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Tesla Cybertruck May Be The Game-Changer For The Truck Industry

The Auto Sunday is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Tesla Cybertruck May Be The Game-Changer For The Truck Industry
Image Source: Tesla

Since its unveiling, the Tesla Cybertruck continues to make headlines across all media platforms and for good reasons. After all, Tesla Cybertruck may be the game-changer in the truck category which has existed for over a century.

The public, however, seemed to have polarizing opinions about the Cybertruck. Some are not pleased with how the truck looked angular like a doorstop. Meanwhile, others saw brilliance in its value proposition as a fairly priced electric pickup with a bunch of utilitarian features.

However, we at Auto Relec are quite bullish that the Cybertruck might just be the pickup that will change the truck industry. Tesla’s bold attempt to dominate the truck segment with a vehicle that came straight out of “Blade Runner” is probably what the auto industry just needs.

In this post, we will discuss how the Tesla Cybertruck may completely flip the truck industry from how we knew it over the decades.

Source: Tesla

Why Tesla Cybertruck May Be The Game-Changer

The Tesla Cybertruck has a lot of intuitive features that you can’t see on your regular pickup. Individually they may not mean much, but if you bundle them together, it becomes more attractive and sensible to any truck driver.

1. Most Cost-Effective Electric Vehicle

It’s easy to miss the statistics that the Tesla Cybertrack Tri Motor AWD will have the least cost per mile of any electric vehicle. It’s a $69,900 vehicle that has a range of 500 miles or $139.8 per mile.

In comparison, Tesla’s Model S which costs $80,000 only has a range of 373 miles or $214.5 per mile. Now, what this tells us is that an electric pickup could beat a liftback sedan in terms of range and price.

That’s something you won’t see in a fleet of fossil-fueled cars. Can you just imagine a Toyota Tacoma to be cheaper than a Corolla? Well, that’s the value proposition of the Cybertrack — it’s the price of an electric sedan but with more range.

2. Stainless Steel Unibody

There is a reason traditional pickups are mostly built using a body-to-frame construction. This kind of layout can resist twisting loads and torsion effectively, thus allowing better towing and off-road capability. However, the Cybertruck did not go this route.

Instead, Tesla built their trucks on a unibody platform with a stainless steel skin. This layout allows it to have better handling due to the lower center of gravity. It’s also one reason the company could bring down its price by a significant margin.

The Cybertruck’s body is durable as shown in the unveiling’s live demo. It took two hits from a sledgehammer and didn’t seem to show any dent or damage. This feature could be helpful to prevent flying debris from off-roading in damaging your car.

3. Self Driving Feature

This is probably what separates Tesla from the rest of the players in the automotive industry. Tesla prides itself as a tech company rather than a “car maker.” That means, they will integrate every available technology to give the customers a unique driving experience.

This autopilot feature, however, has to available separately from the car to the tune of $7,000. While there are many companies that are developing self-driven cars, such as Google, it hasn’t been fully configured to any production car model even today.

However, there are a lot of things that could happen in the next two years and that timeframe might be enough to perfect this technology. Assuming, Tesla can present a working autopilot system that will only make the Cybertruck more desirable.

Tesla Cybertruck Solar Panel
Image Source: Tesla

4. Electric Powertrain

Tesla is considered the largest producer of electric vehicles and there are only a few automotive segments they haven’t reached yet. Other companies have electric cars but a lot of them are hybrids. That means they run both on fossil fuel and electricity, much like the Toyota Prius.

Cybertruck is slated to be one of the first pickups that run using an electric powertrain. There are many advantages of using this “sustainable” powertrain compared to fossil fuel. For example, you won’t need to have your car serviced and oil changed.

Driving electric cars are also much cheaper. Electricity is much cheaper than fossil fuels. They last much longer because they aren’t as susceptible to rust and corrosion as traditional engines.

The different selection of powertrains from single motor RWD, dual-motor AW and tri-motor AWD is also well thought. An additional motor costs $10,000 from the base model.

5. Garage Door Style Bed Cover

Another unique thing about the Cybertruck is its 6.5-feet long bed that has a garage door style cover. At the push of a button, the cover can extend to enclose the flatbed or retract to reveal the rear cargo space. Furthermore, the tailgate also acts as a ramp so you can easily load cargo by sliding it upwards.

Musk also responded from requests coming from online users. The Tesla CEO said that they are looking into integrating solar panels on the bed cover as a paid option. The company estimates that a day’s worth of charging the solar panels can provide an additional 15 miles of mileage.

Moreover, Tesla is also contemplating adding wing-type solar panels which might add 30-40 miles of mileage. This just goes to show that Tesla is highly committed to this “sustainable” concept that they’re promoting.

The solar panels also solve one of the common problems for electric vehicles– running out of power. For example, if you leave your Cybertruck on a place far from recharging stations for a long time how do you charge it? With solar panels installed, you don’t have to worry about running out of power that you will need for your car’s electric components.

6. Multiple Storage Option

While Tesla hasn’t released the total storage space of the Cybertruck, we can easily say its huge. The flatbed alone has a payload of 3,500-lbs and a 100 cubic-feet volume. These figures easily put the Cybertruck in the top five list of trucks with the largest payloads.

Speaking of the Cybertruck’s bed, inside it are L-track rails which you can use as mounting points to tie things down. That modular design is quite brilliant, especially when you want to carry heavier loads such as an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV).

Tesla Cybertruck Storage
Image Source: Tesla

Furthermore, Tesla has also added many hidden storage compartments around the vehicle. The Cybertruck has a frunk (front trunk) and underneath the flatbed are additional storage slots. The tech company is also planning to place storage spaces in the truck’s sails.

7. Self-Leveling Feature

Continuing with the streak of great features, Tesla also equipped the Cybertruck with adaptive air suspension. This equipment raises the vehicle by up to four inches from its original 16-inch ground clearance.

Moreover, Tesla also confirmed that the truck will have self-leveling mechanisms in place which can greatly improve its ride quality on off-road terrains. The 35 degrees approach angle and 28 degrees departure angle will also make it easier to climb hills and other rugged paths.

We also expect that it will have traction assist system which will improve the driving experience on any surface. Furthermore, it might have similar features to traditional trucks like anti-slip and traction control.

10 Items that People Initially Missed About the Cybertruck

During the Cybertruck’s unveiling, Elon Musk didn’t reveal everything we need to know about their electric pickup. The presentation was akin to the unveiling of a concept car as it does not have car accessories like side mirrors.

The company might also change some of the features later on before production starts. However, there are also existing features that Musk did not fully discuss during the event.

Here are 10 of the items that make the Cybertruck more interesting:

  1. The retractable tonneau cover is strong enough to be stood on by a full-grown man. It also rolls behind the bed of the vehicle making it completely invisible. When deployed it can block the visibility of the car’s rearview mirror.
  2. Tesla installed a digital rearview mirror so that you can still see what’s behind even if the tonneau cover is deployed.
  3. The Cybertruck has a light bar integrated on the roof and just above the front windshield.
  4. There are smaller tail lights on the inside of the truck bed’s pillar. It’s only visible when the tailgate is down.
  5. The Cybertruck has a new interface that includes a new navigation system.
  6. Its steering wheel is very similar to the Tesla Roadster.
  7. Based on some pictures, the bed of the Cybertruck is modular and you can even set up a camping tent on top.
  8. It may have sail pillar storage.
  9. Several photos also suggest that you can plug the stove and other appliances on the bed of the pickup.
  10. The dashboard of the test units during the unveiling is actually just paper. There is still no info on what it would be made of or how it would look like.

Electric Pickups vs. Fossil Fueled Trucks

It’s no secret that vehicles powered by fossil fuel are gradually plateauing. Oil is a non-renewable resource and we might just be counting the days when its reserves are all gone. Integrating sustainable technologies in automotive might just be a glimpse of the future of our transportation.

For decades, the pickup segment has always been unique. Smaller cars worry about mileage, looks and ride comfort. However, truck owners have different priorities such as cargo capacity, towing power, and overall functionality.

Furthermore, pickup truck owners also place less priority on their truck’s fuel efficiency. They also put the truck’s speed and acceleration in the back seat. They view their truck as just a utilitarian vehicle meant for towing, transporting cargo and off-roading.

Electric Vehicle Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Environment-friendly because of zero emissions
  • Electricity is much cheaper than fossil fuel
  • Less expensive and less frequent maintenance
  • The electric engine is silent

Some countries offer tax credit for hybrid and electric cars.

