Tesla’s Cybertruck Is Electric Rival to the F-150

After quite some time of talking about entering the truck industry, Elon Musk finally announced Tesla’s Cybertruck with a design that nobody anticipated. 

Thus far, electric vehicles have been seen to be a more expensive but environmentally friendly alternative to gas-powered cars except that they never lived up to the raw towing power of large truck brands. 

If Cyber truck is really capable of everything Tesla says it is, that stereotype could change. 

Tesla has been putting a point in the affordability and competitiveness of the new truck. According to Tesla, the top-of-the-line model can tow 14,000 pounds, go 0-60 in under three seconds, 500 miles on one charge and utilized all wheel drive with three motors. 

The tricky part is that those specs will cost $70,000. 

The affordable model costs only $40,000 dollars but towing ability drops to 7,500 pounds, 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, 250 miles per charge and rear wheel drive, although it does have a maximum clearance of 16 inches. 

$70,000 is still low for a Tesla but not very competitive with gas vehicles for the comparative performance.  

The price has not been too big a barrier as there are already 200,000 pre-orders for the truck that starts production in late 2021.

Cybertruck comes loaded with many other appealing features for electric cars. The car is very easy to load  because the pneumatic suspension can lower the truck to assist loading and a small ramp extends out to get the rest of the way to the ground. 

This means that the electric four-wheeler, Cyberquad, was able to drive onto Cybertruck without any third-party products.

Cyberquad and other tools can be charged through the onboard outlet with 120-240 volts of power. 

It also comes with the popular autonomous driving Tesla is known for implementing.

As if an electric truck wasn’t unique enough, Tesla has completely rethought the way the body of the truck is made. 

Cybertruck is made of unpainted 30X stainless steel and armored glass windows. An unusual choice for an industry usually using a type of aluminum but it makes for some interesting implications to the strength of the material. 

It seems that Tesla really rethought the entire design of a truck to maximize the usefulness with the customer in mind. Using stainless prevents rust and scratches, lack of paint cuts unnecessary cost, and the single body exoskeleton drastically improves the strength and rigidity of the vehicle. 

Using steel makes Cybertruck an impressively strong vehicle. 

Elon Musk branded the design as “bulletproof.” To demonstrate the strength of the vehicle at the launch event, they hit the truck with a sledgehammer. 

The hammer failed to make a dent in Cybertruck but did in the average car door setup for comparison. 

One of the most memorable parts of the presentation was the window demonstration. Tesla elected to throw a solid steel ball at the window to demonstrate the “unbreakable” nature of the glass. The ball shattered the regular comparison window. 

In the words of tech teardown Youtuber Jerry Rig Everything, “Glass is glass and glass breaks,” he said right before the steel ball made massive cracks in the window. 

The ball failed to completely shatter the window. 

Having an unbreakable truck design may have dangerous implications. The truck is essentially a tank by design so it will be very hard to break meaning it will probably squash anything it collides with. 

The other issue is for people inside the car. The handles retract into the body to give the truck a more sleek appearance which may look cool but becomes an issue after the vehicle has suffered a major crash. 

If the handles remain retracted the EMTs will have trouble getting into the car to assist any injured passengers. This is made worse by the strong body as the jaws of life may not be strong enough to break the steel thus trapping the person inside the car if they cannot manually get themselves out. 

Dimond senior River Mahugh said, “I don’t think that thing is going to pass a crash test for pedestrians because of how strong the whole body is… all the other cars today will crumple if you hit a person.”

It is also debatable about the street legality give how the current prototype has no rear view mirrors. 

“They can get away with that if they use cameras in a certain way. There’s an Audi that has it, it has the mirror things but its super tiny and just a camera,” Mahugh said.

Later, a video came out showing a tug of war between Cybertruck and the F-150. Cybertruck took off with the Ford’s wheels spinning up a small hill. 

While the video was entertaining, it got quite a bit of criticism. 

For one, Tesla used the all-wheel drive Cybertruck and only a two-wheel drive Ford. The battery and sheer weight of Cybertruck pushes the wheels into the ground giving it a lot more friction than the empty F-150. Cybertruck had a large advantage in the fight.

Ford challenged Elon Musk to a fair rematch over Twitter, to which Elon responded, “bring it on.” Shortly thereafter Ford claimed that they were joking and did not actually desire a rematch.

While the truck may have some promising specs, what really made the truck popular was the new design. The truck has no curves with the entire shape of the single body exoskeleton being in more rigid polygonal shapes. The design looks like no other vehicle on the market with Musk commonly referring to it as something from “Blade Runner”. 

Naturally, the internet did what it always does when a change to an industry is made, it completely lost its mind. The new design served as an effective method of free press as memes and reviews poured out all over the internet. 

The memes side mostly against the new design but the odd shape has started to grow on the tech community. 

South High Senior Nolan Baird was heavily against the new design. 

“Everything about that screams I am not a truck… the bed of the truck is always very noticeable, you can tell it’s the bed of the truck,” Baird said. From a side view of the truck, “It looks more like a big car.”

He brought up other concerns for functionality. When the roof slopes downward it means that the stuff placed in the bed can’t be as tall or it will be subjected to the wind. 

Additionally there’s no engine in the front so a head-on collision may be more harmful to the driver. 

“As a futuristic-looking car it looks great, but for an actual car you’re going to see driving down the road, it doesn’t look good,” said Baird.

UAA student Riley Baird had less strong of an opinion. It can still serve the purpose of a truck but it just looks a little weird. 

Specifically, “It looks like a poorly rendered video game.” 

Keep in mind, When the graphics are set to low, it boosts the performance.

The main reason for the odd shape is the material. As presented earlier, the truck was made for strength but as Musk pointed out in a tweet, the steel is very hard to bend. 

Tesla was forced to use polygons if they wanted steel as the press used to create the body was not strong enough to bend the steel into curves. 

Another part of the effect is the folding cover on the back of the truck. It can protect anything in the bed but mainly serves to increase aerodynamics as electric cars can’t handle drag as well. 

The most exciting part comes from the idea of using the truck in law enforcement. It makes sense too. 

The car is a tank, has great acceleration and is relatively very low maintenance. Dubai police force has already added it to their force as soon as it comes out. 

Engadget says, “An electric wedge of death might just intimidate speeders.”