Tesla Cybertruck needs separate battery pack in the bed to get the range it promised

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Tesla Cybertruck has officially launched and the range is a bit disappointing as the automaker introduces a new “range extender”, which is a separate battery pack that sits in the bed of the pickup truck.

For a second, I was upset at the end of the Cybertruck delivery event because CEO Elon Musk didn’t mention anything about the vehicle’s range or pricing.

It was certainly a strange decision.

Tesla ended up releasing all the pricing and range details on its website right after the event.

But we were still confused even after that because the range was listed with and without something called “range extender”.


Rear-Wheel Drive All-Wheel Drive CyberBeast
Price $60,990 $79,990 $99,990
Range 250 miles 340 miles 320 miles
Range with extender Not mentioned 470+ miles 440+ miles

Range extender is a strange term for Tesla to use. In the past, it was used by other automakers when talking about a small gas generator to increase the range in electric vehicles, like in the original BMW i3.

We had to get clarification and the only place to do that these days is with Elon on X. Fortunately, he responded to my inquiry pretty quickly:

He explained that the Tesla Cybertruck range extender is an optional battery pack that fits on the back of the truck’s bed and takes about one-third of the cargo space.

Tesla SVP of Engineering, Drew Baglino, confirmed that it is a “toolbox-size” battery pack that sits next to the cabin like this (featured image above has since been updated to the real Tesla range extender):

Tesla claims that the pack results in an additional 130 miles of range on the Cybertruck dual motor.

Based on that, it should be a fairly significant pack with 30 to 40 kWh of capacity.

There’s no word on how heavy it is going to be and how easy it is to get in and out of the truck because based on Musk and Baglino’s comments, the idea is to only have it in the truck when needed.

There’s also no word on pricing and availability.

Electrek’s Take

That’s a weird move from Tesla. Obviously, the biggest bummer is the fact that Tesla doesn’t deliver on range without this.

The Dual Motor is getting an “estimated range” of 340 miles, but we have seen prototypes having displayed range between 267 and 290 miles, which is likely more representative of real-world range then the estimated EPA range.

It’s nowhere near the range that it announced back when it first unveiled the Cybertruck in 2019.

Now, there are some advantages and disadvantages to the design.

Disadvantages:

  • Getting in and out of the bed is a hassle
  • It takes up cargo space in the back
  • How does it connect to the powertrain and charge when on the truck?

Advantages:

  • Your truck is more efficient when you don’t need the extra range
  • You can use the pack at home like a Powerwall?

Some of these remain to be confirmed, but things like being used at home like a Powerwall would make a ton of sense.

What do you think about Tesla’s Range Extender move? Let us know in the comment section below.

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