Tesla Cybertruck Will Be Dominant Work Truck and a Cult Car

Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley has written that he thinks the Tesla Cybertruck could end up being a “Cult” Car with only 50,000 to 100,000 per year production volumes. This is despite over 1.5 million reserved Cybertrucks.

Nextbigfuture has calculated that a Tesla Cybertruck will be able to beat the range of a gas-powered Ford F150. This is based upon the calculated Tesla Cybertruck specifications with the assumption they will use Tesla Semi technology. A Ford F150 has a 23 gallon fuel tank and gets 460 miles of range without carrying anything and gets 207 miles of range with payload. F150 handles 8,200 lbs of towing and maximum payload of 1,985 lbs. The F-150 Platinum has a 36 gallon tank. The platinum has a range of 324 mile range with a heavy load.

Tesla Cybertruck will also use several Plaid motors (like the Tesla Semi) and a 1000-volt powertrain. These are optimized to not lose range under load. Cybertrucks with Semi motors and powertrain should have 200 miles of range with full loads with 85 kWh batteries and 250 miles with 110 kWh. A 180 kWh pack should give 500 miles empty and 400 miles under class 4 load.

A Tesla Cybertruck with a 180 kWh pack pulling a combined vehicle and payload weight of 15,000 lbs would beat the gasoline Ford F150, Ford F250 and Ford F350. The Tesla Cybertruck would outclass the Rivian and the Ford Lightning.

Adam Jonas predicted the Tesla Cybertruck will weigh over 7000 lbs. The Tesla Semi has vastly lighter weight and more range than all competing electric Semi trucks. The Tesla Model Y and 3 have superior range and weight than all competing electric cars. Tesla Cybertruck has exoskeleton and powertrain are all designed for lighter weight and more efficiency. Tesla Cybertruck will be using adapations of the plaid motors used in the Semi and the Model S and X. This already is known to have abundant power and light weight.

I matched the formula for energy used by the Tesla Semi for their recent 500-mile video-recorded delivery of 81,000 lbs. Tesla is about 13% from optimal assuming they drove at 60mph on their 500-mile test. If they drove at 52mph then they were 27% from optimal. Optimal based upon known aerodynamics and other parameters. The formula is at the bottom of this article.

A Tesla Cybertruck that is able to match the Tesla Semi at 13% from optimal energy usage while towing or moving loads would surpass a Ford F150 range while towing with a 110 kWh battery pack.

I have used a formula for calculating the energy usage for an electric vehicle based upon its weight, speed and aerodynamics.

The Tesla Cybertruck has a width of 79.8 inches (6.65 feet) and measures 75 inches in height. Cybertrucks has about 12 inches of ground clearance. This means cross section height is 5.25 feet from the base of the car to its top. This means the cross section is 34.9 square feet. I used 35 square feet in my calculation.

This formula is from the – ACS Energy Letter – Performance Metrics Required of Next-Generation Batteries to Make a Practical Electric Semi Truck [2017, American Chemical Society]

Instagrammer, Ftronz, posted a picture and video of a beta production Tesla Cybertruck.

15 thoughts on “Tesla Cybertruck Will Be Dominant Work Truck and a Cult Car”

  1. Cyber truck is definitely a WORK truck given the towing capacity and the load capacity and the ground clearance. Add to the that it does not rust and has no paint so it can take a beating and still come out looking good.
    I like the plug in electrical outlet and the air compressor outlet. Then there are multiple storage areas for my tools and SS lockable bed cover. I do light construction work and this truck is Ideal for me. Add to that the future self driving to visit family 300 miles away without me being exhausted.

    BTW I have ordered two and I am just over ,6000 in line for the two motor version.

