Ever since it was first announced, the Tesla Cybertruck has been everywhere: news reports, youtube videos, even late-night comedians have taken their crack at the vehicle. Whether you love it or hate it (or you’re fairly apathetic toward it), the Cybertruck has made a big splash on the automotive market, and it’s entirely possible that the industry will never quite be the same. But, with all that being said, I can’t help but wonder whether or not we should even care about it.
First of all, if you have no interest in any kind of pickup truck, then no, you probably aren’t going to care about the Cybertruck. Flashy details and eye-catching design aside, unless you actually want a truck, then it won’t really matter to you because at the end of the day, the Tesla Cybertruck is ultimately a pickup. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s assume that you do have an interest in trucks and the pickup market, should you care about the Cybertruck?
Maybe. It has a lot going for it and, if nothing else, it is an interesting new entry on the market. But, what, exactly, does it have to offer and will that matter to you as a truck-lover? Let’s see…
We’re just going to jump into things with the engine here, and for the most part, I’m not even going to talk about its exterior design. Okay, that’s a lie – I just want to say, the Tesla Cybertruck is weird looking. Whether you like the design or not is really a matter of personal preference, but you have to admit, no matter what, that it’s weird looking.
Now that that’s out of my system, let’s talk about the engine. What sets the Cybertruck apart from every other pickup truck on the market is the fact that it is all-electric. Not a hybrid, not a turbo-diesel, 100% electric. If that’s something you’re interested in, then you should certainly care about what the Tesla Cybertruck has to offer.
There are three different trims for you to choose from, essentially, based on just how powerful an engine you want. The standard model features a single-motor engine and rear-wheel drive, which gives it an estimated 250 miles, perhaps a bit more, of range on a full charge. You can also choose a dual-motor AWD configuration, which gets more than 300 miles of EPA estimated range on a full charge. And finally, if you need some serious power, then there is a tri-motor AWD option, which gets more than 500 miles of estimated range on a full charge.
That is a tremendous amount of potential range on a full battery charge for this beast. If you’re interested in an EV truck but you were worried about battery range, I’d say there’s no cause for concern.
Towing and Cargo Capacity
I don’t care if it’s electric, diesel, or powered by a complex system of pulleys attached to 400 hamster wheels with 400 hamsters in them – a truck is a truck. That means it needs to deliver on a couple of basic things such as towing capacity and cargo in the bed. This is something that Tesla has been bragging about with the Cybertruck, so let’s see what they have to offer.
The standard, single-motor version has a maximum towing capacity of somewhere north of 7,500 lbs. If you go with the dual-motor AWD version, then that gets bumped up to more than 10,000 lbs. Finally, with the tri-motor setup, the Tesla Cybertruck can tow more than 14,000 lbs of weight behind it. All versions offer 100 cu.ft. of storage in a 6.5-foot “vault” (come on guys, it’s a bed or maybe a box… do we really need “vault” added to our truck lingo?), with up to 3,500 lbs of payload capacity.
That’s actually quite good and probably a lot better than many naysayers would’ve expected from an EV pickup. But there is a question remaining about what category of truck the Cybertruck really belongs in – we’ll get to that in a moment.
First, let’s talk about speed. Now, this is not something you normally see bragged about when it comes to a full-size pickup. Horsepower and torque? Sure. But typically only in how they relate to things like towing and payload capacity.
With the Tesla Cybertruck, however, you get a pickup that is not only surprisingly powerful but shockingly fast. How fast? The single motor version can go from 0-60 in less than 6.5 seconds. With the dual-motor rig, you can go from 0-60 in under 4.5 seconds. And if you opt for the tri-motor setup, then you can go from 0-60 in less than 2.9 seconds.
That is sports-car fast and is sure to change how a lot of people approach truck design and overall sensibility. So if you are passionate about pickups (or at least pretty interested), then you should certainly care about this. The future of the truck market might have just changed with the Cybertruck, especially when it comes to the speed and acceleration we expect from a full-size model.
What Kind of Truck is It?
Everyone has been so impressed with the power offered by the Tesla Cybertruck that something initially went unnoticed. We all agree that it is a full-size model, not a midsize truck like the Ford Ranger, and so it has been compared to the F-150 and Chevy Silverado 1500 when considering its power and performance.
However, recent filings in California suggest that while it is a full-size pickup, it is not a light-duty truck like the F-150 and 1500, but is in fact a medium-duty truck in terms of its frame weight and size. That means it should be compared with models like the Ford F-250 and the Silverado 2500HD. Why does that matter?
Well, consider this. The Cybertruck has a maximum towing capacity of around 14,000 lbs, as we saw earlier. When you compare that with the F-150’s maximum towing of 13,200 lbs or the Silverado 1500’s 13,400 lbs, then the Cybertruck comes out on top. But, things change a great deal if it is actually in the same class as the Ford F-250, which has a maximum conventional towing of up to 20,000 lbs. The Silverado 2500HD also beats it with up to 18,500 lbs of conventional towing available.
So, it seems that Tesla might not have been playing fair when drawing comparisons to established trucks on the market and trying to prove the Cybertruck’s dominance. While that doesn’t change the fact that more than 14,000 lbs of towing from a 100% electric pickup is amazing, it does make me wonder what else we might not know about the Cybertruck.
So, Should You Care?
Here we are, at the end of all things, and now the big question: Should you care about the Tesla Cybertruck? If you are interested in pickups and what is happening with the market, then yes, you absolutely should. Even if you have no plans on ever buying a Cybertruck, you cannot ignore what Tesla does and how it impacts other manufacturers.
Just look at the recently announced Ford Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric SUV that is clearly designed to go head-to-head with the Tesla Model Y. It’s only a matter of time until we see Ford, Chevy, or Ram respond to the Cybertruck with something new and unique of their own. Anything that pushes the auto industry forward with bold new ideas is a good thing – and something you should certainly care about.