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Demo Goes Wrong: Tesla Cybertruck Shatterproof Window Shatters

Tesla Cybertruck Shatterproof Window Shatters
Image Source: The Washington Post

“Oh, my f—ing god! Well, maybe that was a little too hard,” Elon Musk exclaimed when Tesla Cybertruck “shatterproof window” shatters. This is the wrong reason why #cybertruck became trending on Twitter.

It’s Thursday night and Elon Musk unveiled Tesla Inc.’s eagerly awaited electric pickup truck. The demo started with the Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen hitting a sledgehammer to the truck. The Cybertruck withstood the impact and there were no dents were left on its robust exterior. Then it all went downhill from there.

Musk told Von Holzhausen to toss a metallic ball on the front driver-side window. He was quite hesitant at first, but Musk insisted. So, he did. The cheers turned to gasps when Tesla Cybertruck “shatterproof window” shatters.

To make things worse, Von Holzhausen asked if he could smash the second window as if smashing one wasn’t enough. Musk approved, so they tried again. And, it shattered.

Some say this was just a marketing strategy of Tesla and it was all planned. But anyone can sense Musk getting awkward and losing his confidence on his demo when those two windows shattered.

So, if this was not planned, where did it all go wrong? Despite this infamous demo going wrong, what made many consumers order their very own Tesla Cybertruck?

Elon Musk Explains Why The Tesla Cybertruck Shatterproof Window Shatters

Elon Musk explained on Twitter what went wrong during the test and why the Tesla Cybertruck shatterproof window shattered.

After their in-house analysis, they concluded that they should’ve chosen to do the steel ball tests before the sledgehammer. When Von Holzhausen smashed the door with a sledgehammer, he apparently cracked the window base, thus making the “armor glass” more fragile.

Video Source: DPCcars

Now, you may ask about the rear window. The door below it was not smashed but why did it break when the steel ball was thrown at it? While Musk didn’t explain this on his tweet, a yet to be confirmed statement from one Tesla employee mentioned that the Cybertruck did not have the “shatterproof windows” in the back.

Interestingly enough, the rear glass test was not part of the plan. Musk didn’t even know that the rear window had a regular glass. That’s why he agreed to repeat the steel ball test on the rear window despite the bad outcome of the first one.

But is having a breakable rear window dangerous? Not likely. This is actually a safety feature. In case of emergencies and you got locked out of your vehicle, having an “armor glass” rear window is a nightmare.

Although despite all the explanations, the Cybertruck still ended up with two damaged side windows at the end of the demo. The whole world has seen it and everyone’s questioning the durability of the Cybertruck shatterproof windows.

As Musk said, “It didn’t go through. There will be room for improvement.” That is true. Tesla has still two years before they launch the Tesla Cybertruck. We never know how advanced technology will be in two years time. Besides, if Musk successfully launched its SpaceX on Earth orbit missions, can he not create the perfect Tesla Cybertruck shatterproof windows?

Other Possible Reasons Why The Tesla Cybertruck Shatterproof Window Shatters

1. Hindsight Revisionist Theory

Remember the infamous case of Coca-Cola organizing a great fanfare for the New Coke only to get bashed by the public? People disliked the New Coke so much that Coca-Cola discontinued it and the original Coke was returned back to the market.

Some say that this event was a great mess, while others point out that this was Coke’s clever ploy to regained prominence against their competitors.

Now compared to when the Cybertruck shatterproof window shatters, even if we say it was a smart accidental move, we still can’t conclude how it happened.

Who planned it?

Maybe Musk and Holzhuasen really have no idea that the glass was going to break.

Or, did Holzhuasen know? Remember his “Sure?” comment before throwing the steel ball? Could it be because he knew the glass would break?

This is just a theory, though. Knowing that Musk is a hands-on leader, it seems hard to imagine that the Tesla team would have the guts to keep Musk in the dark about an intentional plan to have the glass shatter.

