The Tesla Cybertruck has shaken up the automotive landscape, but safety experts have labelled it a “death machine” and a “guideless missile”.
The stainless steel behemoth boasts acceleration figures that could worry some supercars, and a kerb weight that would make a light truck blush.
The flagship Tesla Cybertruck Cyberbeast tri-motor variant has a system output of 630kW of power, has a kerb weight of 3107kg, and can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 2.7 seconds (with rollout subtracted) up to a 209km/h top speed.
These numbers are cause for concern for civil engineer Myles Russell, who spoke to Business Insider regarding the safety of the Cybertruck.
“Something like the Cybertruck and the F-150 electric, these things are different,” he said.
“Now you’re packing in Ferrari and McLaren-level powers, and even arguably Tesla high-energy vehicles, into the size of a truck.”
According to Business Insider, Mr Russell has compiled and analysed Cybertruck data, from which he drew results – which he published on X (formerly Twitter) – that worried him.
“It’s got the viewing of an Escalade, the kinetic energy of an F250, and the acceleration of a McLaren,” he posted, calling it a “death machine”.
Also atrocious on the physics. This machine is a fucking deathtrap.— FreckleEars (@FreckleEars) December 5, 2023
I should add acceleration to lethal kinetic energy in my data sheet as well.
It's got the viewing of an Escalade, the kinetic energy of an F250, and the acceleration of a MacLaren. Death machine. pic.twitter.com/TGOt57yJTV
Additionally, Business Insider spoke to Michael Brooks, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.
“Injuries are much more traumatic in the case of larger, heavier vehicles,” he told Business Insider.
While sheer size is not a problem unique to the Cybertruck, Mr Brooks is concerned about the Cybertruck’s cold-rolled stainless steel bodywork.
“The stiffness of putting stainless steel construction on top of a stiff battery in a vehicle essentially it seems like it’s just going to turn these vehicles into a missile,” he said.
It’s not just pedestrian safety that could be an issue, however, with Mr Brooks highlighting the electric pickup’s small crumple zones.
He predicts that an accident involving a Cybertruck would lead to “increased injuries” for all parties involved, including the driver, other motorists and pedestrians.
The Cybertruck also features Tesla’s Autopilot system, which was the subject of a recall this month of over two million Tesla vehicles.
Referring to this, Mr Brooks reportedly labelled the Cybertruck a “guideless missile”.
“It’s designed and built almost like a weapon,” he concluded.
“Sharp edges, very fast, and marketed to what seems to be the ‘Mad Max’ militant side of our society.”
According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 7508 pedestrians were killed in the US in 2022. This is the highest number since 1981, and works out to be an average of 20 deaths per day.
Full-scale North American deliveries of the Cybertruck dual-motor all-wheel drive and tri-motor Cyberbeast will commence during 2024.
It’s unclear if the Tesla Cybertruck will come to Australia as you can’t order one currently and the company has only detailed the North American-specification version so far.