 off-road rally.
A lot of criticism had been levied against Tesla that the cybertruck was impractically large, with some potential customers questioning if it would even fit in their garage.
Elon originally said the size will be reduced by about 3%, with a more level center line, and lower window sill height. This will provide a more expansive cabin experience for the driver, and lower the height of the truck bed.
He later overturned his size reduction statement, instead saying that, “We will probably make an international version of the Cybertruck that will be kind of smaller, kind of like a tight wolverine package. It will still be cooler but it will be smaller cause you just can’t make a giant truck like that for most markets.”
All in all, no matter how many changes will be made to this electric truck, it will keep its polygonal sharp-edged design that polarized so many Tesla fans because, let’s face it, the 650k+ pre-orders are undeniable proof of its popularity.
6. Drivers Might Rely on a Digital Mirror
The Cybertruck “lacks” a few features that we’re accustomed to find in a normal vehicle. In case you haven’t noticed yet, there are no side mirrors, and the rearview mirror is in fact a screen that shows you a live video feed of what’s behind the truck. While having a camera instead of a rearview mirror isn’t unheard of, the lack of side mirrors is not yet authorized in the US so the Cybertruck we’ve seen is not exactly street legal yet, even though we’ve all seen Musk driving it around town. Elon believes rules are meant to be…bent, at least when they apply to antiquated regulations that didn’t factor in technological advancements when they were drafted by bureaucrats who likely don’t even know how to use microsoft excel.
We’ve already seen the side mirrors replaced by cameras in the European version of the Audi e-tron, but in the United States you’re still required to have physical ones.
In 2019, the NHTSA released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the use of rear facing cameras in vehicles, and it appears Tesla is waiting on a final ruling before they make their mirrorless design official.
7. The Cybertruck is Getting its Own Unique Superchargers
Because the Cybertruck is such a behemoth of an electric pick-up truck, it will need its own supercharger stations, and it seems that Tesla has just been granted permission to build a new batch of V3 Supercharger stalls in Pasadena, California, with six of them being specifically built for the Cybertruck. Tesla’s upcoming monster EV is expected to use the same charge plug as the rest of the fleet but with it being so wide, extra space between chargers will definitely be needed.
Tesla’s new V3 Superchargers are built on an entirely new architecture, having a powerful 1 MW cabinet that supports a peak rate of up to 250 kW per car that can charge the best selling model 3 at rates up to 1000 miles per hour.
The Cybertruck might be able to support charging rates beyond 250kw as mentioned by Elon Musk during the reveal event. Tesla hinted V4 superchargers are expected to be capable of charging at rates up to 350kW, and during a recent earnings call Tesla’s President of automotive Jeremy Guillen confirmed that Tesla is investigating 350kw chargers for its cars. Likely for next generation high powered vehicles like the Cybertruck and Roadster.
These fast charging rates are essential for the Cybertruck, because the batteries are like nothing we’ve seen before in a Tesla. Here’s Why…
8. May Feature New Tabless 4680 Battery cells
The trimotor cybertruck is projected to have a massive 200 – 250 kwh battery pack, over double the size of any Tesla battery before it. A necessary enlargement to achieve the weighty pickups EPA estimated range of 500+miles.
If you scaled up Tesla’s current 2170 battery modules, you’d be looking at a battery weight of over 2,700 pounds. A colossal figure.
It’s possible that the Cybertruck is already making use of the new and improved tabless 4680 battery cells that were presented on Tesla’s battery day. Elon said on twitter that they’ve already been using the jumbo cells in prototype vehicles for several months, and in one slide he showed a Semi and Cybertruck as examples for high nickel cathode cells in heavy vehicles.
The new 4680 cells expect to achieve a 5 times increase in energy storage, a 16% increase in range, and a 6 time increase in power. This reduction in weight could be an important component in making the Cybertruck high power requirements more feasible.
