With the Tesla Cybertruck about to enter production, the attention will shift to how safe it is. If you are thinking about getting one of the first electric trucks ever made, it is essential to know how it stands up in a crash. While specific results have not yet been released due to the fact that the Cybertruck is not yet in mass production, we do have some early indicators.
Early crash tests indicate that the doors on a Cybertruck can withstand impact and not even show a scratch. This was famously done for the world to see when the makers of the Cybertruck took a sledgehammer to the doors and nothing happened. However, we do not know how it will react to a front end collision.
It is important to consider the various safety features of the Cybertruck and how it will react to a crash. The vehicle has bulletproof glass, so the theory is that the glass will not even shatter when rolling over. However, there are some design features that cause many to wonder if the truck will even be safe in a major accident. Continue reading to learn more about this topic.
Does the Cybertruck Have a Crumple Zone?
The Tesla Cybertruck has already earned quite a reputation for being made of virtually indestructible steel. The question becomes whether or not that is a good thing when it comes to being involved in a crash. Vehicles moving at a high speed need to have a bit of give-and-take to absorb the impact, but the Cybertruck appears to lack a crumple zone.
When discussing the issue of a crumple zone, it is helpful to start with an explanation of what happens in side-impact collisions. Many vehicles do not have reinforced steel. This means that the side door panels can easily be penetrated. In a fierce collision, this can result in sharp metal from the other vehicle coming through the door and impacting the passengers inside.
That is why many people are excited about the Cybertruck. Having doors that can withstand impact at potentially high speeds is a good thing. This can keep the driver and all passengers protected from other vehicles that the truck might be involved in an accident with.
What About the Crumple Zone?
While it might be desirable to have side door panels that cannot be penetrated in an accident, the same is not necessarily true of the front and rear of the vehicle. A crumple zone has long been built into the design of modern vehicles. This allows the front or rear of the vehicle to crumple and bend.
A crumple zone is seen as necessary because it is effective at absorbing the energy created from a major collision. This is why you might see a completely totaled vehicle after an accident only to discover all people inside the vehicle are ok. The scope of vehicle damage is not always equal to the potential for harm to the passengers.
There are engineers who are concerned about the lack of a crumple zone in the Tesla Cybertruck. However, this is a new style of vehicle, and that absence of a crumple zone may not necessarily spell disaster. In fact, Tesla has compensated for the lack of a standard crumple zone by building in steel panels that are more than 300% thicker than the industry requires.
Whether or not the lack of a crumple zone will result in a safer vehicle is yet to be determined. While many believe that it will, some engineers fear the Cybertruck may have too much weight attached to it when it is in a high-speed collision. That could result in more damage being done to other vehicles on the road, which would not be an acceptable outcome.
With that said, newer prototypes of the Cybertruck have shown a slightly more rounded front end, potentially meaning the addition of a functioning crumple zone.
How Does the Cybertruck Hold Up in a Rollover?
This is always a major concern in any vehicle, particularly one with a unique a shape as that of the Cybertruck. If you look at the prototype, you will notice that the vehicle is designed in an angular shape.
When pressed about this, Tesla acknowledged that this shape resulted from the 30 times alloy steel simply being too hard to put into place with a machine press. Interestingly enough, this alloy is the same material used in the construction of the SpaceX Starship, which Tesla has already seen have several successful launches.
To carry this a bit further, it should be noted that SpaceX makes use of curved panels. That would solve the concern that engineers have about the peaked roof, as that could be problematic in a rollover accident.
Keep in mind, the engineers that are concerned with the design are making assumptions. Whereas the engineers working on the Cybertruck for Tesla are the ones conducting the tests and seeing the real life results.
Tesla is known to have the safest vehicles on the market, all with 5-star safety ratings, and there’s no reason to expect the Cybertruck to be any different. When factoring in the 30x cold rolled stainless steel, and the bullet proof glass, the Cybertruck is most likely going to be the safest Tesla to date.
How Design Contributes to Safety in a Roll-Over Accident
As alluded to earlier, the prototype design of the Cybertruck has some concerns that passengers will be in danger if the vehicle were to roll over. The roof has a peak on it that look like it will buckle under the weight in the event of a turn over. That would be a less than desirable outcome.
Before you get too concerned about this, you need to understand that the Cybertruck has been designed with an extremely low center of gravity. This is because its batteries are mounted low on the vehicle and are very heavy. The motors are down there as well.
This is something that many don’t fully realize about Tesla vehicles; Tesla’s have very heavy battery packs along the very bottom of the vehicle. This means the vast majority of a Tesla’s weight is low to the ground, and spread between the wheels. With this setup, it’s near impossible to flip a Tesla, unlike most traditional vehicles.
While we do not yet have the results of how this will impact the Cybertruck and its potential to be involved in a rollover accident, we do know what has been discovered about the Tesla Model X, the largest Tesla SUV to date.
The Model X has a similar low center of gravity and the same placement of the batteries and motors. When the NHTSA went to try to roll one over in crash tests, it had a difficult time doing so. That means that the potential to even be involved in a rollover while riding in a Cybertruck may be extremely low.
Tesla Cybertruck May Be Exempt from Some Rollover Standards
More than a few industry experts have mentioned the possibility of the Tesla Cybertruck being exempt from some of the more stringent rollover standards. This is because of its larger than average Gross Vehicle Rate Weighting.
Currently, any vehicle that has a Gross Vehicle Rate Weighting up to a total of 6,000 pounds will need to prove that they need to support three times their weight on top of their roof. While we do not know the exact weight of the Cybertruck, it is believed to be well over that 6,000 pound threshold.
What About the Cybertruck’s Triangular Shape?
