The world’s first commercial solar electric pickup truck

Tesla-Cybertruck-unveiling

I have previously published an article about solar vehicles, which talked about solar electric vehicles entering the commercial field.

Relate article: The first commercial solar-powered electric car released in China

But recently there has been a new breakthrough in solar cars. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the long-awaited electric pickup truck at its Design Studio in Hawthorne, California, just outside Los Angeles at the end of November.

No car company does not know about the strength of Tesla, which has subverted the entire new energy and even luxury car brand fields. In addition to a series of complicated tests at the press conference, Tesla also named the legendary pickup truck of the North American market, the Ford F-150, as a competitive product of Cybertruck in the “Tug of War” session.

tesla cybertruck force testing
Image from Tesla

At my first glance, CyberTruck is completely different from traditional trucks, and the polygonal design is a bit like something found in the virtual world.

The Facebook post - CyberTruck compare with cartoon character
The Facebook post – CyberTruck compare with cartoon character

The CyberTruck retains the rear trunk, which can accommodate a three-wheeled electric motorcycle.

The rear trunk of the Tesla CyberTruck
The rear trunk of the Tesla CyberTruck

Each truck can seat a total of six adults on the road, with a payload of 3,500 pounds and 100 cubic feet of storage space. The single motor rear-wheel drive truck ($39,900) will be able to tow 7,500 pounds, while the triple motor all-wheel drive ($69.900) should tow 14,000 pounds.

There is also a picture from the Internet. You can see the “camper mode” with pop-up tents. Although this may not be official, as you can see from the picture, car owners can easily implement this mode. Outdoor camping enthusiasts are interested in cybertruck.

Cybertruck camping mode

Internal Structure of CyberTruck
Image from online

In terms of batteries of Cybertruck, Reddit user OompaOrangeFace has shared a prediction regarding the battery of Tesla Cybertruck. The prediction is that the Cybertruck will have a 1 million-mile battery plus power train warranty and a 20-year corrosion warranty for the body of the truck. The screenshot of the post that below:

Prediction of Reddit user OompaOrangeFace
Screenshot from Reddit

The “Tug of War” mentioned before, in my opinion, the “simplification and wildness” in this marketing strategy, like the earlier competition with Porsche Taycan. At this conference, in order to demonstrate the powerful traction of CyberTruck, they chose a tug of war with the F-150.

In fact, tug-of-war is vulgar. It is unable to judge the traction ability of the two cars based on the results. Elon is also known about that, but this simple and crude method can attract people’s attention effectively. On the other hand, Tesla also uses a rear-drive version of the F-150.

After the video aired, Ford North American executives questioned that it was not a fair competition. And Elon Musk also responded: OK, in the future, let’s find a model with a top four-wheel drive and rematch. At this time, Ford was passive. Tesla has stronger confidence as a challenger. If Ford loses on the rematch, it loses all face; but if they reject the match, it means that unconfidence of their product and Tesla won without a fight.

Elon Musk accept challenge with cybertruck

As a space technology company CEO, how could Elon Musk not know that tug of war is lacking in scientific significance? But the key point is to gain more attention, and to gain secondary attention through “fishing” interaction. This strategy looks “inferior”, but when competitive opponents with far more strength and qualified, Tesla has achieved its desired effect.

We can’t deny that this wave of marketing techniques from Elon Musk has really gained a lot of popularity, brought about extensive discussions. And more importantly, they received more than 250,000 orders within a few days after the conference. (Close to 30% of Ford Trucks’ cumulative sales in 2018)

However, no matter how great Tesla’s electric system (battery, electric motor, electric control system) and intelligent driving, CyberTruck still uses a unitary construction body. Tesla had to use stronger materials, in order to make up for the weakness of chassis.

In contrast, Ford, the F-150, while switching to an aluminum body, has also applied for a patent for placing a battery pack in a Separate type body chassis, which gives the future electric version F-150 the potential to house a larger battery than the CyberTruck.

In addition to the design of the body, Elon Musk also said that the newly released electric vehicle Cybertruck will have a solar charging option, which will extend the mileage by 15 miles per day. In addition, he said, the “foldable solar panel wings” will also increase the extra cruising range to 30 to 40 miles per day.

The Facebook post of solar panel cybertruck

Although these 15 miles do not seem to be of much use, we can see that the technology of solar cars is starting to mature. Under the problem of global warming, we have tried every means to use renewable energy instead of fuel energy. In the future, maybe this proportion can be increased to 10%, 50%, maybe more?

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