There are pickups that work on the farm--work trucks. There are old trucks for visits to the landlord (with some expectation he or she will see the near-wreck and understand this year was not what it could have been, if there was ever a year better than expected). And there are those $60,000, $70,000-plus trucks for going to town--the going-to-town/going-to-church truck.
New to the farm and ranch truck derby is Tesla's sharply angular and new electric Cybertruck for 2024.
Just where would it fit? Probably write off the landlord who might question your ability to run the farm. But going to town? Even working around the farm? Maybe.
Cybertruck has a cool vibe to it. But would you ever be seen in town with this $60,990 base-price truck, single motor, rear-wheel drive, or in the all-wheel drive version for $79,900. Or even more, in its high-living, two or three motor, all-wheel drive cousin with Cyberbeast -- 845 hp, 0-60 in 2.6 seconds, top speed of 130 mph, quarter mile in under 11 seconds, by Tesla calculations -- for $99,900.
COFFEE SHOP TALKS
Admit it. It would be great gist for the coffee shop. Cybertruck, by its published specs anyway, would seem to have the chops for farm and ranch work.
It was this week that Tesla delivered its first dozen Cybertruck pickups to new owners with 1 million others behind them having already plunked down deposits. "It's the most unique thing on the road," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the drive-off ceremony held at Tesla's Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. "Finally, the future will look like the future." The Tesla-developed and heavy-duty stainless steel alloy body had to be angular, Musk explained, because the strong alloy body material can't be stamped into finely curved pieces by conventional presses.
Cybertruck is designed to compete in the highly profitable U.S. truck market today owned by Ford, General Motors and Ram. All three, by the way, sell gussied-up trucks for $100,000 and more. And all three have or will have electric pickups out on the road (Ram's electric truck is coming next year).
READY FOR WORK
Cybertruck all-wheel drive and the Cyberbeast package can tow up to 11,000 pounds (1,000 pounds more than the Ford Lightning electric pickup). It has a rated payload of 2,500 pounds. The angular, covered and lockable bed is 6 feet front to back, and 4 feet wide. The truck has 17 inches of ground clearance on 35-inch all-terrain tires, 120v and 240v outlets in the bed and in the cab and adaptive air suspension. An optional, front-mounted light bar provides illumination out to 525 yards.
Cybertruck deploys eight cameras for a virtual 360-degree view out to 250 meters. It employs drive-by-wire steering control. Tesla's hands-free driving technology is optionally available.
RANGE ON THE RANGE
All pretty impressive numbers. But range is key -- petroleum versus electrons.
Tesla says its 2025 single-motor, rear-wheel drive Cybertruck will have a range of 250 miles. The all-wheel drive Cybertruck goes 340 miles, between charges. The Cyberbeast runs out to 320 miles. With a 15-minute supercharge the all-wheel drive truck can travel another 136 miles. In beast mode, the supercharged range is slightly less.
Compare that with a Ford F150 conventionally fueled truck. With a highway rating of 22 miles per gallon and 26-gallon fuel capacity, the F150 can travel 572 miles between endlessly plentiful fuel stations.
Ford says its all-electric, standard F150 Lightning has a range of 230 miles. The F150 XLT Lightning with extended-range batteries can go 320 miles.
What these numbers don't speak very well to is terrain and towing. Uphill, off-road, heavy tows take a heavy toll on electric and conventionally powered trucks. But while charging stations remain pretty rare, not so for the gas-on-every-corner stations.
What can we say about Cybertruck's range? There's not a lot of definitive information out there, yet. But Googling around amongst the many car and truck publications who have seen and even driven the Cybertruck, it seems safe to say heavy towing on hilly trips would reduce its expected range by 50 to 100 miles.
Dan Miller can be reached at email@example.com
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