With its brilliant design hidden in plain sight, this apparent Musk misstep will likely go down in history as his most masterful stroke of genius. Here are a few ways that Cybertruck is super smart design, and no doubt there are many others that are not so easily seen.
PLACEHOLDER: I can find no public domain photos – Here is an article that has a photo. I found it after I wrote this and it appears to echo many similar points.
The truck finds synergies of design that improve its function while also reducing production fixed and variable costs. By reducing the complexity of the factory it no doubt offers Tesla increased automation and lower complexity. This means the manufacturing is highly scalable and can be replicated rapidly around the world. The angular stainless steel appears to be a whimsical feature but it is the key to the design coming in at low cost for unit sales as well as manufacturability.
– Stainless steel, no rust, no paint. Gets rid of a whole fleet of robots, paint rooms, and management of toxic waste. Frees up production space, increases how quickly factories can be set up.
– No curves. As one who has worked in production settings, no curves = far easier to maintain tolerances. Speed of creating tooling is dramatically increased, cost of tooling is reduced. Cost of production machinery is reduced.
– Truss structure = huge strength with less material.
– stainless steel, easier to handle, Probably has a plastic film during production so scratch and ding issues almost eliminated. Body parts can be stacked without spacers. Further reducing handling costs.
– Stainless is super strong, so probably fewer fasteners are required.
– Flat windshield, probably much less costly to manufacture and probably is a structural element reducing the amount of metal required further.
– Flat windshield is, no doubt easier and less costly to make, handle and install.
– Seals on flat surfaces are easier, it may even be gasket-less, less assembly labor and lower quality control costs.
– Maintenance for the owner is much lower than that for a typical ICE truck and the time required for maintenance is reduced (no oil changes, far less brake maintenance (due to regen braking) etc.
– And with folks finally figuring out that climate change is an issue, lots of folks will like its zero emissions.
My initial reaction to this vehicle that was that Musk had lost his mind. After scrutinizing this, I am back to genius. He and his team looked at and rethought an entire product category and they came up with a ‘better mousetrap’ which at $39k – $70k is right in there price-wise. And as far as the product category goes and at first glance appears to be way ahead of the crowd in terms of utility: