The Tesla Cybertruck is facing challenges in keeping its promises
Tesla represents its Cybertruck as an off-road and towing vehicle with exceptional range, but is it really so?
During last year's Cybertruck event, Elon Musk showcased an impressive demonstration where his 6,600-pound EV pickup raced in a quarter-mile race against a Porsche 911. The Cybertruck emerged as the winner, but with the caveat that it was also towing a Porsche 911.
Tesla claims that the $99,990 "Cyberbeast" with three motors can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and completed the quarter-mile race in under 11 seconds. But is it really so? In a video posted last week, YouTuber Engineering Explained accuses Musk of exaggerating the capabilities of the Cybertruck.
Firstly, the channel owner, Jason Fenske, claims that the Cybertruck doesn't actually complete the full quarter-mile race in the demonstration, but Tesla finishes the race at the eighth-mile point. Fenske points out that both vehicles are only "halfway down the time boards" when Tesla shows the view of the Porsche and Cybertruck crossing the finish line side by side.
This suggests that they completed only the eighth-mile since the time boards are usually placed at the end of a quarter-mile track. Fenske found additional evidence to support this and even measured the length of the track on Google Maps using reference points from the video.
This isn't the only potential drawback that Cybertruck owners have discovered so far, now that the vehicle is being delivered to buyers. Another YouTuber, Kyle Conner of Out of Spec Motoring, conducted a live stream to test the Cybertruck's range. At the end of the five-hour livestream, Conner found that the Foundation Series all-wheel-drive model had a range of about 254 miles on a full charge, significantly less than the promised 320 miles by Tesla. Cold weather may have contributed to the lower-than-expected range, as Conner tested it on a highway with temperatures of around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold temperatures can significantly reduce the range of an electric vehicle.
Meanwhile, on the Cybertruck Owners Club forum, a user found that towing a heavy load significantly limits the vehicle's range, as expected. In their tests, they used their all-wheel-drive Cybertruck to tow a Tesla Model Y on a trailer with a total weight of about 6,000 pounds. The driver covered only about 111 miles with an 84% charge before the Cybertruck's battery ran out.
Tesla has stated that it will release a range extender in the future, which should offer an additional 130 miles of range, but these findings don't exactly align with Tesla's current representation of the Cybertruck as a powerful towing vehicle. Last year's delivery event heavily promoted the truck as being capable of doing all the things that trucks typically do, including towing heavy objects like a SpaceX rocket engine.
Furthermore, the Cybertruck may not be as durable as Musk describes it. A post on Reddit provides a look at the Cybertruck's owner's manual, which, similar to Tesla's other vehicles, suggests that owners should "promptly remove corrosive substances," including grease, oil, bird droppings, road salt, dead insects, and other materials from the vehicle's exterior to "avoid damage." However, the Cybertruck lacks a clear coat of paint, which is present in most cars to protect the paint from sun damage and minor scratches.
This is why Tesla states that "any scratches that appear are in the same stainless-steel panels." All of this doesn't exactly match the image of a Cybertruck as an extraordinary vehicle capable of handling rough terrain and built "for every planet," especially when apparent software issues have stranded this Cybertruck in the snow. The Cybertruck might not even be the most practical pickup here on Earth.