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Tesla patents: Cybertruck solar charging bed cover, new UI hints at 610 miles of range

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A storm of Tesla Cybertruck patent applications has surfaced on the websites of the US Patent Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

These new patents (PDFs below) reveal some new and endorse some existing information about the Cybertruck. The rush also hints at Tesla’s eagerness to start the Cybertruck production later this year at Giga Texas.

Solar Charging Tonneau Cover

For instance, the solar charging bed cover was always in sight since the Cybertruck was revealed — but this patent provides a further hint that Tesla actually intends to take this to production.

Tesla patent figure for the Cybertruck solar charging truck bed cover.
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The opening and closing of the Cybertruck bed cover with one-touch were showcased on the evening of the unveiling (video below). Now the patent shows how this functionality actually works, interesting stuff for engineering nerds.

Source: WIPO

Section 0039 of this patent (WO 2021/102174 A1) describes the solar charging capability of the Cybertruck bed cover, the description reads:

In one embodiment, the tonneau cover comprises solar electric cells that are electrically connected to a photovoltaic charging system and battery. In one embodiment, the battery is the vehicle battery that powers the vehicle 100, which in one embodiment may be an electric truck. When the tonneau cover is deployed to cover the bed and the solar electric cells that make up the slats are facing the sun, the battery within the electric vehicle can be charged by the solar electric cells.

Tesla, Inc / WIPO
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However, it’s not clear from the patent information that how much energy the solar cells of the tonneau cover will be able to put back into the Cybertruck battery pack. According to random estimations, this size of bed cover should be able to generate 500 – 900 watts of energy for charging the battery on the go or while camping in the wild.

New Cybertruck UI patent

Tesla is designing an entirely new center touchscreen user interface for the Cybertruck, glimpses of which were seen at the evening of the unveiling event during test drives. Some parts of this new UI were also revealed by the ex-Tesla design head who posted the animated renders on his company portfolio website.

Tesla’s patent application for the new Cybertruck UI also has several of these screens posted in the PDF (below). Interestingly, the value of the range in these screens is 610 miles (~982 km).

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Screen from the Cybertruck UI patent application shows 610 miles of range (top right corner).

However, official Cybertruck specs show that the max range for the Tri-Motor Cybertruck is 500+ miles.

Elon Musk and Tesla are notorious for throwing such easter eggs, it’s part of their promotion strategy and creating excitement amongst the existing customers. The 610+ miles of range might just be real — we just have to wait till the end of this year as the first production will be the Tri-Motor Cybertruck variants.

Related: Tesla is trying to make real cars with unibody casting just like toy cars are made, Musk

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii