- The Tesla Cybertruck offers impressive technology, including its distinctive, stainless-steel exoskeleton which simplifies production, lowers costs, and enhances safety.
- Steer-by-wire and four-wheel steering in the truck allow for better maneuverability, including parking.
- A 48V low-voltage system, 800V high-voltage architecture, and bidirectional charging are other innovative technologies offered in the truck.
Four years after its initial planned release, the Tesla Cybertruck made global headlines in November 2023 when it was finally released. Responses vary widely. Some saw it as a beautiful modern automotive miracle, others as a bloated, expensive, weird-looking toy. Either way, you look at it, and regardless of your feelings on the truck, one must admit it has an impressive amount of modern technology.
New, Exciting Technology in the Tesla Cybertruck
The truck features a wide variety of new, exciting technologies. These include steer-by-wire and four-wheel steering for better maneuvering. Tesla improved the truck by offering a 48-volt lower-power system and an 800-volt architecture. These improvements allow significant cost savings. The truck is the first Tesla vehicle to offer bidirectional charging. Its stainless steel exoskeleton is eye-catching and offers enhanced safety. The company cut production costs by using Etherloop, a radically new wiring harness.
Steer-by-Wire and Four-Wheel Steering
The Tesla Cybertruck offers steer-by-wire, a system that allows steering of the vehicle’s wheels without the wheel’s axles connected to a steering column. Tesla’s designers opted for the use of electronic or electro-mechanical systems in place of a mechanical linkage for the truck’s steering. These are two things that make the truck more maneuverable. The four-wheel steering, in particular, makes parking easier, giving the vehicle a tighter turning radius. This is helpful for a large vehicle, such as the Cybertruck.
48V Low-Voltage System and 800V High-Voltage Architecture
In an industry first, Tesla introduced the 48-volt lower-power system, saving about 70% of the copper used in the vehicle. The Tesla Cybertruck offers gigabit ethernet cabling for data and 48-volt power on the same cable. The truck uses a daisy-chained system between components. This simplified wiring reduces the number of chips used in the truck. These features offer significant production savings and are expected to be rolled out to future Tesla vehicles.
800-volt architecture offers faster charging times, better efficiency, and reduced weight. Less copper is needed throughout the vehicle, reducing weight. These weight reductions improve performance and range. 800-volt architectures offer greater efficiency, allowing electricity to move from the battery to the wheels with a lower electric current. Faster charging is the most significant advantage, as charging time remains as an essential barrier to EV adoption.
The First Tesla EV Offering Bidirectional Charging
Bidirectional charging is a first for the truck in Tesla vehicles. A new “Powershare” vehicle-to-load (V2L) charging capability is available on the new Tesla Cybertruck. The feature will allow Cybertruck owners to power other vehicles, their camping equipment, power tools, and other devices. Powering a home during a blackout is also an option. The Cybertruck puts out as much as 11.5kW. This level is more than competitors’ Ford F-150 Lightning‘s 9.6kW or the GMC Sierra Denali EV‘s 10.2kW. Experts expect Tesla to offer V2L on other vehicles in the future.
Bidirectional charging is a significant new technology, offering power for accessories and homes during a blackout. Experts view the ability to send power back to the electric grid through Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) capability as a game-changer for electric utilities. Pilot programs are in place throughout the United States by companies such as Fermata Energy and Nuvve Holding Corp. In these programs, some of the benefits of V2G include preventing blackouts, allowing the use of more clean, renewable energy, and preventing grid overloads from too many EVs charging at the same time.
Stainless Steel Exoskeleton
The design of the truck is eye-catching, to be sure. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the design was based in part on futuristic films, such as Blade Runner. The stainless steel exoskeleton exterior is up to 1/8 inch thick and is cold-rolled instead of stamped like conventional automotive parts. By using gigacasting, Tesla can cast large parts in a single piece. This streamlines production, lowers manufacturing costs, reduces the vehicle’s weight, and increases crash safety. Tesla claims that the exterior resists dents, damage, and corrosion more than other trucks and that repairs are simple and quick.
Etherloop, a Radically New Wiring Harness
Many cars use multiple and separate controller area networks (CAN bus) for various subsystems in their wiring harnesses. These harnesses are heavy, as well as complex and expensive to manufacture and install. Tesla’s Etherloop is a single continuous gigabit Ethernet cable that loops around the interior of the Cybertruck. Etherloop carries all kinds of data. These include digital audio to each speaker, digital signals from several microphones for in-cabin Active Noise Canceling (ANC), and digital video from multiple cameras to the Full Self-Driving (FSD) computer. All of this happens in real-time while cutting the weight of communication wiring in half. Another benefit is that all the data is available to all electronic modules.
Tesla Cybertruck Technology is Driving Innovation
Tesla has been an innovator in many ways, some of which are displayed in the Cybertruck’s technology. Tesla’s innovation is encouraging a wide variety of changes to the automotive industry. Its leadership in the production of electric vehicles has spawned many other companies to produce their own EVs, moving the EV revolution forward. It has pioneered a direct-sales model, reducing barriers and making the sales process more easy and streamlined for buyers. Its production techniques are being used more by other manufacturers due to the significant cost savings. Whether you love or hate the Cybertruck, its massive media appeal and exposure moves EV adoption forward, by projecting more EV awareness into the global spotlight.
IMAGES: TESLA, ELECTRIFY EXPO
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