The Tesla Cybertruck’s Range Extender Is Something Very Different

Tesla has released a bunch of details about the Cybertruck this afternoon, including pricing, range, powertrains, and capability—pretty much all the essential stuff people have been dying to know for a long time. But probably the most intriguing piece of information among the many announced today is the fact the Tesla Cybertruck will feature a range extender option.

Yes, you read that right—and it’s written white on black on Tesla’s website in the Cybertruck section.

The Cybertruck All-Wheel Drive, the one with dual-motor AWD, and top-trim Cyberbeast with tri-motor AWD, will get range extender options that will boost their range ratings from 340 miles to 470+ miles and 320 miles to 440+ miles, respectively. Basically, this range extender option will add around 120 miles of range or more.

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk did not mention the range extender option during the delivery event presentation, but he later provided context on X, revealing that it consists of yet another battery pack. 

Asked to explain the range extender, Musk replied: “Optional pack that fits in about 1/3 of the truck bed. Still room for plenty of cargo. It’s meant for very long trips or towing heavy things up mountains.”

This is a very different approach to past “range extenders” in EVs, which have usually been gasoline generators (or even full gasoline engines) that serve to assist or charge the battery. The BMW i3, Chevrolet Volt and upcoming Ram Ramcharger truck all operate that way. But this is Tesla; it was unlikely to ever use a gas engine in the Cybertruck to drive a generator that charges the battery. Not that anyone was seriously worried about that.

Now, it sounds like the optional battery pack will take up quite a lot of space in the bed—”about one-third,” according to Musk. The big question here is whether the supplementary pack can be removed when not needed, and Musk seemed to suggest that the pack can be added or removed depending on the owner’s needs.

That would be great for versatility, but since the pack takes up one-third of the 6-foot long, 4-foot wide bed, it sounds like it will be pretty heavy, so it will be interesting to see how that will work out.