A new truck for Tesla but a curiosity hunt for an engineer
So just like everyone else I had very similar opinions that the new Cybertruck either looks like DeLorean turned into an SUV or a Mars Rover. Both of which are pretty cool thing to own as a daily driver in my nerdy opinion, but I wanted to bring attention to something beyond that. While everyone is talking about the design or the fact that it's structure is not what all it seems and the glass should be unbreakable or breakable (which I think turned onto be a pretty darn good marketing scheme for Tesla). I was more focused on the battery and Tesla's claim that it will do 500+ miles on their top tier model.
Now why is that interesting to me is that I am engineer and whenever new technology claims are made I am curiously asking myself the question "HOW?". For some of you who've read my previous concerns (available here) about electric cars and how they're not the only future it will be a different perspective that I will discuss here.
It's more of a pros and cons situation where the benefits of the new electric cars outweighs their disadvantages and more importantly better than fossil fuel powered vehicles.
If we go back, last year when the announcement of Tesla Semi's, which is coming soon, to replace anything of it's fossil fuel powered competitors it has to provide two things, long range, current Tesla's consumer lineup only does ~370 miles at the max and considering Semi Trucks are hauling tons of weight that would make that range number go to ~100 miles or even less. On the other side, when we're talking about commercial businesses which utilizes tools and technology, I know one thing, those businesses don't like to change their tools unless they really have to and for them a truck is a tool as well. For a commercial vehicle as long as it runs and does the work, things like Smart Phone connectivity or 10-12 speaker system is not the highest priority. Applying the similar logic to a Tesla for their vehicle to be the next choice in the market they've to provide an option which can survive harsh environments most importantly their batteries and last longer. Current batteries are good for 500,000 miles and even after that they'll only loose 15-20% of their charge capacity after which they find use in other low demanding applications., while what they're planing to use on the new Semi's will double that number.
Now both those points about the new next generation batteries will change the stigma associate with electric cars. An average fossil fuel powered car is good for 150,00 to 250,000 miles before it needs major repairs, that too not adding regular maintenance like fluid changes and parts replacement. Currently, the electric cars are already ahead with minimal maintenance up until twice the miles driven and now when it will become four times that same number, I think electric cars start to look more appealing. Charge times will be reduced as the range grows higher and for those who still have the anxiety can still plug in their vehicle as and when the charging option is available.
The newer batteries that'll come in the Semi's or the next-gen Roadster (boasting a whopping range of ~600 miles) and Cybertruck have refined grade of materials. The research led by Jeff Dahn at Dalhousie University proved that these new batteries can retain up to 90% of their charge over 4000 charge cycles or in theory cal last upto a million miles and even after that it will can be re-purposed in load balancing or some other low voltage applications. These research and patents filed by Tesla are now publicly available too for other companies to build on top of it and take it to the next level.
Combining these two new breakthroughs the commercial aspect of their Semi and Pick-up Truck seems to sorted in terms of function. In fact their pick-up outperforms the driver's car Porsche 911 boasting a 0-60 of 3.0 secs (please consider the size of the truck before bashing me for comparing it to a Porsche) and payload capacity is way higher than the pick-ups it is suppose to compete with. The availability of power outlet and air compression with 11 step lowering suspension system and rails running along the truck bed to attach and customize truck to personal preferences is just to name a few. Although since it's a uni-body platform instead of traditional body on frame which leads to the further problem that lack of access to the truck bed from the side will raise questions on it's usability but only time will tell how Tesla addresses those concerns.
Now when it comes to looks it is different story, the looks can be very polarizing and I some will like it and some won't but then again it will be available on road by 2022 and by that time will it be a more regular thing or still out of this world only time will tell.
Let me know your thoughts? Do you like the CyberTruck?