The street to a manufacturing Cybertruck has been bumpy. Virtually as bumpy and uneven as the primary Cybertrucks popping out of the Austin Gigafactory, which have reportedly been so dangerous that they prompted Elon Musk to ship an pressing e mail to Tesla workers. Within the message, Musk demanded better precision within the manufacturing means of the EV pickup, with Musk occurring to reference the famously tight tolerances of Lego blocks and soda cans to encourage his employees to construct higher Cybertrucks. It goes with out saying that the time to ask for “sub 10 micron accuracy” from your individual firm, not to mention the suppliers constructing elements for the factor can be a number of years in the past, earlier than the automotive was “headed for manufacturing.” However we’re all studying as we go on this life.
However a greater Cybertruck would solely be potential by way of a whole redesign, in accordance with Fast Company, which cites automotive designer and the Autopian contributor Adrian Clarke. The problems come right down to the impossibly flat physique panels of the Cybertruck. Given the design of the EV, small imperfections inherent within the manufacturing course of are all of the extra clear, as Clarke tells Fast Company:
Professor X believes that Tesla can attain such precision, however Clarke questioned the demand in an e mail he despatched me at the moment. “Is completely infeasible for manufacturing. Physique panel tolerances are measured in complete mm to permit for variance in meeting and the tolerance stack!” That is additionally nonsense as a result of, as he factors out, it doesn’t bear in mind the thermal enlargement and contraction of automobiles that come into play in the course of the manufacturing and operation of the car.
Musk is conscious of those points, however he appears satisfied that tighter tolerances would be the repair the Cybertruck wants — once more, the factor is supposedly near manufacturing and is notably not a single stamped/moulded/solid piece. This ignores different sensible issues which have led to a number of delays in bringing the EV to market. Per Fast Company:
Musk promised this pickup in 2021 and didn’t ship. Then he stated manufacturing was coming in 2022, however that 12 months got here, and it got delayed again to early 2023. Now it’s been delayed once more until “late 2023.” Tesla blamed the supply chain, however Clarke and others in the industry are skeptical it would ever occur—a minimum of, not and not using a severe redesign. “As quickly as we noticed [the Cybertruck], everybody I do know within the trade began laughing. We simply thought there is no such thing as a approach they’re gonna have the ability to get that into manufacturing.” There’s no approach, he assures me, as a result of it’s not going to move crash rules, it’s not going move pedestrian affect rules, and, extra importantly, it’s going to be extraordinarily exhausting to make these “these useless straight panels.”
Nonetheless, Musk is soldiering on with the Cybertruck regardless of its unprecedented design, which stays unprecedented for good cause: it makes manufacturing tough and repairs almost unattainable.
I get the impulse to design one thing simple and clean. Actually, I do. However there’s a distinction between one thing minimalist and one thing reductive. The Cybertruck strikes me as an try on the former that went off the rails and arrived on the latter. A foul joke that began with Elon Musk or another person at Tesla saying “what if we did this as an alternative…” adopted by uproarious laughter at crudely drawn traces and 4 circles. Behold, the Cybertruck, stated some genius and nobody dared to query the so-called Technoking.
The issue is that the bit went too far. That’s, if the damned factor ever makes it to manufacturing.