  2. Alot of assumptions in this article of course since Tesla has always been coy with details. IMO the cybertruck like the semi are fuggly things. I’ll wait for the electric Toyota Tacoma, right size and looks like a normal vehicle

  3. It is likely that it will become a cult car. Like Citroen’s “ugly duckling”. It does look ugly all it needs is a couple of lines of pop rivets over the body work and it could go for a clumsy replica of the WW II Volkswagen Kuebelwagen. On this depiction the edges and bends seem to have very small radii. In some jurisdictions you have to have minimum bend radii as a form of passive safety re pedestrian impact. It really doesn’t look like a finished product. As for “needs no paint” I suppose not really, but stainless is a bugger to keep clean.

    • I seem to remember one other stainless concept vehicle. DeLorean.

      I was skeptical about the cybertruck, but I’ve seen a Rivian and two electric F150 in my Podunk town in the last month, so the suckers are out there and they breed.

  4. They need to add some grooves to the sides. This could be done by running the sheets through rollers so it would not cost much more. The reason is these large flat surfaces will, as you can see, have all these wavy bumps. What I’m talking about, in general, not necessarily exactly this type of grooving, is the same sort of thing as the grooves in this old-fashioned diner in this music video.


    They could put some sort of honeycomb underneath the large flat pieces but that defeats the purpose they had in the first place. BTW I think that diner looks absolutely fabulous. I love some of this, what I call, art deco style. Modern but with some accents, but not too much.

    • I disagree. The diner in that music video was grooved yes but it was more like siding on a house. I wonder if they put the grooves on the inside of the panels if it would have the same effect. I’m also wondering if they could weld thin, stabilizing cross members to the inside of the panels and then heat treat the metal to hide the heat affected zones from all that welding the welding

      • “…weld thin, stabilizing cross members to the inside of the panels…”

        They could glue honeycomb and get same effect, but I think that would defeat the purpose of his mass production strategy of bend flat metal.

        I can’t see welding happening without some warping or discoloration. As for the diner. I’m talking about the form, not the thinness of the sheets. You can bend thick metal just like thin. And it doesn’t have be that style. Just some sort of corrugation.

        The big flat sides look good. I like them but the slightest ding or just time will add a bit of warping and it will look tacky.

        “…Whatever the Tesla truck is, it 1,000% is NOT a work truck. Anyone who thinks so has never practically used a work truck…”

        Well I have a F-350 and have had and used lots of work trucks and it will be fine as a work truck. These are not going to used as fleet work trucks. The boss will drive them and as long as you can get a 4×8 sheet of plywood in it, it will be fine.

  5. The CT will go together fast, and will not need to be painted. There’s a lot of demand if half the reservations are exercised. There’s no reason Tesla won’t build a factory just for it.

  6. First competition for the Ford Lightening will be the GM Chevy Silverado, who knows when or if a CT makes it to market.

  7. Your aero for cybertruck is only valid if the load doesn’t contribute to drag – no towing, no toppers, everything fits in the covered bed.

    Also no off-road or all-season tires with higher rolling resistance.

    And highway speed is 80-85mph in most of the country…

    In real life towing with a full size electric truck at real highway speeds, 1kWh per mile is about as good as it is going to get.

    180kWh using only 5-80% SoC gives 135kWh usable on trips, so <135 miles between supercharger stops.

      • Seriously, who uses a parachute behind a truck?

        Whatever the Tesla truck is, it 1,000% is NOT a work truck. Anyone who thinks so has never practically used a work truck.

        As a matter of fact, the design explicitly makes it highly impractical as a work vehicle, even more so than the Camino. Because if it were used as a work truck, the real world parameters would suck.

        It is a cool looking truck, it already is a cult vehicle, 1,000%. Blinkered propaganda shades it sus.

        • Ford Lightning only gets about 100 miles of range when carrying heavy loads or pulling heavy loads. Rivian drops to about 120 miles of range. Tesla Model X also drops to those range levels. Cybertruck with Semi tech will have vastly superior range while pulling or carrying loads. I have shown the detailed calculations for Semi and Cybertruck. The difference is the cross section -much smaller for Cybertruck and the aerodynamics are slightly worse for cybertruck.

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