Tesla Cybertruck can’t go 500 miles even with extra battery


In an event Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented a production version of the Tesla Cybertruck. It looks much like the stainless-steel genre-bender Tesla premiered in 2021, but the electric truck doesn’t come any where close to the $39,900 starting price or range of up to 500 miles that had been suggested at that time.

Musk said very little of actual production specs for the long-awaited electric truck, and the CEO asserted that “it’s not just a grandstanding showcase,” partway through the presentation. The presentation was streamed only on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter that Musk acquired in 2022.   

Tesla showed how much a Cybertruck can pull next to a Ford F-350 Super Duty diesel, leaving a lot of questions. It also showed that it can be “faster than a 911, while towing a 911,” as Musk put it, showing a clip of the Cybertruck and Porsche’s iconic sports car in a drag strip sprint. 

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Musk claimed the Cybertruck has more torsional stiffness than a McLaren P1, has such a low center of gravity that it won’t roll over, and offers 17 inches of ground clearance to “drive over virtually anything.”

Grandstanding notwithstanding, range and starting price are often core bragging rights of the Tesla presentation—the $35,000 Model 3, for instance—and the omission was confirmed a bit later when more details were released on Tesla’s site.

Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016

Tesla Model 3 design prototype – reveal event – March 2016

 

Up to 470-mile range with…“range extender” ?

Digging into the few numbers and details a bit more, which Tesla updated during the presentation, there will be Rear-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Drive, and Cyberbeast versions, with estimated prices of $60,990, $79,990, and $99,990, respectively. Those three models return a respective range of 250 miles, 340 miles, and 320 miles, according to Tesla. 

Tesla also hints that a 440-mile or 470-mile range (Cyberbeast and AWD, respectively) could be enabled with a “range extender.” It was initially unclear what that might be—whether Tesla is bringing back battery swapping, for instance, or whether it allows some of the payload to be occupied by batteries. 

Musk later clarified, via X (above), that it’s the latter—an optional pack fitting into about one-third of the truck’s bed, with the CEO asserting that there’s still plenty of room for cargo. 

Tesla CTO Drew Baglino later added that the range extender is “a toolbox-sized battery against the back of the cab in the bed.”

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

In any case, this serves as a sort of alter-ego to the upcoming Ram 1500 REV that has 500 battery-electric miles of range claimed from a 229-kwh battery pack, but a separate Ramcharger plug-in hybrid will have 145 battery-electric miles plus 545 more miles afforded by an internal combustion range extender. As it’s currently being delivered, the Chevrolet Silverado EV provides EPA ratings of up to 450 miles.

Tesla lists the maximum charging rate at 250 kw—the current max for Supercharger V4 tech, although it’s expected to be raised soon with a greater rollout. That’s good enough for adding 128 miles in 15 minutes for the Cyberbeast or 136 miles for the AWD, according to Tesla; but with an 800-volt architecture the Cybertruck is likely capable of charging at much higher rates.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

That figure is an indication that in efficiency, Tesla sees the Cybertruck going just over 2 miles per kwh—so count on roughly 170 kwh for the 340-mile AWD Cybertruck pack. It hasn’t yet clarified how you would charge the range extender or how long that might take while towing and hauling on long road trips.

It’s unclear whether this is an EPA-cycle range figure, as the Cybertruck might be classified as a medium-duty (commonly called heavy-duty, or super-duty) truck. Tesla quoted curb weights ranging up to 6,843 pounds.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

RWD, AWD, and Cyberbeast

Single-motor Rear-Wheel Drive models, which won’t be available until 2025, will accelerate to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, while All-Wheel Drive versions will do 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds and the Cyberbeast will dash to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. Power ratings for the latter two models are 600 hp and 845 hp.

The Cybertruck boasts an 11,000-pound tow rating, according to Tesla—1,000 pounds ahead of those of the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV—while claiming a payload of up to 2,500 pounds. Tesla also quoted torque figures of 7,435 lb-ft and 10,296 lb-ft for the AWD and Cyberbeast versions, respectively, but it’s likely those are wheel torque and not the motor torque that would allow them to be compared to those of other pickups.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

It’s 223.7 inches long, with an overall height of 70.4 inches, and it’s a bit wider than most full-size trucks at 86.6 inches with the mirrors folded. The official ground clearance is 17.44 inches in an Extract Mode, likely utilizing the capability of the air suspension. 

As Musk has long hinted, the Cybertruck does without a 12-volt lead-acid accessory battery, and it shifts to ethernet-based communications. Neither of these are market firsts.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Looks aside, many Cybertruck market firsts

But there are plenty of market firsts. The Cybertruck’s stainless-steel construction will be a first for any mass-produced vehicle—for better or worse, we’ve yet to see. So will its claimed rock-chip-free exterior and shatter-resistant armor glass. And inside, its 18.5-inch touchscreen will be one of the largest yet.

Other less-revolutionary off-road and maneuverability-savvy tech includes locking differentials, rear torque vectoring, and a steer-by-wire system that employs a very quick ratio at parking-lot speeds and a longer ratio on the highway, making it easy to drive, said Musk, while offering a turning circle smaller than that of the Model S’s approximately 40 feet.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Also of note: Tesla claims the Cybertruck offers up to 11.5 kw of power for the home, or other vehicles—although there weren’t any supporting details yet as to how that feature might be enabled. This will be the first use of a form of bidirectional charging for any of its vehicles, so pay attention to how this is marketed alongside its Powerwall home energy systems. 

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

The Cybertruck is a long-awaited entry into the pickup fold and has an exotic-car level of looks and tech. Will Tesla’s decisions that went into this product make sense in the real world? For that, we’ll need to wait many months, before more than just an initial round of fans take the squircle-shaped wheel. 

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