Tesla’s inexperienced off-road test drivers are doing a disservice to the Cybertruck (Op-ed)

Elon Musk has noted that the Cybertruck has the potential to become Tesla’s magnum opus. The Cybertruck is designed to dominate on the pavement and off-road. With this in mind, the electric vehicle maker should probably deploy test drivers who are very experienced in rough terrain. Otherwise, Tesla runs the risk of giving the Cybertruck a stigma — one which suggests that the vehicle is inadequate when it comes to “real truck” things. 

It is no secret that Tesla already gets a lot of negative attention, and this is particularly true for the Cybertruck. The truck’s appearance alone is enough to warrant anger from critics, so any videos featuring the all-electric pickup truck failing in doing “truck things” will undoubtedly be amplified. This could be seen in social media’s reactions to the Cybertruck’s previous outing at Hollister Hills in California. 

The Hollister Hills “Steps” Run

Videos of the Cybertruck back then featured the all-electric pickup truck seemingly struggling up Hollister Hills’ “steps.” Such reactions were amplified further when videos of the Rivian R1T and the Ford F-150 Lightning were shared online, showing both electric pickup trucks taking on the Hollister Hills “steps” without as much difficulty as the Cybertruck. 

At the time, Tesla watchers noted that the Cybertruck’s difficulties in the “steps” seemed to be due to the capabilities of its driver, who did not seem very experienced in off-road settings. The Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning’s drivers, on the other hand, seemed more familiar with such scenarios. The Cybertruck ultimately received quite a bit of flak from critics for being the “worst” among the three electric pickup trucks that took on the Hollister Hills “steps.” 

Cybertruck’s Embarrassing Snowy Mishap

More recently, an even more embarrassing video of the Cybertruck has started making the rounds online. This time around, the Cybertruck could be seen getting stuck on a snowy incline. The all-electric pickup truck, which seemed to be carrying a tree on its bed, was evidently stuck, as the driver could be seen pressing on the throttle to no avail. The Cybertruck was ultimately towed out of the incline by a Ford pickup truck.

Longtime electric vehicle owners, especially those who have experience off-roading, have noted on social media that the Cybertruck’s driver could have done a number of things that could have helped prevent the vehicle getting stuck. The all-electric pickup’s tires were evidently not fit for the terrain, and the driver’s actions with the Cybertruck’s throttle gave the impression that there was a lack of off-road experience at play. Some EV watchers even noted that the Cybertruck’s lousy performance on the snowy incline was so bad that it would not have been surprising if the vehicle was being intentionally sabotaged. 

Fostering a Negative Narrative

What’s quite unfortunate is that the group that pulled out the Cybertruck actually provided some context about the incident, noting that the vehicle also had a software issue that caused its rear brakes to not act like “lockers.” The Cybertruck in the video was also a release candidate, so it had no recovery or pickup points. These comments from the group that pulled out the Cybertruck provided a good explanation behind the incident, but they did little to shift the narrative. As far as social media was concerned, the Cybertruck had another epic fail off-road, and that was it. 

When Tesla started deliveries of the Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk made it a point to highlight how the all-electric pickup truck is a durable and tough vehicle that could survive whatever the world could throw at it. Unfortunately, the Cybertruck has so far not shocked skeptics with its off-road prowess yet. Instead, the evident lack of off-roading experience of its test drivers is simply giving more ammo to those who only wish to see the Cybertruck fail. Hopefully, Tesla could address such issues soon, especially considering the number of EV community members who are both well-experienced in off-road settings and more than willing to help out the EV maker test out the vehicle. 

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Tesla’s inexperienced off-road test drivers are doing a disservice to the Cybertruck (Op-ed)
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