Elon Musk yesterday showed off Tesla’s next big electric car, Cybertruck, according tomedia. According to the CEO, the company’s ability to make thousands of dollars from the car’s booking is unmatched in the automotive industry. Tesla’s Cybertruck is arguably an alternative to Los Angeles Auto Show Week.
Typically, major automakers are used to showing concept cars at such auto shows, but Tesla doesn’t make concept cars. Cybertruck, which the electric car company showed at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is described as an evolutionary vision of the company’s aesthetic philosophy. Cybertruck is Cybertruck, and consumers can now book the car and start thinking about the future of driving it to pick up and drop off their kids.
To be honest, Cybertruck does have a lot to like. First, as Musk said at the opening of the launch, one cannot expect a shift to electrification without a pickup truck. Americans especially like pickups, and while cars, SUVs and midsize cars are important, ignoring the long-selling F-150 is lacking in foresight.
Cybertruck’s arrival makes sense for the auto industry and for Tesla. The carmaker’s avid fan base may be more comfortable with a relatively untapped segment, and its attitude towards electric pickups is likely to be more open to consumers of other brands. Given that Tesla may use the cash now to start Production Model Y, the willingness of these viewers to make a down payment a few years in advance will not be affected. It is believed that this little $100 will soon pile up into a pool of funds.
While installing a power plug in the back box to drive the car is not a new idea, Cybertruck’s large DC battery means drivers don’t need a gas engine as a generator or waste ac-DC power converters.
Cybertruck also has futuristic features. For example, a sliding rear lid will provide a solar option. In response, Musk said it could generate enough power to drive cars 15 miles or more in a day. Cybertruck will even be able to “fold the solar wings”, which, according to Musk, will add 30-40 miles in a day. This can be a big problem for potential ranch customers who live away from Supercharger’s super charging station.
Tesla’s camper van accessory, which is on display next to Cybertruck, will also be an official option. This will add a pop-up tent and a sliding grill and table to the 6.5-foot-tall rear box. It may seem fancy at first glance, but accessories for a utility vehicle could be a big deal of the future. For the same reason, Cyberquad ATV may also be popular.
Coupled with the fact that there’s no shortage of cabin space and huge towing capabilities, it’s easy to see why Tesla might think they’ve pushed the truck ingress into the corner.
Of course, the idea of design is a very subjective one. You might like Cybertruck’s wedge shape or hate it.
And it’s years before Cybertruck goes into production, and before that Tesla will no doubt face a host of regulatory-led changes.
The pickup’s sharp wedge shape doesn’t seem to be very friendly to pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. Clear-line cars look great, but the reality of safety regulations such as collision safety means they may soften when they reach the dealership.
In fact, when Tesla talks about Cybertruck’s elasticity and safety, everything they do with the car is to protect the people and cargo inside. As anyone who has seen the launch or read the reports already knows, Cybertruck will be equipped with a bullet-proof stainless steel car. Even glass that is broken on stage should be shatter-resistant.
It is unclear what will happen to the people outside the pickup truck. Of course, Tesla has an active safety system that includes automatic brakes for pedestrians. Even so, accidents can happen, regardless of whether consumers choose to install a $7,000 all-autonomous car package, and that doesn’t guarantee that a collision will never happen.
For any production vehicle, it is necessary to pass safety tests and prove that they are not only safe for people inside the vehicle but also for other vehicles and road users outside the vehicle. This means it needs to be fitted with bumpers, folding areas and deformable panels so that the pedestrian’s skull is not completely impacted by a collision. It’s hard to imagine a Cybertruck with such ordinary things as bumpers and wipers. So it’s safe to say that the pickup will not be tesla’s final sale.
As competitors begin to offer the same core benefits — electric cars are fast, torque-intensive and other inherent benefits, such as less maintenance — and the added benefits of a mature production and service ecosystem, Tesla will have to evolve to stand out. Traditional carmakers, which have spent quite some time developing and developing electric SUVs and sedans, are finally starting to produce and increase pressure on models such as the Model X and Model S.
Even so, Cybertruck’s preemptive lead caused a stir. But when bookings turn into orders, Musk has to do a lot of work to make the car a reality and cope with the production delays Tesla often experiences.