Tesla’s Cybertruck May Be a Critical Hazard to Pedestrians and Cyclists, Consultants Say
The Tesla Cybertruck’s unorthodox design could be a danger to more than just your eyes.
A report published by Reuters on Friday suggest that the much-hyped EV’s look and construction could pose serious safety issues. The newswire talked to several experts who expressed concern that the truck’s stiff stainless-steel exoskeleton could hurt passengers and cyclists, as well as cause damage to other vehicles.
Since it was first unveiled in November of 2019, one of the big talking points has been the pickup’s angular look. The vehicle’s geometric shape and sharp edges are unlike anything else on the road. Its body is also made of stainless steel, making it the first vehicle with an exterior made from the material since the DeLorean DMC-12, one of the biggest commercial flops in automotive history, rolled off the line in the early 1980s.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote on X, the social media service formerly known as Twitter, that the company is “highly confident” that the Cybertruck will be “much safer per mile than other trucks” for drivers and pedestrians. The EV maker also showed crash test footage of the vehicle during a live-streamed delivery event last week to illustrate its durability. During that event, the brand also said that the use of cold-rolled, stainless steel—a material so tough that it has broke the stamping machine that makes the vehicle’s body panels—allowed the vehicle to better absorb the impact of a crash.
Tesla shared footage of the Cybertruck undergoing crash testing, but not data, which makes it difficult to reach any firm conclusions about the vehicle’s safety at this point. Perhaps because of this, multiple of the experts Reuters spoke to expressed concern about the EV, especially for those on the outside.
“The big problem there is if they really make the skin of the vehicle very stiff by using thick stainless steel, then when people hit their heads on it, it’s going to cause more damage to them,” Adrian Lund, the former president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Julia Griswold, the director of the U.C. Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research Center, said the footage that Tesla shared raised “red flags.” She expressed “alarm” about the truck’s 6,843-pound weight and its ability to launch from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Robb Report on Friday,
It’s hard to imagine that these concerns dissuade someone interested in buying the Cybertruck. With mass production of Tesla’s first new model expected to begin sometime next year, the company is now taking orders for the vehicle through its website. A single-motor, rear-wheel-drive version starts at $60,900, a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive model at $79,990 and the fully loaded, tri-motor Cyberbeast at $99,990.
Source: Robb Report