Cons

  • Most electric cars have short ranges
  • Recharging can take up to 15-20 hours or more
  • Charging stations are few especially in mid-US
  • Less variety in terms of variants and trim level

Fossil-Fueled Vehicles Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Refueling only takes a few minutes
  • You can find a gas station almost anywhere
  • Much cheaper in many car categories
  • Offers more options in terms of trim level
  • Can travel much farther distances

Cons

  • Gas emissions are harmful to the environment
  • Fossil fuel is unsustainable and nonrenewable
  • Frequent car service and maintenance
  • Gas and diesel are more expensive than electricity

It’s important to keep these advantages and disadvantages of both types of vehicles, especially when you are picking between the two. Many electric cars and hybrid car owners choose to go renewable because of their concern for the environment.

However, there are also compelling reasons why people still choose fossil-fueled cars. After all, we are still in the early stage of the electric car revolution. You can expect a lot of gaps, especially on the charging infrastructure across the country.

Source: Ford Motors Company

Tesla Cybertruck vs. 2019 Ford F-150

To further examine how the Tesla Cybertruck will fare in the pickup market let’s compare it with its most popular competition- the 2019 Ford F-150. This truck has topped the pickup sales in America for decades and is often the measuring stick for a lot of upcoming models in the segment.

According to Ford, it has sold 1.075 million F-150s and F-150 series pickups worldwide in 2018. For 37 years, the F-series continues as the best selling pickup. The American automaker even stated that the sales figures translate to a Ford F-Series is sold every 30 seconds.

While sales data for 2019 has yet to be released, it is already projected that the trend will continue this year and perhaps even in 2020. Crucial to the F-150’s success is the way it is packaged.

Because of its huge selection of trim levels, the Ford F-150 has a broad price range of $28,000 for the base model and up to $70,000 for the high-end model.

Let’s look into the specs sheet of one of its most successful configuration — the F-150 Raptor:

3.3L Ti-VCT V6 (Low End)H.O. 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 (High End)
Horsepower290 hp @ 6,500 rpm450 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Torque265 lb-ft510 lb-ft
Engine Control SystemMulticore PCMElectronic
TransmissionElectronic 6-speed automaticElectronic 10-speed automatic
Axle Ratio3.734.1
Towing Capacity7,400 lbs12,000 lbs
Max Payload (Regular Cab)1,950 lbs3,230 lbs
Ground Clearance8.8-inches9.4-inches
0-60 Mph7.6 seconds5.1 seconds
Flat Bed Length5.5 feet5.5 feet
Approach Angle30.2 degrees30.2 degrees
Departure Angle27.1 degrees27.1 degrees

Based on these data, the Cybertruck and the F-150 Raptor has about the same performance.

However, the Cybertruck edges out the F-150 by a bit because of the former’s utilitarian design and its unibody construction. Not to mention that the Cybertruck is also more efficient in terms of mileage.

That being said, the Ford F-150 still has something going on in its favor. It’s one of the most highly customizable trucks in the market. It has many configurations that could differ in terms of engine, flatbed size, transmission, and cabin design.

Another thing that is hard to take away from the F-150 is its die-hard fans. There is a reason it’s remained at the top for almost four decades. Truck owners are loyal to the brand of their trucks. Case in point, most current F-150 owners have owned a previous generation of the infamous truck.

If Tesla wants to gain the F-150 fan base, it must dramatically be able to promote the “sustainability” angle of the Cybertruck. That’s quite a tall order since both vehicles are almost at the same price range and produce an almost similar performance.

Tesla Cybertruck vs. Rivian R1T

The Cybertruck is not the only electric truck on the block. There are actually two models that are genuinely on the frontline of the electric pickup segment— the Cybertruck and its rival the Rivian R1T.

Rivian and Tesla are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Whereas Tesla identifies itself as a disruptor and a tech company, Rivian is sticking to the large automotive companies. So, instead of “reinventing” the looks of the pickup truck, it stuck to the traditional layout.

What’s revolutionary about the Rivian’s truck is its “skateboard” platform where they put its powertrain under the body of the vehicle. Doing so, allows them to put almost any type of vehicle on top of the engine and transmission base.

In terms of pricing, the Rivian pickup truck is much more expensive than its rival from Tesla. According to Rivian, they are eyeing their base model to be priced at $69,000 — the same price of the high-end tri-motor Cybertruck.

Rivian also said that they will also add several options to top-level variants of the R1T which might have a sticker price of over $100,000.

