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Truck reimagined

Ace Treadmore

Nov 21, 2019
I think in the coming days as people have time to digest what they saw and then watch the tesla drive videos (which give a better feel for how the truck will look out on the street) opinions are going to shift from “WTF” to “Holy *sugar*”. The thing is simply incredible and I think the world is a cooler place with these things prowling the streets.

With that said, I wanted to discuss the functional aspects of a truck as the electric platform means it must be different than what we have seen to this point. Electrification provides an opportunity to address the (very significant) shortcomings of trucks.

Fundamentally a truck needs to be able to haul, tow, and handle lots of abuse to both the body and drivetrain. ICE trucks handle the drivetrain durability aspect with beefy axles, differentials and transmission all mounted to a purpose built frame. This design make for lots of compromises in terms of passenger comfort and efficiency. Case in point, in the real world driving around the city a full size truck will get about 12MPG. The frame means the passenger cabin is small on the inside (vs what the exterior dimensions would suggest) and they don’t drive nearly as nicely as a car due to the Realities of having a cabin being bolted on top of a frame. Pulling heavy loads via an ICE drivetrain with so may parts is also huge fundamental issue. Do a lot of towing and you will see transmission replacements. In all, lots of compromises for the capability.

Here are the traditional ICE truck issues that needed addressing - greater tow and haul capabilities, reliability, maintenance, comfort, handling, efficiency/running costs

Let’s look at the Cybertruck through this lens:

Durability - addressed by eliminating the transmission and use of electric motors (plus a ton of other stuff), and the hardened stainless steel body. Cybertruck should basically last forever.

Packaging/comfort/handling - elimination of the frame etc means that the full size of the vehicle will translate to interior space. The thing is huge inside (see test drive videos). Elimination of frame and the skateboard design means it can be built to handle

Work - air compressor for pneumatic tools and 220 outlets....nuff said.

Aero- this is the controversial part. An electric vehicle needs to be aerodynamically efficient. The Cybertruck handles this with the sloped front, enclosed bed, clean underbody, and flat/clean back end. One downside to Tesla’s design looks to be an very high bed reach over but perhaps this can be mitigated by lowering the air suspension (perhaps a slammed parking mode?). On the plus you get a fully lockable bed and great highway efficiency.

On the whole the truck is sizing up to offer extreme durability, superior comfort (via ride, handling and interior space), higher truck capabilities (hauling, towing), and MUCH lower running costs. Tesla has reimagined what a truck can be and has improved it not only as a truck but also in all the ways trucks fall short. The fact that it comes in a striking zombie apocalypse lambo-esc’ package is just a bonus.
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