Tesla's entry into the light commercial vehicle marketplace with the Cybertruck was something a lot of us were waiting to see. If you've been blinded by its strange looks and glass mishaps you might have missed its spec reveal and the huge implications they will have on the sector! Tom Roberts reports.
The aftermath of the "shattering" reveal of the Tesla Cybertruck was dominated by discussion on its looks and the colour draining from Tesla CEO Elon Musk's face as he hurriedly tried to explain away the damage to the truck's windows. Did anyone else see what Musk tweeted afterwards – here it is:
Franz throws steel ball at Cybertruck window right before launch. Guess we have some improvements to make before production haha. pic.twitter.com/eB0o4tlPoz— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2019
The live demo proved Musk should always test his live shows before throwing metal balls at supposedly "bullet-proof armor" glass. But to focus on this is to completely miss the incredible impact this truck will have on the electric vehicle movement and the future of commercial vehicles.
The Impact Of The Tesla Cybertruck
Commercial vehicle drivers have consistently said that choosing an electric vehicle to be their primary work transport will only happen if the range and loading capabilities are close enough to those offered by contemporary vehicles. Well, the cold rolled stainless steel Cybertruck has one of the highest ranges and highest carrying/towing capabilities I've seen on an electric pickup truck, which totally answers those calls.
In my opinion, if Tesla had gone for more conventional looks (rather than trying to make it look like something out of Blade Runner), the Tesla name alone would have safeguarded it against a lot of criticism. As it is, the far-future aesthetic it boasts is confusing… it feels slightly forced.
And as for the "bullet-proof armor" glass… the demonstration showed that it could stand up to a bat, but not to a metal ball. Security is a constant worry for commercial vehicle drivers and this demonstration will not do Tesla any favours in that arena.
Overall, however, it's a compelling and bold proposition. On the one hand it looks bizarre and incredibly unconventional, while on the other it's fast, can travel for miles on a single charge and carry tonnes of materials.
Who's to say if it didn't look like a Delorian that it wouldn't have sparked so much conversation? My takeaway point, however, would be to remind people that the looks are such a small thing compared to this vehicle's capabilities.
Tesla has changed the electric vehicle marketplace for electric cars and sports cars forever, and they'll do the same for commercial vehicles too.
Tesla Cybertruck Expert Q&A
What Is The Tesla Cybertruck?
The Cybertruck is an electric pickup truck driven by a powertrain. The powertrain drives the vehicle's adaptive air suspension mounted wheels and features a covered loading bay with an electric sliding cover.
All models feature impressively high towing capacities – especially the dual motor version – with even the single motor model offering class-leading weights.
What Is The Key Spec Of The Tesla Cybertruck?
Three powertrain options will be available to choose from, breaking down like this:
· Entry-level: 250 miles of range, 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds.
· Mid-range, dual motor all wheel-drive (motor awd): 250-mile-plus range, 4,500kg towing capability, 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.
· Range-topping version: a range of 500 miles, 6,350kg towing capability, 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds.
Right there, in one vehicle, all the issues with electric vehicles in the commercial sector are wiped away. A range of 250 miles, even at the standard level, is impressive. 250 miles is also the sweet spot most commercial vehicle users criticise other electric vehicles for not being able to reach.
That users will be able to reach those ranges without compromising on payload is just another major plus point for the Cybertruck.
How Much Is The Tesla Cybertruck?
Prices start with the standard version priced at £30,600 and rise to £53,700 for the spec-topping version.
Will The Tesla Cybertruck Be Available In The UK?
Now, we don't know. And as for how many could be ordered into the country (rumours peaked at 150,000 orders), that's like asking how long a piece of string is. I can say with some authority that the Rivian R1T will beat the Cybertruck to UK shores… which looks a lot more conventional than Tesla's concept!