2. Backstage Glass Treatment

Another possibility for the Cybertruck shatterproof glass shattering special substance applied to it. While the Cybertruck was on backstage, one person from the Tesla team decided to treat the glass or coat it with a special substance to make the glass look shiny.

Well, if we look at it on his perspective, he may have done that to further enhance the ball throwing act that was planned for the on-stage performance. And, it might have been one of those last-minute changes, that the person doing it would have assumed that a mere coating won’t cause bad results.

It might have been one of those last-minute changes, that the person doing it would have assumed that a mere coating won't cause bad results.
It might have been one of those last-minute changes, that the person doing it would have assumed that a mere coating won’t cause bad results.

But when Von Holzhuasen tossed the steel ball, the coating or treatment somehow made the glass vulnerable causing it to shatter.

If that’s the case, what is that coating or treatment that caused the armor glass to lose its strength to the degree that it went from being virtually unbreakable to being readily smashed?

3. Repeated Demo Tests

Sometimes, when you are preparing to do a demo, you do it over and over again before going on-stage.

You do these moments, or minutes, before going on-stage to make sure everything is ready to go. This is worthy of notice. You see, if you do a run-thru of the demo the day before the actual demo, you never know what changes might have happened in the interim. So, it makes sense to do one final demo at the last minute.

There’s a possibility that someone tossed steel balls at the windows of the Cybertruck before unveiling it on-stage. Clearly, its shatterproof windows didn’t shatter and so the team assumed that those windows were working as expected.

But what if those ball tosses created hairline fractures? Thus, when Holzhuasen tossed a steel ball on it on-stage, the glass was already in a weakened state.

The person who decided to do the pre-test may not have realized that the pre-test itself could affect the strength of the glass. Netizens were criticizing the team saying that during the initial testing process of the glass, the team should have already discovered that such hairline fractures could arise and weaken the glass.

Well, maybe the person who did the last-minute test didn’t know what the rest of the test team knew and just went for that toss. We never know.

4. Not The Right Glass

Now, this is another possibility. Suppose there are two different armor glasses- one from vendor A and another from vendor B.

While testing the Cybertruck prototypes, they were using armor glass from vendor A and the glass from vendor B is just laying around. Suppose the vendor B glass is not as strong as the armor glass of vendor A.

Then in an unintentional mix-up, the Tesla team accidentally put the glass B into the Cybertruck that was supposed to go on-stage.

Basing on appearance, the person-in-charge may not readily discern any visual difference between the A and B glass. Someone may have put the B glass into the windows instead of the A glass.

This surely is a tempting reason for the shattering of the Cybertruck’s shatterproof windows. But for it to be fully plausible, we must confirm that they had the wrong glass in-hand and that they put it into the windows of the demo Cybertruck.

Of that, we’re not sure, but we’ll still keep this possibility on our list.

5. Different Toss Or Steel Ball

Tesla released a video of a toss by the head designer, Holzhuasen, during the initial testing of the Cybertruck shatterproof windows.

In this video, the glass didn’t break.

Some focused on the way he tossed the ball. It seems that the angle and thrusting force of the initial test are not the same as what that of the on-stage demo. It seems like Holzhausen unintentionally tossed the steel balls differently on-stage which caused the glass to shatter. We don’t even know if the steel balls used during the initial test are the same ones used during the on-stage demo.

Furthermore, you’ll see on the initial test video the different clamps and contraptions on or nearby the glass window, perhaps to steady the glass or aide it from breaking.

These small details created suspicions that maybe Tesla hid other testing videos of the glass breaking, and only released the one video of it not breaking just to save face. If that’s the case, then that would be really fiendish of them to convince us that the glass really is shatterproof, when the truth is it’s not. And Tesla actually has dozens of videos showing the glass breaking during prototype tests.

Turning Presentations Into Events

There was nothing conventional with Tesla’s unveiling event for its insane Cybertruck. From its drag race with Porsche 911 to the tug of war with Ford F-150, and now the sledgehammer and steel ball tests! We can all agree that Elon Musk really knows how to turn presentations into events.

