Love it or hate it, the Tesla Cybertruck is going to be remembered as the most iconic vehicle of our era. It looks like no other vehicle on the market, offers exceptional battery range and is virtually indestructible. But before you join the other 250,000 people who have placed a preorder, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of owning a Tesla truck.
Should – It’s Blistering Fast
Perhaps the most impressive characteristic of the futuristic pickup is the promise of ‘supercar performance’. If you order the quickest (and most expensive) tri-motor variant of the Cybertruck, you can expect to sprint to 60 mph in ‘less than 2.9 seconds’. A Lamborghini Aventador LP750 that costs half a million dollars boasts a 0 – 60 mph time of 2.7 seconds.
Supercar performance indeed. Whether you want to be going that fast in something that resembles an armored tank is another matter entirely.
Shouldn’t – It’s Huge
We don’t know the exact dimensions of the Cybertruck, but we do know it’s a full-size pickup. The length is estimated to be 230.9 inches long with an extended wheelbase of 149.9 inches and a bed that stretches 57 inches wide. This will undoubtedly be a handful for those who have never driven a full-sized pickup before.
This was demonstrated to be true when Elon Musk was spotted leaving a restaurant at the wheel of a prototype Cybertruck. Proving it’s poor visibility, he ran over a child-sized traffic bollard in the monster-sized pickup before continuing on his way, seemingly unaware of the collision.
Should – Self-Driving Option
If you preorder the Tesla truck before 2021, you can tick the ‘Full Self Driving’ option for a mere $7,000 extra. Most modern cars offer some level of autonomous driving, but none meet the criteria to be called ‘full self driving’, meaning you’re essentially taking out a very expensive IOU. Even if a manufacturer develops a fully autonomous vehicle, it’s unclear how it would overcome current federal regulations before it’s made available to the public.
Shouldn’t – It Probably Won’t Pass Safety Regulations (In Its Current State)
In its current state, the Cybertruck would not be able to be registered for legal road use. Some of the current issues that need to be resolved are:
- No apparent crumple zones – The sharp edges and tough exterior don’t have obvious crumple zones built in to absorb the impact of a collision.
- Lighting – The single light bar at the front and rear of the vehicle goes against current vehicle lighting regulations.
- Tires – The wide tires on the Cybertruck protrude outside the wheel arch which is illegal.
- No side mirrors – The government may eventually change regulations to allow rear-facing cameras instead of side mirrors, but currently, all vehicles need to have side mirrors.
Should – It’s Phenomenal Value For Money
It’s clear from the Cybertruck’s purchase price that Tesla is aiming to capture a significant share of the pickup market. You can pick up the base model for just under $40,000 – around the same price as a used Toyota Tundra.
Based on what we know about the Tesla truck, it’s estimated it should last somewhere north of 750,000 miles. If you drive your truck around 20,000 miles on average, you could potentially get 50 years of use from the vehicle.
Shouldn’t – It’s Really, Really Heavy
We don’t know exactly how much the Tesla Cybertruck will weigh, but according to documents filed with the California Air Resources Board, it’s estimated to be between 5,000 to 6,500 lbs. This can be put down to the size of the vehicle, the stainless steel body, and the heavy battery packs which are a characteristic of all EVs. Coupled with its size, weight, and handling, it’s an important consideration to make before you buy one.
Should – The Rear Cargo Space
The rear tray of the Cybertruck has numerous functional features that its competitors don’t. It rides on adaptive air suspension that allows the rear of the vehicle to be lowered for easier loading. The suspension calculates any additional loaded weight and levels itself, so handling and drivability is not compromised. The tailgate drops down to allow use as a cargo ramp.
The size of the rear bed is deceptively small. Tesla calls it a ‘vault’, and it has 100 cubic feet of lockable storage space. As a comparison, the 2019 Ford F150 extended box configuration has a bed space of only 77.4 cubic feet of volume.
Shouldn’t – Questionable Towing Capability
The Tesla Cybertruck boasts a towing capacity of around 14,000 lbs. It seems like an impressive number, but it’s nothing that most other large pickups can’t do. The reason people are doubting the true towing performance of the Cybertruck is that electric vehicles, in general, don’t make great tow rigs.
Their limiting factor is the energy density of the batteries that are currently being used. EV’s don’t have as large an energy reserve as gas-powered vehicles, and the drop in range when towing is significant enough that a driver who is towing would need to keep an eye on the battery charge.
Photo credit: Tesla