You’ve seen the body. You’ve probably seen the interior dash. If this thing gets into an accident, it will win over any other vehicle or passengers, including its own. It is a return to the old steel-body cars but worse, with small crumple zones and a 3 mm thick steel plate for a shell. It’s undeniably sturdy. The car itself could survive a lot, which sounds cool and futuristic for a car that one day might not need passengers, but anything inside of it is subjected to its design in the event of a crash.
Secondly, pinch points! One video of the CyberTruck’s motor-driven hood-closing mechanism shows it cleaving through a carrot without stopping (Out Of Spec Reviews on TikTok and Youtube). There is no pinch detection in the front, which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t motorized! Isn’t this the car of the future? Why is there no pinch detection? Human fingers are tougher than carrots, yes, which is why when it comes to safety demos, you don’t want it to cut through the carrot to demonstrate that it definitely won’t hurt your precious fingies. The guy in that video then put his fingers further down into the seam (so the sharp point at the window area wouldn’t break the skin) and the trunk simply shut over them, leaving him stuck. He couldn’t reach the button on the front that would tell the truck he wanted to open it again. It didn’t break anything, but getting unstuck alone would have been painful. At least there is a phone app allowing you to remotely free yourself, but without proper pinch protection, it’s at best capable of trapping someone, at worst capable of biting off fingers, if it’s someone with the keys but not the app.
One major and one minor complaint for safety seems about right for a major deviation from the norm for cars, and the pinch detection should be relatively easy to include in later models – that’s not all people are concerned about, though.
While stringing electronics together seems to make sense, it’s actually not a great idea! We stopped making Christmas string lights that way because of the massive inconvenience of finding a dead bulb when the strand went out, because you had to find it to get the whole string working again. Unfortunately, from consumer complaints online, it seems like this philosophy is working similarly for the Cybertruck, alongside another major issue – dead screens!
Dead Screen errors on these Cybertrucks make it impossible to drive thanks to the huge amount of functionalities relying on the screen as a controller. In fairness to Tesla, most cars with screens instead of proper center consoles with buttons have that problem, so this isn’t Tesla-specific, but when your car is called The Cybertruck, some level of advancement beyond the competition is expected. The truck of the future shouldn’t be so much like the Disney Park Star Wars zone in both appearance, wait to access, and functionality.
Lastly, the battery life. This is the biggest sticking point, which sucks because it’s tough to tell who is reporting reliably and who’s just pointing and laughing at the car because they don’t like the brand. Trucks are, generally speaking, meant for hauling stuff. The design of the Cybertruck’s truck bed is already straining supporter goodwill given how little it holds, but the truck has a front trunk to boost its storage space, so as long as what you’re hauling can be split into two separate loads, this isn’t such a huge point of contention. A lot of people don’t buy trucks out of a need to haul stuff every weekend, after all. What really has fans ticked off is the inconsistent range of the battery under load! The car itself is heavy, but so is every electric vehicle. Unlike that screen thing above, the Tesla sells itself on being the better electric car, so to not beat Ford and Rivian’s range while hauling or towing makes its marketing feel like it was fudging its numbers. Especially in the cold! Electronics run out of juice faster in the cold thanks to a number of chemical processes slowing down under the hood – the Cybertruck, according to early reports from consumers, can’t hit 80% of its expected range in the cold if it’s hauling too. Those are not ideal conditions, obviously, but if we’re going to keep getting freak snowstorms as far south as Texas, car manufacturers must adapt, or at least do some additional testing in the cold to avoid stranding customers who took ‘470 miles in ideal conditions’ as simply ‘470 miles’, full stop.
All in all, the Cybertruck is simply another electric truck. It looks cool, it’s made (perhaps too) tough, and it suffers many of the same issues as its competitors. For fans who were used to Tesla leading the way, this is a let down.