Is the Tesla Cybertruck a Truck?

The Tesla Cybertruck turned heads when it was first unveiled with its angular, science fiction-inspired design similar to nothing else on the road. Even with enough novelty value to make it go viral, the Cybertruck has not maintained its momentum. Delays and unanswered questions regarding the electric pickup truck have driven attention away from the Cybertruck. One of the biggest questions about the Cybertruck is whether it’s even a truck at all.

What we know about the Tesla Cybertruck

A rear shot of the Tesla Cybertruck's closed bed with the electric truck parked on a white sandy beach
The closed bed of the Tesla Cybertruck | Tesla

While there have been plenty of unanswered questions about the Tesla Cybertruck, the automaker has provided information that explains some of the more unique elements of the truck and demonstrates how it is comparable to other EVs. To start, Car and Driver reports that the Cybertruck will be available with one, two, or three motors. Tesla claims that the top-tier three-motor Cybertruck model can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds.

Now, let’s talk about that design, as the Cybertruck’s exterior is one of the most unique elements about it. Tesla states that the exterior is made of stainless steel. They refer to it as the “exoskeleton” and boast that it is strong to protect against dents and other damage. This emphasis on protection extends to the glass used in the Cybertruck, which Tesla states can absorb force without breaking. However, in 2019, ABC News reported that the Cybertruck’s glass shattered during a demonstration, which brings the reliability of the glass into question.

Pricing for the Cybertruck has been revealed, but the MSRP might change before the Cybertruck hits the market. Single-motor Cybertruck models are reportedly priced at $39,900, and three-motor Cybertrucks cost $69,900.

How the Cybertruck is and is not like a traditional truck

Even though it’s called the Tesla Cybertruck, is the new Tesla vehicle really a truck at all? In some ways, it is similar to standard pickup trucks, but in others, it has more differences than simply looking different

One aspect of the Cybertruck that shows it is a truck is that it is built to tow cargo. The single-motor model is rated to tow a reasonable 7,500 pounds. The three-motor model, meanwhile, can reportedly tow an impressive 14,000 pounds. 

Like other trucks, the Cybertruck does have a bed, but its bed is uniquely covered. This adds protection to cargo, and it adds to the unique aesthetic of the futuristic Cybertruck. Consumer Reports states that the bed of the Cybertruck will have a ramp, making loading the Cybertruck easier. 

However, some technical aspects of the Cybertruck differ from other trucks. Cybertrucks come in all-wheel or rear-wheel drive, and the single-motor model only comes with rear-wheel drive. Trucks typically have four-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive, and JD Power states that four-wheel drive is preferable for taking on difficult terrains. In this way, the Cybertruck seems more like an SUV, as SUVs focus more on transporting large numbers of passengers rather than off-road driving, according to Zero2Turbo.

Other questions about the Tesla Cybertruck remain

The question of whether the Tesla Cybertruck will actually be a truck is only one question that looms over Tesla’s odd EV. All information about its speed and range is based on what Tesla has provided, as reviewers have not yet been able to drive the Cybertruck. 

Tesla has not given a firm release date for the Cybertruck, either. The company has maintained that the Cybertruck will be ready for release in 2023, but the electric truck has already experienced delays up until this point. 

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