A technically proficient tesla owner may have uncovered a clue hidden inside Tesla’s recent software update that allows us to speculate on the battery capacity of future vehicles.
After updating his Model 3, YouTuber Bjorn Nylon noticed that Tesla had shifted to an 11 bit package, up from 10 bits, which would allow the software to accommodate a total battery capacity of about 205 kwh. Right in the range of the projected battery size for the Cybertruck and Roadster. There’s a lot of assumptions being made here, and there’s been no official comment from Tesla on this, but it’s an interesting observation.
The cybertruck is also said to feature some new components which can improve efficiency in unexpected ways..
9. The Cybertruck will feature a heat pump
The Tesla Model Y is the first Tesla vehicle to use a heat pump for interior cabin heating and cooling, which can improve vehicle efficiency compared to Tesla’s previous models that use electrical resistance to keep the car’s interior warm and toasty. A Heat Pump is a device that transfers thermal energy, and can be used for heating, or in reverse for cooling.
Potentially one of the most advanced pieces of new engineering in the vehicle, the Model Y’s heat pump contains a motorized “octovalve” that distributes coolant to all of the vehicles components that need of thermal regulation including motors, batteries, or sweaty passengers.
Elon recently confirmed that the Cybertruck will also feature a heat pump, giving the prodigious pickup an efficiency advantage, and increasing range in cold weather. No, not that cold.
When thinking about EV’s, the heating and cooling system might not be the first thing to come to mind, but this seemingly insignificant detail has a big effect on the vehicles range, because electric cars can lose up to 40% of their range in cold weather if you turn the heat on full blast.
Automotive engineering expert Sandy Munro, said this new addition to the cars thermal management system is one of the most significant changes to recent Tesla’s and and looks like something you’d find on a jet engine, not a car.
10. Fully Armored Bulletproof Tesla
Elon said that the Cybertruck resembles an armored personnel carrier from the future, But could you really turn the civilian cybertruck into a serviceable armored tactical vehicle?
Well, we’re going to do just that. In partnership with Utah based vehicle armorer Armormax, we have several trimotor cybertrucks on order with plans to up armor them into bonafide bulletproof vehicles.
We’re trying to decide whether to go with Camo, or a Raw metal finish for our armored Cybertruck. Vote in the comments by typing either “Camo Cybertruck” or “Metal Cybertruck” and I’ll tally up the votes to help decide.
The Cybertruck’s stout build and powerful electric powertrain provide a good base for a high mobility uparmored vehicle, and the trucks sturdy suspension can easily accommodate the extra weight of additional armor plating and ballistic glass. We’re even considering adding some defensive features straight out of a James Bond movie.
Here’s what Armormax CEO Mark Burton has to say about the project
First off, I think we’re really excited about the Cybertruck, and I think any level of protection is better than no protection. So what I would classify the Cybertruck at is low handgun protection. As far as on the classes and the levels and everything, it’s very basic. We could advance it to withstand high powered rifle rounds, we could have it withstand IED blasts, we could have it withstand grenades. Uh, So there’s a lot of options. Being able to quickly get out of a situation offers electric vehicles a huge advantage, because some of these Chevy Suburbans, or Range Rovers that we’re armoring, I mean the zero to sixty on some of those is going to upward of 5, 6 seconds.
With delivery expected in 2022, you’ll want to subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss it, Because we’re going to be documenting the entire armoring process and when it’s finished, we’ll definitely be shooting at it.
It’s universally known that Tesla pushes the boundaries of the Automotive market, and Elon Musk will stop at nothing to make his electric dreams come true. This is how he managed to build an industry dominating all-electric vehicle fleet despite the world screaming impossible.
With the Cybertruck, Tesla plans to penetrate the pickup truck segment with an electrifying entry that outperforms every competitor in its class, and looks outright alien in comparison to traditional pickup trucks.
The design language of the new era of electrification is still in its infancy, so maybe it doesn’t need to blend in with the rest of the pack to lead the industry forward.