Tesla (TSLA) started production of its long-awaited Cybertruck electric pickup truck on Friday 14th July. Since it’s the most highly-anticipated Tesla product ever, the Tesla Community is interested in every bit of news and product detail.
A few pictures of the Tesla Cybertruck production line were leaked yesterday from Giga Texas (below). Looking at these photos, vehicle teardown expert and now a Tesla/EV evangelist Sandy Munro released a short video statement on Twitter.
According to Munro, Tesla Cybertruck, unfortunately, does not have an ‘exoskeleton’ underneath the body. At the time of the Cybertruck unveiling in 2019, Tesla showed the following picture of its exoskeleton. But Munro thinks Tesla is not going to deliver the exact same thing.
So, what Tesla initially showcased can be referred to more as a ‘unibody shell’ rather than an ‘exoskeleton’, IMO. Tesla still has this picture present on Cybertruck’s official home page. The page explains the above picture as:
Cybertruck is built with an exterior shell made for ultimate durability and passenger protection. Starting with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armor glass.Tesla.com/Cybertruck
Now let’s compare the above Cybertruck exoskeleton body to what has been spotted on the pickup truck’s assembly line. Sandy Munro pointed out a significant change in the B-pillar, it’s very large compared to the one shown by Tesla in the above render.
Holding the assembly line photo in his hand that we saw above, Sandy Munro said “Unfortunately, that’s what it looks like underneath the skin, this would not be classified as an exoskeleton”.
In Munro’s opinion, these changes also contributed to the delays in bringing the Cybertrck to the production and delivery stage.
“You can see this big giant B-pillar and quite a bit of other things that tell me that the exoskeleton idea probably didn’t work and that’s probably why it took so long to get Tesla Cybertruck into the marketplace,” he added.
However, the new changes to the Cybertruck body frame make it even safer, not just for the occupants but also for pedestrians. Munro thinks Tesla adapted to these changes because the automaker wanted to score higher crash safety numbers.
“The good news is that if they did it, they probably did it because they needed higher crash-worthiness numbers or they just wanted to keep it even safer,” Munro said in his video message.
Interestingly, we can also see the large front and rear Cybertruck Giga Castings. These giant castings remove the need for many parts and weld points and also results in the reduction of cost and time for production. The same engineering methodology Tesla used for Model Y.
However, some community members like Alex, who is one of my ex-co-authors at CleanTechnica don’t agree with Munro. Alex referenced a Cybertruck exoskeleton patent filing (PDF below) in one of his tweets which shows the large B-pillar incorporated in the design.
In a rebuttal, Tesla Community members disagreed with Alex on some points as well. I think Sandy Munro will soon release a detailed video on this topic from his engineering workshop.
Stay tuned and add your valuable comments below to jot down your opinion on Sandy Munro’s point of view.
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