As a child of the 80’s, Back to the Future was one of my favourite films (and still is). Therefore, the idea of owning a shiny stainless steel car is not that odd to me, and actually quite appealing. Hence, I actually like the Cybertruck in terms of how it looks, though I’m fully aware that is not a universal opinion of the Cybertruck design. Luckily then, the Cybertruck is not just ‘all show and no go’. When the Cybertruck first hits the streets in late 2021 (hopefully), it will have the specs/price point that most electric cars can only dream of, and this is a truck. With a towing capacity of between 7,500 and 14,500 lbs.
Key Tesla Cybertruck Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 7,500 to 14,500 lbs
- Availablility – From late 2021
- Price – Starting $39,900 (Single Motor) > $69,900 (Tri Motor)
- Estimated Range – 250+ miles (Single Motor) > 500+ miles (Tri Motor)
- Estimate Towing Range (50%) – 125 miles (Single Motor) > 250 miles (Tri Motor)
- Maximum Charge Rate – 250 kW+ (V3 Tesla Supercharger)
Tesla Cybertruck HP & Torque
- Yet to be confirmed.
Tesla Cybertruck Towing Capabilities
The finalised specifications for the Tesla Cybertruck are yet to be announced and much about the vehicle is currently unknown. For instance, the HP & Torque output from each variant has not as yet been stated by Tesla. However, Tesla has been keen to emphasize the towing capabilities of each version of the Cybertruck.
The cheapest model which is the Single Motor/RWD will be able to tow 7,500+ lbs. The next step up will be the Dual Motor/AWD variant with a towing capacity of 10,000+ lbs. With the highest specification currently announced being the Tri-Motor/AWD with a towing capacity of 14,000+ lbs. The use of the + symbol by Tesla is interesting, as it implies the vehicles could very well exceed those tow ratings. We will just have to wait and see to find out if that’s the case.
What I also find interesting is Tesla is supposedly bringing the cheapest model the Single Motor/RWD to market first in late 2021, with the Dual and Tri-Motor variants available in 2022. The reason I find that particularly interesting is that’s the opposite of Tesla’s launches for the Model S, X, 3 and Y. With those vehicle launches, Tesla first offered the most expensive/most capable versions first, and offered the cheaper/lower-spec versions later.
In terms of a tow vehicle, the Single Motor/RWD is not the most appealing. Firstly, it lacks AWD for better traction when towing. Secondly, the Single Motor Cybertruck will have a range of 250 miles (ish) when not towing, and roughly around 125 miles when towing (50% guestimate). However, from what we know of Model X and Model Y towing ranges, the real-world towing range could potentially be significantly less in some cases. Therefore, its going to be very interesting to see the first towing test results with the entry-level Cybertruck.
Update: It looks like Tesla have changed their strategy and will focus on the Dual/Tri-Motor variants for late 2021, and then introduce the Single Motor Cybertruck in 2022 – Source: Electrek
Dedicated Cybertruck Supercharger Stalls
Tesla’s supercharger network is its ‘ace in the hole’ if you will when it comes to developing the adoption of electric cars/trucks for towing. As when towing you can typically expect the range of the electric vehicle to be cut in half you need two things. Lots of fast/rapid charging stations and the fastest charging speeds available.
Well, Tesla pretty much has both of those things with their Supercharger network and V3 250kW chargers. Not that there is enough Tesla Supercharger stations as yet where you will be able to tow a heavy trailer with the Cybertruck whenever and wherever. Furthermore, V3 250kW chargers are still being rolled out. The point being though, Tesla still has a big lead over the competition when it comes to the fast charging game.
Due to the significant number of pre-orders for the Cybertruck (500,000 and counting), Tesla is starting to modify Supercharger stations with spaces suitable for the larger/wider Cybertruck (Source: Electrek). This is obviously good news for future potential Cybertruck owners. The only slightly worrying thing this is the first reports of these updated Cybertruck spaces at Supercharger stations don’t seem to be accounting for a Cybertruck and trailer.
As Tesla is heavily promoting the towing capabilities of the Cybertruck I would have expected that spaces long enough for Cybertrucks towing trailers would be a priority!? Therefore, I’m going to keep an eye on these Supercharger station revisions to see if they are going to provide proper truck and trailer charging spaces. As frequently unhooking a trailer to take the car to charge up is not going to sit well with owners.
Cybertruck – What Have We Have Seen So Far?
Obviously, until the Cybertruck is launched and in the hands of either owners or automotive journalists, I don’t have any videos which I can share in terms of what the Cybertruck can really do, or what its towing capabilities/range are like in the real world. We got to see the Cybertruck for the first time at a Tesla media event in late 2019, just a few months before masks become a thing.
When the Cybertruck rolled onto the stage it appeared that quite a few people thought it was a joke, maybe thinking ‘ok, where is the real truck?’. But the angular shiny stainless steel unibody is real, and it seems to produce either a love/hate response from most people.
As you can see above, the unveiling didn’t go completely to plan with the armour glass breaking during a demonstration. Then again, as Elon stated in reference to the steel ball ‘at least it didn’t go through’. It’s not as if many people would have expected/asked for the glass to be bulletproof either, and it also got Tesla a lot more free press/attention due to what happened at the event. To date, the only better look we have actually had of the Cybertruck was when Jay Leno (if you didn’t know, he’s quite into his cars) went to visit Tesla. You can see Jay’s response to the Cybertruck in the video below.
Its clear that the Cybertruck is not going to appeal to everybody, especially those who view what a truck should be and look like in very traditional terms. However, if you look at what Tesla is hoping to produce on purely a technical level for the price they want to sell the Cybertruck at it could be pretty amazing compared to what the competition is set to release.
As a pure electric tow vehicle, the Cybertruck has huge potential. Therefore, it may be the case that some people put aside their opinion on how the Cybertruck looks, in favour of its towing performance. Only time will tell.
I did also want to reference the video that Zack produced above from the YouTube channel JerryRigEverything. Zack was at the Cybertruck reveal event and provides more insight into what he saw and makes comparisons between his Toyota Tacoma and the Cybertruck. Along the same lines of what I’ve discussed above, Zack comments that to him ‘the usefulness of a truck is more important than the appearance, a truck is a tool’.
As I stated in the introduction, I’m all in on the design of the Cybertruck, but let’s put that to one side for second. Let’s talk about the core capabilities of the vehicle and its towing potential. If the $69,000 Tri-Motor Cybertruck can really acheive a real-world/EPA range of around 500 miles which could potentially result in a 250-mile towing range, that is highly impressive. Furthermore, from what I’ve seen of other electric trucks which will be coming onto the market in the next few years, nothing is set to offer an electric towing range at that price point.
Furthermore, the air suspension is also a significant feature which can benefit towing. As yet we do not know the tongue weight limit of the Cybertruck but I expect it to be pretty hefty due to the adaptive air suspension. Previously Tesla with the Model Z, X and 3 struggled to get the cars in customers hands when they originally stated. However, Tesla got the Model Y to market well before the originally announced launch date. So what about the Cybertruck?
While the Cybertruck may appear more complicated to produce than their previous electric cars, the reality may actually be the opposite, and it may be Tesla’s most profitable vehicle (see here). Therefore, Tesla may very well succeed in getting the Cybertruck on the road in late 2021. I know I’m very interested to see if that’s the case. I’ll update this post with more information/towing tests when available.