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How Tesla’s Cybertruck Could be a Shock for the Commercial Truck Industry

December 16, 2019 9:56 am

 

Tesla-Cybertruck-Electric-Pickup Truck Profile View in Hanger

image credit: Tesla

Unless you’ve recently been holidaying in a remote part of the globe, void of the internet or printed media, you will likely have seen the very well covered launch of Tesla’s much awaited Cybertruck. Boasting a revolutionary albeit somewhat marmite aesthetic, an impressive range with estimated forecasts up to 500 miles (for the Tri Motor AWD) and a 0-60 time that could impress some supercar owners, on paper at least there is a lot to like here.

So, with aspirations to deliver sustainable electric trucks, the Cybertruck needs to not only look good on the press release stage, but at minimum be comparable to the other fossil fuel alternatives, 6,500 of which are sold every day in the US alone (source Automotive News Data Center). But could it be a suitable mobility solution for business use, especially those operating in remote locations?

 

A lean, green, towing machine…

 

To be considered a ‘light’ commercial vehicle means that the Cybertruck must have the basic, everyday functionality associated with the class. This includes having a useable pickup style bed, a sizeable tow capacity and, of course, all-wheel drive. Tesla chose to benchmark towing performance against Ford’sF-150, with the Tri Motor AWD model boasting an impressive towing capacity of 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) – perfect for those specialist jobs. This comparison was further cemented with a PR stunt tug of war between the two vehicles, drawing much comment – and scepticism – from the automotive community.

The other main truck feature is the bed, essential for a myriad of tasks expected from a pickup suited to the needs of all industries, from manufacturing to logistics. Tesla has called the bed of its environmental truck the ‘vault’, named due to the truck’s integral, motor-driven shutter system that offers secure storage as well as an increased aerodynamic profile. Although subtle, this design should help extend the vehicle’s range. The vault is also due to contain a compressed air outlet enabling pneumatic tools to be connected, such as an impact wrench, supporting those working in construction.

We wouldn’t be able to conclude the spec run down without discussing the unique design Tesla has chosen, with the truck looking like a cross between a Star Trek shuttle craft and the Batmobile. As with nearly all Tesla’s vehicles, the design isn’t just the work of a Sci-fi fan, it’s a carefully considered shape that’s been developed in order to use the same materials as the SpaceX programme. The stainless-steel body panels are 3mm thick, much stronger than conventional panels, meaning they can’t be simply stamped, they need to be bent, and it’s this process that’s given the Cybertruck its distinctive shape.

 

The future looks electric

 

So, with a wealth of light commercial vehicles already available for hire, what other reasons will help to ensure Tesla’s new venture is a success? Well, perhaps the Cybertruck’s biggest strength is that it’s the first all-electric vehicle that not only squares up solidly against the competition, but would also have the benefit of avoiding inner-city congestion charges which are continuing to increase and rolled out across more of the UK’s cities.

The Tesla Cybertruck is due to launched in the UK in 2022, with three initial model variants ranging in power and capability. Dubai’s police force has already hinted at including the Cybertruck in its fleet of supercars, and Tesla has already secured 200,000 pre-orders. We imagine that it will encourage other manufacturers to look at creating their own futuristic electric pick-ups as well. Whilst built for all driving conditions, the Cybertruck will rely on a widespread and accessible charging infrastructure which means it may be a while before UK fleets are investing in vehicles like this to serve distributed workforces in remote locations.

However, in cities, you could be operating a fully electric commercial truck fleet, fully compliant with the UK’s drive to bring down carbon emission by 2030.

We’ll keep up to date with the truck’s progress ­- get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about the benefits of electric vehicles and EV hire.

 

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This post was written by Mike Palmer

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