- Tesla unveiled its newest offering, the Cybertruck, an all-electric pickup truck.
- The Cybertruck is not the only electric truck due for production; Amazon-backed American car manufacturer Rivian‘s R1T is slated for production in late 2020.
- As neither car is in production yet, it’s a little too early to tell which will emerge on top.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Tesla’s Cybertruck is out, in at least an early version, anyway.
Given the Cybertruck’s revolutionary design, it feels like we’re in a new era for utility vehicles. While Tesla would probably like buyers to feel as if the Cybertruck is the only choice, it has real competition in the electric-truck space: Amazon-backed Rivian’s much-anticipated R1T.
Just how do these two green titans stack up against each other? Both Tesla’s Cybertruck and Rivian’s R1T are designed to perform the same general functions: pull things, carry things, and go over things with ease.
One of the main factors in identifying each truck’s capability in this area is size. Both trucks are large. The Rivian R1T is 217.1 inches long overall and has a 135.8-inch wheelbase. The Cybertruck is even larger, at 230.9 inches long and a 149.9-inch wheelbase. That seems to have afforded the Cybertruck a longer bed: Tesla’s rear bed is 6.5 feet long, two feet longer than the R1T’s. Those two feet on the R1T were allocated, though, to an innovative cargo hold between the rear seats and the bed big enough to carry a surfboard. There’s no word yet on the interior volume of either of these vehicles; however, both will be crew cabs, with four doors. The Rivian uses a double-cab format with seats for five, much like a traditional truck’s double-cab setup. Tesla’s Cybertruck seats five with a fold-down seat for a sixth rider between the driver and the passenger.
Both pickup trucks are innovative in their design. Tesla CEO Elon Musk decided to forgo the traditional truck design and made the Cybertruck, essentially, an exoskeleton on wheels. Rivian innovates upon the traditional design with its “skateboard” architecture that puts the battery, motors, transmission, basically everything, into one case that sits at the bottom of the car. This design, in theory, means you can bolt any type of body on top of the mechanism and get the car going. Which design proves most effective, efficient, and, perhaps most importantly, practical to produce remains to be seen.
The range is obviously a big consideration for these electric trucks. Rivian estimates its top-tier R1T will get up to 400 miles of range. The smallest battery on an R1T is good for 230 miles. The Cybertruck offers battery and powertrain options as well. Tesla estimates that it will get anywhere from 250 to 500 miles out of its Cybertruck. Neither the Cybertruck nor the R1T has had its estimated range verified by the EPA. Tesla is using its Raven powertrain for the Cybertruck, which uses a beefed-up Model 3 motor and a Model S performance motor at once. Though the numbers aren’t out yet, MotorTrend estimated that the system would make about 690 horsepower and 824 pound-feet of torque. Rivian estimates its top-of-the-line R1T will make up to 750 horsepower and 829 pound-feet of torque, reportedly good enough for a three-second 0-to-60 time. Musk, never one to back down from a challenge, said the Cybertruck can hit that speed in 2.9 seconds. Here is that in action…somewhat.
Elon Musk: Yeah, this is a current-edition Porsche.
Both are purported to have a low center of gravity, with the R1T reportedly able to climb a 45-degree, or 100-grade, incline. The Cybertruck has all-wheel drive and sits on an adaptive air suspension that changes its height on the fly, depending on the terrain or the cargo in its bed. As of now, it looks like the R1T and Cybertruck will perform similarly off-road. The towing numbers for both trucks are also under wraps, but Tesla estimated the Cybertruck would be able to tow a maximum of 14,000 pounds, and Rivian predicted a max-tow capacity of 11,000 pounds for the R1T. Max payload capacities for the Rivian and Tesla are an estimated 1,760 pounds and 3,350 pounds, respectively.
One of the most important deciding factors for buyers of an electric truck will undoubtedly be price. The R1T is going to start at about $69,000. Tesla’s Cybertruck is expected to start at $39,000 for a base model and go up to $69,000 for the top-tier version.
Though neither truck is in production yet, the conversation between these two behemoths is already heating up. We at the office sure are already weighing the features of the two. Is there anything we missed? Which of the trucks do you prefer?