Tesla has just announced the unveiling of its first ever electric pickup truck. Called the Cybertruck, the new vehicle will be shown to the world on 21st November according to a tweet by the company’s CEO, Elon Musk. With a futuristic design and being one of the first pickups with an electric powertrain, this is surely set to gain public attention.
Now, in case most of you didn’t know, electric cars are getting popular by the day. So much, in fact, that most people expect them to take over internal combustion cars by the end of the coming decade. However, while we’ve seen electric cars and SUVs like the Tesla Model S, Jaguar I-Pace and even the Chevrolet Bolt, there hadn’t been any electric pickup truck around.
Cybertruck unveil on Nov 21 in LA near SpaceX rocket factory
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2019
Before you start making lists, sure we did see some but they were nothing more than just concepts that hadn’t made it to production. This is different in the sense that it might just be produced because it’s made by Tesla. And if there’s anything I know about electric car brands, Tesla has a better chance of actually producing its cars than others.
So, about the “Cybertruck”. It was named by Elon Musk himself and the name sets itself apart from other Tesla products with their conventional naming schemes. How does it look like? Well, we don’t really know as the car is yet to be “officially unveiled”. However, according to some teaser images dating back to the start of this year, it does look like some out of a science fiction movie, as you can see in the image below.
If the Cybertruck is anything like this picture, then we’re in for some really interesting looking automobiles. It’s not common to see such an angular design in this day and age with a slim headlight spanning the whole front of the truck. Below the headlight, you get a clean, near verticle front section, which looks strangely uncluttered but will probably be horrible for the aerodynamics.
Apart from the design, an important factor that most people consider in buying pickup trucks is the performance, utility, and capability. Again, while we have absolutely no idea about what numbers this would be putting but we can guess based on statements by the CEO. Musk said that the Cybertruck has a “better utility than a Ford F-150” and a “superior performance to a basic Porsche 911“.
If we do a bit of analysis, we can estimate the numbers. The Ford F-150 Raptor has a payload capacity of 2,311 lbs so we’ll be expecting a number higher than that. Similarly, a base Porsche 911 Carrera did 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and covered the quarter mile in 11.9 seconds. Now, if what Musk is claiming is true then the Cybertruck will be an impressive vehicle as these numbers are exceptional for a pickup truck.
Knowing how Tesla’s cars tend to surprise us, I’m expecting the Cybertruck to do the same. However, there are some concerns. The most obvious of which is the range. Unlike petrol and diesel cars, electric cars don’t go much further without having the need to recharge. While Tesla has the largest supercharging networks across the globe, it still doesn’t cover the inconvenience of charging an electric vehicle compared to filling up your truck with fuel that’ll last much longer.
Next comes the ability to go off-road. The primary purpose of pickup trucks is to work in all sorts of conditions. The off-road ability is what makes or breaks a truck. Tesla hasn’t exactly been known for making offroad capable vehicles, which does concern me regarding the Cybertruck. In case it can’t go off-road, it’ll be at a huge disadvantage compared to potential rivals.