The announcement that Tesla will offer an optional range extender battery pack for the Cybertruck surprised many at the Nov. 30 delivery event, but several questions still remain unanswered.
We still don’t know if (and how!) the additional battery pack can be lifted in and out of the truck bed, or how much it weighs for that matter. We don’t know its storage capacity either, although we calculated that it would need around 47 kilowatt-hours of usable storage to enable some 130 miles of additional range to the Cybertruck AWD’s stated 340 miles.
Pricing is not finalized either, although Tesla’s website currently shows an estimated price of $16,000; that can still change until the range extender pack enters production in late 2024.
That said, Tesla seems to have interesting plans with the Cybertruck’s extended-range battery. When it comes to range, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s SVP of Powertrain and Energy, said in a recent Munro Live video (via Sawyer Merritt) that the automaker wants to squeeze more miles from the range extender pack.
He told Sandy Munro that Tesla’s long term target for the range extended Cybertruck is 500 miles, versus the recently announced 470+ miles for the dual-motor Cybertruck and 440+ miles for the tri-motor Cyberbeast.
Many reservation holders have voiced their frustration at Tesla’s failure to deliver on its 2019 promise to offer a 500-mile Cybertruck, so maybe this is how the EV maker plans to make up for that.
To be fair, back in 2019 Tesla did not say that the Cybertruck would offer 500 miles of range with a single battery pack, although it clearly led everyone to believe that because there was no talk of a range extender at the time.
Why has Tesla now come up with the range extender solution instead of offering a larger main battery? Well, when Sandy Munro pointed out that the average person drives less than 40 miles per day, Baglino replied, “That’s why we decided to make it an optional add-on.”
Lars Moravy, Tesla’s VP for Vehicle Engineering, chimed in and said the 340 miles of range offered by the Cybertruck AWD is “totally fine” for anybody. He then offered another reason—likely the most important one—for which Tesla decided to offer an optional range extender.
“We want to make more electric vehicles, right? So rather than putting more cells in that no one is ever going to use, if you want it you can buy it,” Moravy said.
That makes a lot of sense given the scarcity of battery materials; why waste battery cells on fewer vehicles instead of building more EVs?
Check out Munro Live’s video for a very informative look at the Cybertruck’s technical part offered by five Tesla executives: Baglino, Moravy, design boss Franz von Holzhausen,