Tesla Cybertruck unveiled in Los Angeles, Nov. 21, 2019 (Photo: Arash Malek)

Tesla will change alloy for Cybertruck, Musk says

Tesla Cybertruck unveiled in Los Angeles, Nov. 21, 2019 (Photo: Arash Malek)

Tesla will be changing the alloy it uses for the Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday.

After replying to Teslarati’s coverage of SpaceX building a new full-scale Starship prototype, Musk confirmed to a follower on Twitter that the automaker would also be updating the alloy of the all-electric Cybertruck that is set to begin production in late 2021.

Perhaps one of the most interesting and exciting parts of the Cybertruck during its unveiling event in November 2019 was the display of the truck’s durability thanks to its 30X cold-rolled stainless steel. Despite being struck multiple times with a sledgehammer by Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen, the Cybertruck’s exoskeleton did not endure any cosmetic damage.

The truck’s durability was based on the fact that the 30X cold-rolled exoskeleton was the best that Tesla could find. The company was transparent that if there were a better material out there, they would use it. It seems that Tesla may have found something more durable, and it may be in tune with the new Starship.

Tesla has been leveraging SpaceX welding techniques in its vehicles as well. With the Model Y, Tesla utilized Friction Stir Welding to maintain the strength of aluminum and metal parts while securing a reliable bond between two pieces. This welding technique is popular among aerospace companies because it can bond two pieces of metal without compromising the strength of the material during the welding process.

Now, Tesla is changing the alloy of the Cybertruck just like it is doing with the SpaceX Starship because alloy constituents and forming methods are “rapidly changing,” Musk said. The development of these new techniques and methods could reveal a more suitable material for the impenetrable Cybertruck exoskeleton. Just like Tesla had said in the past, if something more appropriate were available, they’d use it. It appears they plan to do precisely that.

While the new Starship is currently using 304L alloy, it is unclear if Tesla will use that exact metal on the Cybertruck. As alloy constituents and forming methods consistently change, “304L will become more of an “approximation.”

Regardless of what the Cybertruck ends up being made of, it is already well-known that the first versions of the vehicle were nearly indestructible based on the exhibit put on at the truck’s unveiling event late last year. However, cars tend to evolve into more complex and durable machines, and there is an indication that Tesla will aim to make the Cybertruck’s exoskeleton “out of this world” by using the same materials SpaceX is utilizing for the new Starship prototypes.

Tesla will change alloy for Cybertruck, Musk says
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