Tesla Cybertruck Adds “Toolbox-Sized” Battery as Range Extender

Published on December 1, 2023 in Electric by Guillaume Rivard

During a special Cybertruck delivery event held at its Austin, Texas headquarters on Thursday, Tesla provided many official specs as well as additional information about the controversially designed electric pickup.

In particular, the tri-motor Cybertruck, nicknamed “Cyberbeast” and capable of sprinting from 0-100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds, can drive up to 515 km thanks to its 123kWh battery. The dual-motor AWD variant boasts a time of 4.1 seconds and increases range to 547 km. Another model, this one with a single motor and RWD, will follow sometime in 2025, but the numbers have not been shared yet.

Now, here’s the twist: a range extender is available with the Cybertruck. After initially failing to mention it, the company has shed some light and we can tell you what it’s all about.

No, it’s not a gasoline engine acting as a generator for the battery, as is the case with the upcoming 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger. Drew Baglino, Tesla's senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering, explained that the range extender option is a "toolbox-sized battery against the back of the cab in the bed."

The extra pack allows the tri-motor and dual-motor variants to increase range to more than 705 km and 755 km, respectively. Even then, we’re far from the 800+ km company boss Elon Musk promised four years ago.

According to Musk, the range-extending battery fits in about a third of the cargo bed and is designed for owners looking to use the Cybertruck for extended trips or towing heavy loads up the mountains.

The problem is that it significantly affects the Cybertruck’s capabilities, starting with the payload of 2,500 lbs and bed volume of 1,897 litres, though we don’t know how much exactly. Furthermore, with the resulting heavier GVWR, forget about towing up to 11,000 lbs.  

By the way, with its 800V architecture, the Cybertruck is able to regain 235 km of range in only 15 minutes when plugged into a Tesla Supercharger.

While U.S. prices have been announced (from $60,990-$99,990, far more expensive than initially promised), neither Baglino nor Musk addressed the cost of the range extender. Some reports indicate it could be around $16,000 USD, but that remains to be confirmed. And as we mentioned in our previous story, Canadian prices are still a mystery, too. You can pre-order a copy of the Cybertruck by making a $150 deposit on Tesla Canada’s website.

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