We’re getting to the point when you can’t really say “we’ve all seen that dumbass Tesla Cybertruck demo” because there’s already an absurd amount of them. This time, we’re specifically referring to that video of the Cybertruck supposedly pulling a Ford F-150 uphill. You’ve probably seen plenty of tweets debunking the whole thing already—but there’s actually a video going in depth about the whole affair that explains why, exactly, that video is so dumb.
In case you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Elon Musk’s tweeted video yet, here’s a refresher:
Cybertruck pulls F-150 uphill pic.twitter.com/OfaqUkrDI3
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2019
There’s a lot going on there. The extreme angle of the shot, for one. I am no engineer and I literally had a nightmare last night about having to do a science assignment. Which is why I’m eternally thankful that Jason Fenske over at Engineering Explained has actually put together a comprehensive and informative video about why this particular demo sucks.
The video breaks the demo down into three parts, or, three myths to be debunked: the belief that electric cars have more low-end torque, maths that proves this whole thing is pretty pointless, and exactly what kind of impact that the hill has on things.
I’ll let Fenske explain the actual facts and maths here, because I’m no expert and I know that I’ll absolutely butcher it. But at the very core, the F-150 has more than enough low-end torque to handle itself. Torque isn’t the reason why Tesla “won” here.
But it’s hard to do the maths to calculate the amount of force each truck can pull with because, well, we don’t know how much the Cybertruck weighs. Fenske assumes that it’s around 6,000 lbs at its lightest, which would give it a weight advantage over the F-150. But the F-150 also looks to be rear-wheel drive—meaning that the Tesla is able to accelerate with at least three times as much force as the Ford. It doesn’t really show anything.
Fenske then looks at how those forces would work on a pretty generous incline because… the video doesn’t really look like it’s, y’know, actually on much of a hill. Ultimately, even there, the Tesla still has a massive advantage over the Ford. The fact that the Tesla is heavier overall means that it’s going to have an advantage, even going up an incline. All you learn is that the Cybertruck is heavy.
Which isn’t even a good thing. The heavier the vehicle, the worse the handling and the more energy it takes to use it. And, as we know, using more energy is not really the point of an electric car.
All of this leads me up to the final conclusion: congratulations, Tesla. You played yourself.