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Cybertruck exoskeleton concept is no longer viable for Tesla

The Cybertruck's exoskeleton concept may have to wait (image: Tesla)
The Cybertruck's exoskeleton concept may have to wait (image: Tesla)
First gigacast Cybertruck body sections have little to show for Elon Musk's exoskeleton concept revealed when announcing its first electric pickup. 'People familiar with the matter' now tell why.

Tesla has almost given up on the exoskeleton concept that Elon Musk revealed to a great fanfare when announcing the Cybertruck, tip Wall Street Journal sources. Back when he promised a US$39,900 Cybertruck starting price, Tesla's CEO also waxed poetic about the stainless steel frame that its futuristic electric pickup would be built on.

"We created an exoskeleton," he quipped, referring to the fact that Tesla wants the to "move the mass outside" and have the walls of the Cybertruck to provide much of the supporting structure. That would create a lighter, easier to produce vehicle, considering the already daunting task that is crafting something out of stainless steel.

That grand idea, however, may have given way to more practical considerations, at least for the first production Cybertruck units that Tesla calls Release Candidates. Recent spy shots of their structural body parts at the Gigafactory in Texas offer just a whiff of the exoskeleton concept. The sections produced with Tesla's cost saving gigacast method are reportedly coming together out of necessity for the presence of mandated support structures and crumple zones.

According to storied automotive industry analyst and teardown specialist Sandy Munroe, the Cybertruck "is unconventional in some areas," referring to the edgy design and unorthodox steel body, "but for the most part it’s a conventional build."

The perennial "sources familiar with the matter" have now revealed why that may be the case. Those Wall Street Journal sources say that Tesla has apparently nearly given up on the Cybertruck's exoskeleton concept for the prosaic reason that the pickup had to pass the government's demanding crash tests. "The company did so, at least in part, to meet safety standards," added one insider, creating a more utilitarian pickup truck than initially envisioned.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 08 > Cybertruck exoskeleton concept is no longer viable for Tesla
Daniel Zlatev, 2023-08- 9 (Update: 2023-08-11)