He further added that the Cybertruck will feature a heat pump like the Model Y

Cybertruck news just can’t stop coming in. Yesterday we heard about the truck receiving a few structural changes, and now Musk says it will be able to float. Yep, you read it right; this news is fresh off the boat.

When asked by a Twitter user about the Cybertruck’s wading depth, Musk said it will even be able to float for a while. Now, this seems a little improbable given the nature of the vehicle, but the man has made similar claims before for the Model S as well.

This Tank-Like Thing Can Also Work As A Boat

Elon Musk Says The Cybertruck Will Be Able To Float For A While Exterior
- image 873128

The news ‘floated’ by when a user tweeted Musk asking “have you thought about CT’s wading depth? I hunt and fish and sometimes need to cross streams. Can I do it without damaging the truck?” Instead of giving the wading depth figure, Musk instead dropped a bomb and said “Yes. It will even float for a while.”

Electric vehicles are better suited for wading waters, but for a truck that’s built using cold-rolled steel, this is rather surprising.

To think of it, the Cybertruck doesn’t have any ‘air dams’, per se, around the body. So, this boxy truck should be able to serve as a part-time amphibious vehicle. The solid skid plate under the front bumper should further help the cause. Perhaps even the unique exoskeleton of the truck has something to do with it.

Does Its Unibody Exoskeleton Help With Staying Afloat?

Elon Musk Says The Cybertruck Will Be Able To Float For A While Exterior
- image 873121

In conventional trucks, the chassis carries all the forces of the body. Even the latest breed of EV pickup trucks from Rivian, Bollinger, and Atlis feature a steel chassis. However, that’s not the case with the Cybertruck.

The Tesla truck features a unibody layout, also known as an exoskeleton, wherein all the stress is moved from the frame to the outer skin of the vehicle.

On the floor, Tesla has made use of plates that cover the battery container, and these offer the diagonal strength at the bottom of the truck.

To add further rigidity to the floor, vertical separators are placed within the batteries pack that run front to back and sideways. This design element could have something to do with the heavy truck being able to float in water.

These Capabilities ‘Float’ In The Genes

Elon Musk Says The Cybertruck Will Be Able To Float For A While
- image 873131

Back in 2016, Elon Musk said that even the Model S could show its amphibious side for a short period, although it isn’t recommended.

These enhanced wading capabilities of EVs make a strong case for themselves against internal combustion engine vehicles and will appeal to folks who have to cross streams often. Also, they up the ante when it comes to off-roading potential.

The Cybertruck Will Also Come With A Heat Pump

Here's How the Tesla Model Y's Heat Pump Solves Range Issues In Colder Weather
- image 893482

Some light was thrown on the truck’s heating system efficiency as well. A user went on to ask whether the Cybertruck will get a heat pump like the Model Y? To that, Musk responded with “yeah, and whole lot more! Aargh, I’m dying to make Cybertruck like yesterday!!”

Musk’s excitement aside, the news about the heat pump in the Cybertruck is big. It will certainly increase the truck’s efficiency as compared to the Electric Resistance Heating System used it the Model 3, Model S, and Model X.

Why Not Make Use Of Solar Panels?

Elon Musk Says The Cybertruck Will Be Able To Float For A While Exterior
- image 873101

However, there is another efficient way to go about it. Musk had earlier announced that the Cybertruck could feature solar panels. He had said that the reflective tonneau cover on the Cybertruck will comprise of solar panels and they will aid to the truck’s range, generating enough energy for about 15 miles of added range per day. Now, we are not sure of the exact technicalities of the truck, but in the Model S, the front junction box powers the cabin heater, air conditioner compressor, and battery heater.

If the solar roof can power the cabin’s heater and AC, the truck will be even more efficient. The upcoming Triton Model H draws power for its cabin HVAC needs from the solar panels on the glass roof. Maybe we can see a similar setup in the Cybertruck as well. Not to mention, the Cybertruck could also receive fold-out solar wings that will further boost efficiency.

Final Thoughts

Elon Musk Says The Cybertruck Will Be Able To Float For A While
- image 873215

We will wait to hear more about how the truck can float. Generally, EVs don’t have the risk of hydro-locking. You don’t need snorkels here. On a side note, the world is filled with idiots and they will make non-functional snorkels for electric trucks and SUVs in the future. Anyway, the risk in EVs will be if the water enters the cabin and causes damage to all the electronics. If this is sealed well, the wading depths can be a lot more impressive than for internal combustion vehicles.

As for the heat pump, I think Tesla should think beyond it. The Cybertruck has been full of surprises so far and the company equipping it with the heat pump is a safe way out. It is tried and tested and is a success in the Model Y. The Triton Model H is going to use solar panels to take care of the heating duties and Tesla also has plans to offer solar panels on the Cybertruck as an option. Connect the dots here and you have an alternate solution to the heat pump. Whether it’s feasible or not, we’ll leave that to the Tesla engineers.

What are your thoughts on this news? Share them with us in the comments section below.

2021 Tesla Cybertruck specifications
Single-motor RWD Dual-motor AWD Tri-motor AWD
Horsepower: >400 HP 690 HP 800 HP
Torque: TBA 824 LB-FT 1,000 LB-FT
Range: 250+ miles 300+ miles 500+ miles
0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds 4.5 seconds 2.9 seconds
Top Speed: 110 mph 120 mph 130 mph
Payload Capacity: 3,500 pounds 3,500 pounds 3,500 pounds
Towing Capacity: 7,500 pounds 10,000 pounds 14,000 pounds
Price $39,900 $49,900 $69,900
Tesla Cybertruck exterior dimensions
Length 231.7 inches
Width 79.8 inches
Height 75 inches
Truck Bed 6.5 feet
Approach Angle 35 degrees
Departure Angle 28 degrees
Ground Clearance Up to 16 inches
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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