Tesla's origami-style Cybertruck design has a purpose and is likely to have a significant impact on its affordability. The pickup has a stainless steel alloy exoskeleton made from the same material that will be used on the exterior shell of the SpaceX Starship rocket. Cybertruck will be made using a special technology unique to the automotive industry, and it will be able to protect the occupants from external damage.
On May 27, Tesla has published several new patents revealing inventions that, among other models, will be used in Cybertruck. In addition to the patent, which revealed that the pickup truck could have built-in solar panels, the company published another one entitled, “Vehicle with exoskeleton,” which describes the design of the exterior panels of the vehicle, which will be able to protect the vehicle occupants from external influences on the vehicle.
Source: Tesla Patent
Just by looking at the Cybertruck exoskeleton, you can see that its exterior shell was not built like regular cars. For example, its body barely has any gaps or spaces between the doors. The design of the exterior panel also has a number of features that will allow them to be shockproof and protect the vehicle and its passengers.
The invention described in the patent relates to external panels of a vehicle exoskeleton that are mounted on a vehicle frame and provide crash resistance properties and may be load bearing. For example, during the presentation, Tesla demonstrated that Cybertruck's doors are highly durable. Even after several blows with a sledgehammer, they not only did not deform but were not even scratched.
The secret lies in the unique stainless steel alloy used to make the pickup truck as well as the exterior shell of the SpaceX Starship rocket. Conventional vehicles usually have doors that are made from paneling assemblies that include an exterior panel, an inner panel, and multiple stamped reinforcements welded to the inner panel that are then hemmed to the exterior panel. An anti-burglar bar can be installed inside the doors, which is usually a thick, strong steel or aluminum bar to help protect passengers from the side or rear impacts. It is installed because the usual outer panels are not very strong to protect against collisions.
However, such additional components add additional costs and time to the overall manufacturing process. In addition, they increase the assembly requirements for the installation and maintenance of components that are attached to such panel assemblies. Therefore, Cybertruck will be produced with a door panel, a roof panel, a hood panel, a fender panel, a trunk panel, a litigate panel, and combinations thereof, which include an exterior panel formed from a monolithic metal sheet and attached to an exterior portion of the vehicle frame, and at least one component directly attached to the exterior panel, where the exterior panel bears the load of at least one component, and where the exterior panel does not comprise an additional support structure.
This all makes Cybertruck a shockproof, safe, easy-to-maintain vehicle—while also more affordable than any competitive model.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.