Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.

Bed Cap That Increases Range?

With electric trucks improving aerodynamics doesn't just mean lower running costs, but longer range, which can be significantly more valuable. Because of this I'm surprised I haven't seen any concepts for Cyrbertruck bed caps that would improve aerodynamics and add range in the process. If you can design a truck cap that adds range it could pay for itself vs the cost of a larger battery, plus whatever storage or functionality benefits the cap could add on top of that.

Has anyone seen a concept for this? I'd love to see some CFD results for a few different shapes. I've done a little 3D modeling for welding and woodworking projects, but complex curves and CFD is beyond my skillset.
 
It seems like for a standard pickup truck shape 10-25% improvements in mileage are possible with an aerodynamic bed cap.

I'd assume that the sloped back of the Cybertruck is already an advantage over the standard shape, so aim on the low end of that and say 10% is possible. 30 miles on 300 is nice, but adding 50 miles on 500 is great. People often pay 10k for another 100miles of range (plus a little extra performance), $1-2k for 30-50% as many miles is a pretty good value. It's also possible the effect would be even more noticeable when towing, when you really need the extra range, since the areo effect could act both on the rear of the truck and on the trailer by cleaning up the dirty air off the truck and keeping it from filling in void between the truck and trailer.
 
I always assumed that the Cybertruck design started with the shape of an aerocap, then the design team fell in love with the sharp look, and they made the front flat too.

I don't think you will be able to get more range out of a different shaped aerocap than the one already incorporated. If you could, they would have made it that way, as it would have allowed them to provide smaller batteries with the same range.

As an aside, the small frontal area relative to the length is a signature of tesla vehicles. This isn't an accident: the length of the model 3 is essential for its efficiency, as is the length (and shape) of the Cybertruck; as the vehicle body approaches a teardrop shape, the vehicle gets more efficient. For this reason, I don't see much benefit of a shorter Cybertruck (or short model 2), as it would have the same frontal area of the base car, be shorter, deviate further from a teardrop shape, and get less range for the same battery size.
 
On my non-electric F150, I bought a tonneau cover from 4wheelonline and didn't saw a huge difference in mpg. I'm still pleased with it because my main concern is cargo security.

About the CT, I know there's already a patent for a solar panel tonneau that could help improve the range.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: TexasDuke
With modern pickups tonneau covers have a very small increase in mileage, the numbers I have seen indicate under 2%. My personal testing has shown over the years no benefit (given margin for error in my real world tests). I'm not sure what you expect as a bed cap for the cybertruck which would actually improve aerodynamics?
 
  • Informative
Reactions: TexasDuke
The tonneau cover on my truck was actually capturing wind, fluttering like crazy, & I presume costing me MPG. No matter what I did I could not get my soft tonneau cover sealed at the front to prevent this.

Anyways, the CT already has a hard aero shaped mechanical bed cover. If they add flexible solar panels to it even better. I don't see anyone improving on this design for improving efficiency.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TexasDuke

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top