[Update] Lars Moravy Admits the Tesla Cybertruck Doesn't Have a Kilowatt Wiper Motor

Tesla Cybertruck has a kilowatt wiper motor 7 photos
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage via YouTube
Tesla Cybertruck has a kilowatt wiper motorTesla Cybertruck has a kilowatt wiper motorTesla Cybertruck has a kilowatt wiper motorTesla Cybertruck is pre-wired for accessoriesTesla Cybertruck is pre-wired for accessoriesTesla Cybertruck is pre-wired for accessories
Tesla fitted the Cybertruck with a 48-volt electrical system, which is said to allow more powerful accessories while saving on wiring. Tesla's VP of Engineering, Lars Moravy, claimed in a Jay Leno's Garage video that the higher voltage allowed Tesla to use a kilowatt wiper motor. Later, Moravy admitted he was actually thinking of the Cybertruck's steer-by-wire motors, not the gigawiper.
Update: The article has been modified after Lard Moravy admitted he was, in fact, thinking of the steer-by-wire motos, not the wiper motor. The wiper motor should have about 120 watts, which is still a lot by industry standards. For reference, a usual wiper motor should not exceed 50 watts when running at full load.

Tesla officially started Cybertruck deliveries on November 30, when it also confirmed some of the truck's specifications and technical details. That's how we've found out that Tesla replaced the 12-volt low-voltage system with a 48-volt mid-voltage electrical circuit to power all auxiliary devices and accessories. The higher voltage means that the current draw is four times lower, allowing Tesla to use thinner wires and thus save on costs and weight.

Now, the 48-volt system is not well understood, as I've come to learn from interacting with our readers. It's also confusing that some carmakers use 48 volts for their mild-hybrid powertrains or to power some power-hungry subsystems. German carmakers like Mercedes-Benz and Audi are good examples since they used the 48-volt circuit from the mild-hybrid powertrain to power an electrical supercharger or suspension components. Still, this has nothing to do with the Cybertruck's 48-volt electrical system.

The difference is that all the other carmakers still use a 12-volt battery to power the car and most of its components, whereas the Cybertruck has nothing of the sort. Instead, Tesla uses 48 volts in all circuitry with the exception of the drivetrain's power components and high-voltage battery. That includes lights, accessories, motors, and actuators. And because it didn't want to use any 12-volt circuitry, there are no 12-volt outlets throughout the vehicle. Instead, you can use household appliances, thanks to the many 120-volt outlets.

Since all the low-voltage components are now powered at 48 volts, Tesla could use more powerful motors when needed. Probably the most obvious example is the steer-by-wire system. This requires a lot of current to turn the wheels of the Cybertruck, which weighs about 6,600 lbs. (about 3,000 kg). However, Tesla's VP of Engineering, Lard Moravy, told Jay Leno that the gigawiper also needs a powerful motor to move.

That's because the wiper needs to overcome the airflow when it slides horizontally, which is no small feat, considering how big it is. Moravy claimed the wiper motor has "between 600 and 800 watts" when he spoke with Jay Leno in the Cybertruck Easter Eggs, Features & Design video. That would've been difficult to do with a 12-volt system, considering that the motor would've needed 50 amps instead of 12.5 amps currently.

However, Moravy later clarified that he had no clue of what he was talking about. The gigawiper motor only has about 120 watts, which is still a lot by automotive standards. An average vehicle wiper motor rarely tops 50 watts. Moravy said his mind was fixated on the steer-by-wire motors, which draw between 600 and 800 watts in full load. The head of engineering should've known better, especially as the gigawiper has been in the headlines more than Tesla ever wanted.

Tesla went even further with the 48-volt circuit by pre-wiring the Cybertruck in preparation for future 48-volt accessories. This makes the electric pickup perfect for easy customization. The light bar that launched with the Cybertruck is a prime example, connecting to the wiring already on the roof. There's no need to run additional wires, as they are already there. The light bar can be turned on and off from the center screen controls, and this stands for each power point available on the Cybertruck.

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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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