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For Now, Tesla's Cybertruck Might Charge Faster at Electrify America's High-Power Stalls

The brand-new Tesla Cybertruck is the marque's first lifestyle-oriented pickup truck. It's an all-electric vehicle like no other that can do many impressive things, including charging incredibly fast. That's thanks to the 800V architecture. But it's not only a speed advantage. Coupled with the 48V electronics, that recipe allows Tesla to spend less on internals and improve efficiency. The latter is more important than you might think.
Tesla Cybertruck at a V4 Supercharger 76 photos
Photo: Dayreg on Tesla Motors Club | Edited
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If there's one thing that matters a lot to people who aren't yet part of the EV ownership story, that's charging. Most car owners are so used to filling up with gas at a fuel station that they refuse to think about spending 15 minutes at a fast-charging stall.

But EV ownership is on the rise. Vehicles like the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning, the GMC Hummer EV Pickup, and other battery-electric crossovers and SUVs like the Tesla Model Y and BMW iX are leading the way forward. They're challenging what we've all been used to for so long.

But the Cybertruck is taking things a notch further. The mighty impressive vehicle may be more expensive than previously thought, but it's debuting a ton of cool features.

Tesla's latest EV boasts a steer-by-wire setup (seen for the first time ever on a production vehicle), a 48V low-voltage bus to power auxiliaries and the new steering system with no physical connection to the front wheels, four-wheel steering (powered by motors that can develop up to 5 hp), bidirectional charging, an 800V battery architecture, 4680 battery cells, a low drag coefficient (even though it's so angular), and the buyer can even add an extra battery pack in the bed to extend the maximum possible range.

This is the first Stealth Matte Black Cybertruck
Photo: Sawyer Merritt

An eye-catcher!

However, the in-house stainless steel alloy used for the bulletproof refrigerator-like body panels and the exterior design could have been enough to attract a ton of attention and convince many to give the Cybertruck a try.

Tesla didn't even have to complicate its life too much with this vehicle because it is more of a thought experiment than a usable pickup truck. The brand invited some content creators to test it on the track. Who needs a workhorse that can reach zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds? Mostly nobody, if we're being honest.

That's why we believe the tri-motor Cyberbeast will be a fashion statement at most, something that might attract well-off gearheads to add this pickup truck to their garage, where a Lamborghini Huracan might also rest. There's certainly a market

However, the Cybertruck can charge insanely fast. That's an advantage brought forward by the 800V architecture. That implementation allows current to flow more freely, replenishing the high-voltage energy storage unit with electrons more quickly. Essentially, the charging times can be cut in half compared to an EV built on the 400V architecture.

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Tesla
The Cybertruck can take full advantage of the 350-kW charging that currently exists on the market. Tesla's V3 Superchargers can't dispense power so fast, but many Electrify America charging stations have stalls that can. The upcoming V4 Superchargers are certainly capable of doing the same, but they're a rare sight for the time being.

Can't have one without the other

However, Electrify America is equipping its charging network with the North American Charging Standard (NACS) inlet. Cybertruck owners could very well use the Dieselgate-born entity's chargers and see their state of charge go from 15 to 85% in 20 minutes tops.

But will they? It's unlikely. Maybe some will try the 350-kW chargers out just to check the Cybertruck's charging curve and confirm that what Tesla VP Lars Moravy said regarding charging times is true.

The move to the 800V architecture also allows the world's most valuable automaker to make use of smaller wires while ensuring the same power is safely delivered with half the current. Less current means less heat, which, in turn, improves efficiency and guarantees a faster charging experience.

But get this – it can also use 400V charging infrastructure at its maximum output with no worries or add-ons. The high-voltage battery pack comes with a switch that splits it in half (changing from a parallel circuit to a series one), enabling it to take advantage of any high-power charger currently available to Americans and Canadians.

4680 cell production line
Photo: Tesla

Impressive progress

But efficiency and cost-cutting are everything for Tesla. The brand is also keen on vertical integration, meaning it wants to do more by itself or establish short supply chains. Although the 4680 battery cells cannot deliver on the 500 miles of range promise, they help with thermal management. They also provide a cost advantage for Tesla, which can be transferred to the buyer.

Another confirmation of Tesla's obsession with owning and making almost everything by itself is provided by the motors – only one is a permanent magnet motor that uses rare earths. The other one (or two, in the case of the Cyberbeast) is a clutchless induction motor.

You don't have to like Tesla or its spanking-new Cybertruck to admit that the vehicle is great proof of what's to come. One of the most well-known all-American brands is once again pushing boundaries and trying to challenge the status quo. Just the torsional rigidity by itself is impressive. This thing will barely squeak or rattle. And it's a pickup truck, not a sports car!

But… Come on, Tesla! Just bring those V4 Superchargers faster everywhere in the US and Canada. But a simple reality check will tell us that will not happen as quickly as we may like. Two or three years might pass before the automaker upgrades most of its high-power charging network. Even the cheapest Cybertruck won't reach customers before 2024 ends. Why would the V4 pedestals, right?

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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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