Below is the specs sheet for the Rivian R1T:

105 kWh Battery135 kWh Battery180 kWh Battery
Engine Output300 kW522 kW562 kW
Torque560 Nm1,120 Nm1,120 Nm
Range230+ miles300+ miles400+ miles
Towing Power5,100 lbs10,325 lbs10,325 lbs
Max Payload1,753 lbs1,753 lbs1,753 lbs
Ground Clearance14.1 inches14.1 inches14.1 inches
0-60 mph4.9 seconds3.2 seconds3 seconds
Flatbed Length4.6 Feet
(Tailgate Closed)
4.6 Feet
(Tailgate Closed)
4.6 Feet
(Tailgate Closed)
Approach Angle34 degrees34 degrees34 degrees
Departure Angle30 degrees30 degrees30 degrees

The figures are close to what is produced by the Tesla Cybertruck. However, there are several categories wherein the Tesla pickup just dominates the R1T. For example, the top-of-the-line trimotor Cybertruck has a lead of over 100 miles in range.

However, we also have to take into consideration that Rivian still went with the body on frame layout for their trucks. This could explain why it lags behind in terms of price point and other key performance indicators for pickups.

The R1T is scheduled to be released next year which is a year ahead of the Cybertruck’s base and mid variants. In terms of functionality both the Cybertruck and the R1T are quite good at what they do and can give most of the traditional trucks a run for their money.

Another key difference between the two electric trucks is their passenger capacity. The R1T seats five people, while the Cybertruck can have up to 6 passengers thanks to its fold-down seat on the front row.

Tesla Cybertruck Specs
Image Source: Tesla

Tesla Cybertruck Pricelist and Specs Sheet

To understand why the Tesla Cybertruck has piqued the interest of industry experts and common folk alike, we need to look at various things. Below is the price list for all three variations of the Cybertruck.

Engine Train OptionPrice
Single Motor Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)$39,300
Dual Motor All Wheel Drive (AWD)$49,900
Tri-Motor AWD$59,000

The least important factor of this truck is how it looks, which some people may not like. They think that it has an odd design or that it doesn’t have “curves.” We get it, Tesla’s pickup looks like an oddball — and it should be! If it would look the same as your generic pickup, it’s really hard for it to make a statement that it runs on electricity and not on fossil fuel.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s pitch also seems to come from that perspective. Musk said the truck is centered at “sustainability” which could be the next revolution in the car industry. Large automakers have already expressed their vision of using renewable energy to power up our transportation in the next few decades.

If we go about what a truck’s core quality is — it’s all about functionality and less about aesthetics. This statement is a good starting point about how the Cybertruck differs from the rest of today’s pickups. Rather than looking sporty or luxurious, it instead focused on how the truck functions when towing or transporting cargo.

To get to know the Tesla Cybertruck more, let’s head over to its spec-sheet:

Single Motor RWDDual Motor AWDTri Motor AWD
Price$39,900$49,900$59,900
Range250+ miles300+ miles500+ miles
Towing Capacity7,500+ lbs10,000+ lbs14,000+ lbs
DrivetrainRear Wheel DriveDual Motor
All Wheel Drive
Tri Motor
All Wheel Drive
0-60 Mph6.5 seconds4.5 seconds2.9 seconds
Ground Clearance16- inches16- inches16- inches
Adaptive SuspensionStandardStandardStandard
Vault Length6.5 feet6.5 feet6.5 feet
Storage100 cubic feet100 cubic feet100 cubic feet
Approach Angle35 degrees35 degrees35 degrees
Departure Angle28 degrees28 degrees28 degrees
Auto PilotStandardStandardStandard

Just a quick look at the specs sheet and you get to see some of Cybertruck’s strong points. It’s incredible that they can come up with a price range that is $10,000 cheaper than what was initially projected.

Conclusion

Whichever side you are on, it doesn’t diminish the fact that Tesla Cybertruck may be the game-changer in the truck industry. Whether that change is for the good or bad, only time could tell. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long until 2021 when its base models will be released.

Related Questions

Why Did the Unbreakable Glass of the Cybertruck Break?
There are many theories that may suggest why this meme-worthy moment happened. One theory suggests that the glass was already hit several times with ball bearings prior to the official launch.

Some experts also guessed that the glass isn’t as secured during the test as it may have been rattled out of place when the car door was earlier hit by a sledgehammer.

Is Tesla Cybertruck Worth its Price?
If everything that Tesla has shown and promised to include in the truck, then it’s definitely worth the price. The Cybertruck is slated to be the cheaper electric truck between it and Rivian R1T. The mileage and towing power are much better than its competitors.

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