Four must-haves for Tesla 'Cybertruck', all-electric pickup – TechCrunch

Tesla is set to reveal the pickup this week, and it must be vastly different from the current lineup. The current line of Tesla vehicles shares many parts, and logically, the Tesla pickup will do the same. However, a truck has requirements other than a passenger car or utility vehicle. It must be more robust and able to withstand more abuse. It must tow and tear and scale more than a flowerbed of a mall.

The Tesla pickup is launched as Rivian's electric pickup approaches its launch. The Rivian R1T looks and feels like an electric pickup. It is also built from a custom built platform designed for tail and towing. Tesla does not have a similar platform as the SUV Model X is more a car than a truck.

Gradually, several automakers will offer electric trucks. Ford has confirmed that it is building an electric F-1[ads1]50 and recently demonstrated that it was pulling a train. The upside is profound. An electric truck will in theory offer improved toque (better towing), high payload capacity (due to better weight distribution), and improved performance figures (electric motors are fast). A truck platform is also naturally larger and stronger so that car manufacturers can insert more batteries into the frame.

This is what we want to see in a retrieval from Tesla:

Twice the towing capacity of the Model X [19659006] The Tesla Model X is incredible, and with most measures the fastest production SUV is available. But it can't drag much. It is not because of the driveline, but rather the vehicle platform. A Tesla pickup must be able to tow and haul.

According to the Model X operating instructions, the vehicle can tow 5,000 pounds. It's good enough for a pair of jet skis or a small trailer, but not much else. By comparison, most Ford F-150 models can pull over 10,000 pounds with some models peaking at 13,000 kg. Rivian projects his electric pickup unit to pull over 11,000 pounds. The difference comes from the design of the frame and the length of the vehicle.

The design of the vehicle often restricts towing. The rear suspension must be capable of supporting the weight, and the vehicle must be long enough to reduce the wagon train. Short vehicles are difficult to tow trailers, and the Model X, built on a version of the Model S, is a compact vehicle. There is nothing worse than looking out the window at the driver's side and watching the trailer run down the hill.

For safety reasons only, a Tesla pickup must have improved towing capacity over the Model X. It should have an integrated trailer brake controller as well – something missing from the Model X.

The Model X platform is also not built for transport. According to the instruction manual, when two passengers are in the vehicle, it can only contain an additional 654 pounds. There are only eight bags of Quickrete cement. To make matters worse, the Model X rear tire can only support 285 pounds, which means the rear axle can't hold that much weight, and the extra weight has to be spread between the two axles.

A pickup must be capable of taking a lot of wood mulch or a couple of large appliances, and Tesla's current platforms are not designed for such.

Most lightweight pickups, from the Honda Ridgeline to the F-150, can support from 1 500 kg to 2,000 pounds in bed. And it's easy to exceed that rating as well. An open truck bed is an invitation to upload it, but unless you use a powerful pickup, don't get a pallet of landscaping.

Robust Serviceable Parts

Although a pickup is only used for monthly Home Depot races, it maintains more abuse than passenger cars because of its size. Brakes wear out faster, and the tires need more attention. If it has a light suspension, penetrations and joints wear out faster than in cars or SUVs.

Tesla makes it difficult for the owners to repair the vehicles they purchased. I don't expect it to be any different with the Tesla pickup. Tesla does not want owners to get stuck on the truck. Since that is the case, the pickup must come with improved parts.

The repairable parts (brakes, suspension and tires) that come on the Tesla pickup must be more robust and reliable than those used on Tesla passenger cars. [19659002] Electric vehicles have far fewer parts that can go wrong than internal combustion vehicles. It's great. Owners do not need to replace a timing belt or engine oil. But there are still items that wear out, and most pickup buyers need assurances that they can go a long way.

Off-roading capabilities (or the ability to add off-roading capabilities)

The electric Rivian R1T is currently racing across South America to demonstrate terrain chops. Here is the company's blog post about it. This excites the truck in me. Now it's a truck, I scream!

I don't have the data, but I suspect most lightweight pickups are hardly used to their potential. I have a well-equipped F-150 that is used to tow a trailer twice a year.

Trucks are often ambition purchases where buyers shop for potential lifestyles. Sure, you have to have a truck, because one day you will buy the trolley and drive through Yellowstone. To fulfill this dream, a pickup must be able to run the desert or climb the mountains.

The Rivian R1T gets many things right, and I hope Tesla follows Rivian's leadership. It is longer than a Ford Ranger and exceeds Toyota Tacoma's bed capacity. The wheel wells are large, seemingly capable of supporting larger tires than the original from the factory. The R1T has an impressive attitude. It looks at the part, and the Tesla pickup has to look at the part as well.

Although Tesla looks like a weak truck, it is important to be able to change the truck. Supplements are a big part of the truck culture. My F-150 has become a money pit as I have spent money on buying accessories. Rivian knows this and has shown off his pickup with a handful of additions from tent to kitchen.

Power output

A Tesla pickup can have a unique selling point by letting the owners use it as a high-output generator.

Right now, many trucks have plenty of power ports, both 12v and 110v. They are found in the cab and bed, but cannot use serious tools. The 12V system used in internal combustion vehicles will not operate much more than a drill or a small saw, let alone a house by operating as a whole house generator.

The functionality would be well received. Homeowners will appreciate the ability to operate parts of their homes during the blackout. Campers could use it when taking the pickup on an adventure. Buildings can use it to power and charge tools.

Right now, there is no way to produce full power on a Tesla vehicle. Owners can use a converter, but it is also limited and requires extra parts. Tesla will need to build security systems and regional power ports in the battery platform to ensure safety and compatibility.

A word about the award.

There is no way around this. A Tesla pickup will be more expensive than its combustion counterparts. It will be an exclusive pickup aimed at those who use Arc'teryx instead of Carhart.

Rivian rates its pickup with a starting price of $ 69,000 and a Tesla pickup is likely to start in the same range. If there is a new platform built for hauling or towing, Tesla will have many design and production hours to restore, which will drive the price north. Until more is available, Tesla and Rivian will be able to determine the market price.

There is a lot for a truck. It is the price of a special Ford F-150 that is more comfortable or capable than it has any right to be. It's also the same price as a beefy F-350 with Ford's most powerful engine and a towing capacity of 37,000 pounds.

Come back later this week, as TechCrunch will be available later when Tesla unveils the pickup.

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