Tesla To Offer Boat Package For Cybertruck. Here's Why That's A Terrible Idea
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s claims about the Cybertruck boating abilities are well-known and documented, but few people have actually taken them seriously. Despite that, Musk insists that the Cybertruck will be able to work as a boat with some modifications.
Commenting on Jay Leno’s video of the Cybertruck in which Tesla’s engineering boss Lars Moravy said the electric truck “almost floats,” Elon Musk once again noted that the Cybertruck will get a “mod package” to make it work as a boat.
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There’s already an electrified vehicle that floats: China’s BYD Yangwang U8
BYD’s $150,000 luxury off-road SUV can float on water for short periods of time. Powered by a sophisticated four-motor series plug-in hybrid system delivering up to 1,180 horsepower, the U8 can can stay afloat for up to 30 minutes and move forward at 1.8 miles per hour by accelerating and turning its wheels.
“We are going to offer a mod package that enables Cybertruck to traverse at least 100m of water as a boat. Mostly just need to upgrade cabin door seals,” Musk said on X.
Before explaining why that’s a terrible idea, let us remind you that Tesla’s head honcho said in September 2022 that the Cybertruck “will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat,” adding that it will be able to “cross rivers, lakes and even seas that aren’t too choppy.”
He followed up by saying the electric pickup “needs (to) be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel.” Later on, he admitted that the Cybertruck would need “an electric propeller mounted on the tow hitch to go faster than a few knots” and cross the 0.3-mile wide channel. He also noted that “there might a creative wheel hub design that can generate meaningful thrust.”
Notice that Musk hasn’t offered any concrete and viable solutions for making the Cybertruck seaworthy. As you can imagine, navigating a 6,700-pound pickup truck without boat-specific steering and propulsion systems on any body of water is a gamble, to say the least.
Controlling a Cybertruck—which doesn’t have the most hydrodynamic body by the way—will be an impossible task without a propeller in calm waters, let alone when the wind blows and waves start forming.
And let’s not even get into the technicalities of getting the Tesla Cybertruck into the water. Driving a car on the beach is forbidden across most of the U.S., so an owner would have to go to a boat launch, which typically has dozens of turns to get out to the water.
Imagine a Cybertruck navigating its way out of that labyrinth to a lake or sea without hitting actual boats—either moored or moving—or the platforms. It will be a handful, to say the least.
Remember, Musk says the Cybertruck would be able to navigate at least 100 meters (328 feet) of water, but who will measure that distance and how? And what will happen if a storm breaks out as the Cybertruck is already “sailing” and it loses control and drifts out to sea?
It will obviously put human lives in danger, and that’s even before considering the possibility of a battery fire, like the one that recently consumed a Tesla Model X fully submerged in water. While we wait to see how this will pan out, we’re curious to learn your opinions on the “Cyberboat.” You know where our comments section is.
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