Tesla Hyped a Tin Box for Three Days, Disappointed Everyone With the Cybercharger

Tesla Cybercharger 10 photos
Photo: @SERobinsonJr via Twitter | Edited
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Tesla puzzled many people after teasing the Cybervault with a design inspired by the Cybertruck and a shape resembling the Powerwall. Based on this, people's imagination took off, and everyone expected something spectacular. In the end, Tesla unveiled a normal wall charger in a box with a lock, nothing more.
Tesla's best April Fools' Day joke wasn't the Cybertruck alleged crash test, but the Cybertruck-inspired box protecting a wall charger. Tesla started teasing the "Cybervault" on April 1 in China, and many thought the device was a cool type of Powerwall. Tesla China is preparing to launch Megapack production in China, and a new product in the Tesla Energy lineup would be something to look out for. Based on the message on social media, the Cybervault would have a low-carbon steel box and would allow "fast charging."

This made people speculate wildly, with some believing Tesla would launch a wall charger with integrated battery storage to allow fast charging without drawing more current from the grid. Others thought it was a vehicle-to-grid charger, like the Ford Charge Station Pro. Only those living in China understood that V2G is useless in China, as most people live in apartments, and electricity is so cheap that a Powerwall wouldn't make sense.

Apparently, third-party charging vaults are popular in China, as many wall chargers are installed in underground parking garages. It made sense that Tesla would offer a high-quality solution, and it did, disappointing the western hemisphere. Instead of the V2G battery-powered wall charger, Tesla unveiled a tin box with a lock to make the Chinese owners happy. The Cybercharger does pack a wall charger inside, though, able to pump 7 kW of power to the car. The package sells for 5,500 yuan (around $800) in China via Alibaba's Taobao Tesla Store and cannot be shipped overseas.

Even funnier than the tin box was how Tesla chose to advertise the Cybercharger. The promotional video shows that the Cybertruck-themed box offers protection against elements and humans, being dustproof, waterproof, and, of course, hammer and steel-ball proof. The video is a subtle self-irony inspired by the Cybertruck failed glass demo during the 2019 unveiling event.

Back then, Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen hit the truck's door with a hammer and threw a ball at the Armor Glass windows to show how tough they were. As you know already, the test didn't go well, and the glass broke, a nice PR stunt that many believe was staged.

Since home charging in the U.S. is very different from that in China, we doubt the Cybercharger/Cybervault would find many customers. Still, it would prove a hit with Tesla owners in Europe, considering that people across the pond also live in apartment buildings. Having your own personal charging station with a cool Cybertruck design surely looks enticing.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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