What in the world is the Cybertruck?

It's the new electric pickup truck from Tesla and it is unlike anything we've ever seen
cybertruck "That's a truck?" Yep. And Tesla hopes that it changes the world. (Tesla)


For many years, tech whiz Elon Musk has promised that one day his car company, Tesla, would deliver an EV (electric vehicle) truck.

And when he spoke, he often said this truck would be everything from "better than the F-150" (the world's number one pickup) to "a better sports car than a standard 911" (Porsche's top sports car)  to really "futuristic-like".

In other words, it was going to be a speedy, sci-fi-looking roadster that was also the most powerful, smoothest-driving truck ever made. That's a tall order!

Then on November 21, Tesla unveiled this...

It's called the Cybertruck and if it seems weird, well, it is! It's the most unusual road vehicle we've ever seen but what is it all about, and why is it so interesting?

The future is now

cybertruck

A concept sketch of the spinner, a flying car that appeared in 1982's Blade Runner movie. Look familiar? (Syd Mead)

If you watch science fiction movies — especially ones from the 1980s like Blade Runner and Back To The Future — the Cybertruck will look strangely familiar. In those films, vehicles were often made of silver metal with plenty of strong angles.

Tesla's Cybertruck looks like it literally just drove off a sci-fi movie set. This is no accident. In fact, Musk was very upfront about Blade Runner as an inspiration. But that was a movie. Can it work in real life?

Let it flow

According to tests done by aerospace engineers, the Cybertruck's odd design isn't just for show. This thing would really be able to slice through the air way better than any other truck out there. This is huge since less wind resistance (how much the air pushes back against an object as it moves) means the truck can move faster while using less energy.

 

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We're not going to pretend to understand all of the science behind these numbers, but the bottom line? This vehicle may look strange, but it may just be the most fuel-efficient truck out there.

Real electric power

cybertruck

The Cybertruck doing more normal truck things. (Tesla)

Trucks are very popular vehicles in North America. This is because they are powerful, durable, and practical. Up until now, most EVs have been either small and fuel-efficient, or super sporty and fast. The Cybertruck is supposed to change all of that.

It is made of a stainless steel alloy (a metal mixture) that is supposedly bulletproof. Its engine has a towing capacity (how much weight it can pull) that is similar to the other top trucks out there. And its range of travel before having to recharge is anywhere from 400 to 800 kilometres (250 to 500 miles) depending on the model.

In short, the Cybertruck kind of seems to be the exact truck that Musk promised all along. Tesla already has around 250,000 preorders for it even though the vehicle won't be delivered until 2021 at the earliest. What would it be like to drive in this big blast from a future past?


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