If you have seen pictures of the prototype for the Tesla Cybertruck, then you are aware that it has a triangle shape on the top. At first glance, this might make the truck appear to be weak and fragile. Those two components would not bode well in a roll-over accident. However, in this case, looks are most definitely deceiving.
When it comes to engineering design, triangles are not near as weak as they might look. In fact, you will find triangles throughout nature. It is also a useful engineering design when building such massive projects as bridges and sports stadiums. If a triangle can support that amount of steel, then it must surely be a good fit for the heavy and durable Tesla Cybertruck.
Because of the triangular design. It is felt that this is the reason that the steel panels on the Cybertruck are so thick. This creates a truck body that can withstand a great deal of pressure. While you can’t say that a triangular roof is any stronger than another design, you can say that it is more effective at spreading around the energy caused by a forceful impact.
How Does Its Design Contribute to Safety?
While the final design has yet to be seen, certain features of the Cybertruck are pretty certain to be evident when the first vehicles start to come off the assembly line. These features all combine to illustrate just how well the Cybertruck is likely to perform in industry crash test ratings.
It Has an Exoskeleton
Take one look at the Cybertruck, and you will instantly notice a unique look and design to it. There are many reasons for this, but it comes down to the exoskeleton that is built into its design. This is the first vehicle ever developed this way. The entire outer shell has been specifically designed to protect its driver and all passengers inside.
The exoskeleton is built tough and rugged. This is why you can take a sledgehammer to it and nothing visible happens. The same could be said to what would happen if you were to hit a deer going 50 miles an hour. The exoskeleton is built to be impenetrable. It is also built for endurance. It does not corrode, nor does it deteriorate over time.
One of the reasons why the Cybertruck should hold up so well in a crash is the stainless steel exoskeleton that is contained throughout. This steel is cold-rolled in the factory thirty times. No other vehicle on the road today can make this claim. Objects cannot get through it, which speaks of the protection that individuals will have in the event of a crash.
The Exterior is Made of Stainless Steel
While we just talked about the exoskeleton built into the design of the exoskeleton, a special mention needs to be given to the stainless steel exterior. The shell is comprised of steel. This is high-grade steel that has it rated ultra hard. Even if another car runs into it, the doors and panels are designed to withstand the impact.
While we need to wait to see at what speed a collision occurs with the steel on the exterior of the Cybertruck being penetrated, it is thought that the threshold is quite high. The doors should not implode, and foreign objects should not protrude through them.
There is Armored Glass Throughout the Truck
The armored glass feature is quite interesting, and it remains to be seen how that will play out in the crash test. The glass itself is quite unique in terms of engineering. It is made of a polymer-layered composite that is designed to be so strong it cannot be easily penetrated. This is why it is rumored to be bulletproof.
This is good in the sense that people inside of the truck will not have to worry much about sharp pieces of glass cutting into them during crashes. At the same time, there is the worry that such strong glass could make it difficult for people inside to get out of the vehicle in the event of a crash that leaves the door inoperable. This question should be answered as soon as the truck goes to production.
The Cybertruck is Strong from Front to Rear
We also know that the design of the Cybertruck is strong. It has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds which many people thought would be unheard of for an electric truck. With the absence of a crumple zone, the front and rear ends of the vehicle should hold up nicely in a crash. There is some concern about the absence of airbags, but Tesla should remedy that in the final design.
All in all, the unique look of the Cybertruck is exactly what lends itself to standing up so well in the event of a crash. Even if the truck were to roll over, the feeling is that the roof would be able to withstand the pressure and protect everyone inside. With the ultra-hard steel throughout the exterior, it should be easy enough to get out when the need arises.
The Cybertruck’s Size Makes it Safer
This is not some lightweight pickup truck we are talking about here. The Cybertruck is one of the toughest vehicles ever made that is designed for city roads and highways. It will withstand a crash simply because it is built from the ground up to do exactly that. For a truck that is rumored to possibly be heading to Mars, you can just envision how tough it actually is.
While there were some early indications that the truck might be too big, the final length is slated to be just under 231 inches. This makes it about the size of an average garage. It will look like a beast in there, but it will fit.
That same beast fits nicely on the road with a width of 80 inches. This provides passengers and the driver with ample separation room inside the cab. It also ensures that a side collision would have to be very strong to carry through the vehicle from one side to another. This is yet another protective feature of the Cybertruck that should not be overlooked.
It also needs to be pointed out that the Tesla Cybertruck will have an impressive ground clearance of 16 inches. This is massive. It will allow the vehicle to make it over many obstacles in its path without causing an accident. In the event of a collision, the truck will also be able to ride over serious obstacles without causing too much damage.
These size features do not guarantee that the Cybertruck will not be damaged in the event of an accident, but they do speak well of its potential safety record. The more separation that people can have from a colliding vehicle, the better. Every single design feature of the Cybertruck seems to lend itself well to this.
Other Features That Will Minimize the Impact of a Crash
Let us not forget that the Tesla Cybertruck will also be produced with the Tesla Autopilot at the center of its safety features. This is a suite of technology that is specifically designed to keep a vehicle out of an accident. Drivers will be able to use this system to spot potential obstacles up ahead and then take corrective action to avoid a collision.
The fact that the Cybertruck is electric is a major game-changer as well. One of the major concerns in a major accident is the potential for a gasoline powered vehicle is fire. That fear is pretty much eliminated outside of possible issues with the battery.
The truck is also built for impact. Aside from the technology, there are not any design features that can be seen that detract from its emphasis on safety. The no frills approach to the design is meant to create the rugged and durable look that it appears to have successfully hit upon.
While there are no specific crash test results to review yet when it comes to the Cybertruck, we do have a great deal to go by. The design of this electric truck speaks volumes. While nobody sets out to get in a collision, all indications are that you would be safer in a Tesla Cybertruck than just about any vehicle made for the open road today.