Following the first deliveries of the Tesla Cybertruck, the electric automaker has unveiled official add-ons for new owners, including the Range Extender. This accessory aims to enhance the Cybertruck's range, originally promised to be close to 500 miles when the concept was revealed in 2019. However, questions arise about its cost and practicality, particularly concerning its weight and ease of handling.
Online discussions express concerns about lifting the Range Extender in and out of the Cybertruck's bed due to the potential added weight, considering batteries' inherent heaviness. EPA-sourced documents suggest the Cybertruck's main battery has an estimated 123 kWh usable capacity, translating to an efficiency of around 2.75 miles per kWh.
elon is this $16k price accurate? pic.twitter.com/YlG5SGSx1H
— Scott (@CYBERTRCK) November 30, 2023
The Range Extender is designed to add approximately 130 miles to the Cybertruck's stated 340-mile range, requiring an additional 47 kWh of usable storage, equivalent to about 450 pounds in batteries alone. The total weight includes construction materials and embedded components. Comparatively, a Tesla Model 3 Long Range battery pack, with 1,060 pounds and 662 pounds of cells, offers a reference point.
While estimates place the Cybertruck's Range Extender weight between 550 to 600 pounds, the actual weight could vary based on factors such as construction or cell count. Priced at around $16,000, the accessory is projected to cost $123 per extra mile of range, a figure discovered in Tesla's website source code.
Speculation arises about whether this accessory is designed to ensure the Cybertruck's compliance with federal EV tax credit pricing requirements. By equipping the vehicle with a smaller battery pack, Tesla could lower its cost, enabling more customers to apply federal tax incentives and reduce the net cost of the vehicle.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that the pack is intended for customers taking “very long trips” or “towing heavy things up mountains.” The practicality of accommodating the pack in the truck bed, especially alongside a full-size spare for such trips, remains uncertain.
Ultimately, the decision on whether the extra range justifies the additional cost and potential loading challenges rests with the consumer. For those with specific needs, such as towing heavy trailers or embarking on remote journeys with limited charging infrastructure, the Range Extender may hold value. However, it transforms the initially promised $99,990 tri-motor Cybertruck into a $115,990 investment, deviating from the earlier $69,900 estimate in 2019.