The Tesla Cybertruck pickup truck will be probably the hottest all-electric vehicle launches this year, but its specs are still a mystery.
Tesla says on its website that the vehicle is expected to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (mph) in as little as 2.9 seconds and have a driving range of up to 500 miles (805 km). This month, there was an unofficial report that the Tesla Cybertruck will initially be launched with a 350-mile (563 km) version.
For reference, when the Cybertruck was unveiled a few years ago, Tesla was hinting at three versions:
- Single Motor RWD: 250+ miles (402+ km)
- Dual Motor AWD: 300+ miles (483+ km)
- Tri Motor AWD: 500+ miles (805+ km)
The official news is that the Tesla Cybertruck will be equipped with Tesla's 4680-type cylindrical battery cells - an improved version, with a 10 percent higher energy density than in the case of the Tesla Model Y AWD (the first and only 4680-powered BEV so far).
Today, we will stop for a while to check out interesting estimations of potential energy consumption and battery capacity, recently published by Troy Teslike.
The report assumes battery energy density at:
- Gen 1 (4680-type): 229 Wh/kg
81.2 Wh per cell, 355 g
- Gen 2 (4680-type): 252 Wh/kg (10% boost)
89.4 Wh per cell, 355 g
- Panasonic (2170-type): 262 Wh/kg
18.4 Wh per cell, 70 g
As we can see, the new "Cybercell" is expected to offer a slightly lower energy density than Panasonic's 2170-type cylindrical cells, but the difference is small (4 percent), while the new structural battery pack might bring substantial weight savings on the car level. Another thing is that it's actually not bad for an automotive company to be so close to Panasonic's technology, while there might still be substantial untapped potential in the larger cell format.
Tesla's 4680-type cylindrical battery cells milestones:
- Sept, 2020: announcement of the 4680-type cylindrical battery cells
[The Limiting Factor's teardown and specs, Munro Live's teardown, structural battery pack teardown]
- Feb 18, 2022: 1 millionth cell produced in January 2022 (Kato Road pilot facility)
- Dec 25, 2022: cell production rate amounted to 868,000 per week (equal to over 1,000 cars)
- June 16, 2023: Tesla produced the 10 millionth cell at the Giga Texas site
Tesla Cybertruck Estimated Battery Capacity
According to Troy Teslike's calculations attached below, the Tesla Cybertruck's energy consumption is estimated at 571 watt-hours per mile (Wh/mi) or 355 Wh/km, at a constant speed of 65.5 mph (105 km/h).
That's a substantial level (but not a surprise for a large and heavy vehicle) - comparable to the Ford F-150 Lightning's EPA Highway energy consumption rating (although the EPA rating includes charging losses).
When assuming that part of the energy (23 percent) will be reused (through regenerative braking), one can calculate the driving range and battery pack size.
With a usable 120-kWh battery capacity, the range would exceed 250 miles, which is probably the minimum range level accepted by Tesla for an electric vehicle. A larger, 160-kWh battery pack (usable capacity) would result in almost 350 miles of driving range:
- Usable battery capacity: 120 kWh - range of 259 miles (417 km)
- Usable battery capacity: 160 kWh - range of 345 miles (555 km)
* assuming 571 Wh/mi (355 Wh/km) and 23% energy recuperation
In other words, if 300-350 miles or so is the target, then the battery pack will have to be roughly two times bigger than in the case of the Tesla Model Y Long Range (around *81.5 kWh or so, according to separate estimations).
* Tesla does not report the battery capacity of its electric vehicles
Of course, we can use this metric also to estimate what the battery pack size would be to achieve the 500-mile (805 km) target, which is mentioned on Tesla's website. Well, 232 kWh of usable energy capacity would be on the table then.
- Usable battery capacity: 232 kWh - range of 500 miles (805 km)
That would be one of the largest BEV batteries on the market, but it seems plausible, especially if a pickup is expected to be a true workhorse for towing, hauling, or exporting power at worksites.
Time will tell how close to the truth these calculations are, but at least we have a reference point.
A separate thing worth noting is that the weight of the Tesla Cybertruck is expected to be high at around 7,011 pounds (3,180 kg).