Video Source: Future Lab

“It’s classic Tesla. It’s poetic,” the analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures told Bloomberg. Munster applauds the company for taking risks. We can agree with him that this surely is not a boring presentation.

Akshay Anand, the executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book told Bloomberg that the Cybertruck wasn’t a true production vehicle yet so Tesla gets a pass for now.

“But if they are going to market the glass as a differentiator,” Anand said, “they better be able to show stronger tests leading up to launch.”

A Visionary and A Showman

Unfortunately, Musk had to deliver the rest of his presentation in front of the Cybertruck with the shattered windows. Cybertruck’s shattered windows may have made the headlines, but people will eventually get over it. After all, the ball didn’t go through the glass and a bullet didn’t pierce the armor. Yet again, Tesla showcased their extraordinary technology in the unveiling of their Cybertruck.

Never fear trying out shocking demos just because you think they will not work exactly you as planned. If you avoid taking risks on stage, you’ll be just like the other presenters — forgettable and boring. Of course, you can lessen the possible bad outcome if you’ll rehearse the demo exactly how you’ll present it.

Let’s all hope that the failed demo won’t discourage Musk from taking risks. He’s ambitious, a showman and a lot of fun to watch!

Breaking the Norm of Pickup Trucks

More than the news when the Cybertruck shatterproof window shatters, auto analysts and potential buyers are more concerned about the Cybertruck’s overall look. This caused the Tesla shares to go down by 6% at $333.41.

What Auto Analysts Say About It

Cowen analysts wrote in a note, “Musk has been enthusiastic about his Blade Runner-inspired design for months, but we were still surprised how futuristic he went with this one and believe it may shatter his dreams.” With Tesla Cybertruck’s odd design and shattered windows, we can’t blame him for coming up with that conclusion.

They added that while it’s plausible to see Tesla enter the most profitable segment of the North American passenger car market, it’s still hard to see the Cybertruck in its current form being a success. Besides, pickup buyers are madly loyal to their brands and very traditional in their choice of vehicle.

To stand out in a sea of hundreds of pickup truck options, Cybertruck had to be striking for people to think about it differently.
To stand out in a sea of hundreds of pickup truck options, Cybertruck had to be striking for people to think about it differently.

Entering the U.S. pickup truck market which is known to be one of the world’s most profitable vehicle segments sure is a tough one to enter. But to stand out in a sea of hundreds of pickup truck options, Cybertruck had to be striking for people to think about it differently. It may be jarring and odd now, but people will get used to it. Time will come that this design is what will make Cybertruck recognizable and even iconic.

What Makes This Tesla Cybertruck Stand Out

Tesla is trying to break into a market that has been established for decades that the five best selling cars in America in 30 years and running are the Ford F150 and a bunch of other trucks that look like Ford F150. So if you’ll buy a Tesla pickup truck that looks like Ford F150, people are not gonna buy it just like how they didn’t buy the other competition of Ford F150.

Would you buy a Tesla Cybertruck if it looked like the Ford F150?
Would you buy a Tesla Cybertruck if it looked like the Ford F150?

Some of the people who placed their orders may not still find Cybertruck pretty. But, other pickup trucks are not pretty either. It’s being different that made it stand out. And on the next two years before it’s production, its design will eventually grow on people. We’ll just have to wait for the much-awaited Tesla Cybertruck production.

Related Questions

Is the Tesla Cybertruck bulletproof?
Tesla Cybertruck’s exterior is made from a newly developed stainless steel alloy that is also used for SpaceX rockets. This stainless steel alloy enables the car to be “literally bulletproof” against smaller firearms, including 9-mil glimeter handguns.

How much is the new Tesla Cybertruck?
According to CNET, the Tesla Cybertruck starts at the price of $39,900 for the 250-mile range version towing 7,500 pounds. It’s mid-range version will cost you $49,900, while the top-range tri-motor costs $69,900.

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