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Here's How Tesla Played Itself With The Cybertruck Vs. Ford F-150 Demonstration

Illustration for article titled Heres How Tesla Played Itself With The Cybertruck Vs. Ford F-150 Demonstration
Screenshot: Engineering Explained (YouTube)
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

We’re getting to the point when you can’t really say “we’ve all seen that dumbass Tesla Cybertruck demo” because there’s already an absurd amount of them. This time, we’re specifically referring to that video of the Cybertruck supposedly pulling a Ford F-150 uphill. You’ve probably seen plenty of tweets debunking the whole thing already—but there’s actually a video going in depth about the whole affair that explains why, exactly, that video is so dumb.


In case you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Elon Musk’s tweeted video yet, here’s a refresher:


There’s a lot going on there. The extreme angle of the shot, for one. I am no engineer and I literally had a nightmare last night about having to do a science assignment. Which is why I’m eternally thankful that Jason Fenske over at Engineering Explained has actually put together a comprehensive and informative video about why this particular demo sucks.

The video breaks the demo down into three parts, or, three myths to be debunked: the belief that electric cars have more low-end torque, math that proves this whole thing is pretty pointless, and exactly what kind of impact that the hill has on things.

I’ll let Fenske explain the actual facts and math here, because I’m no expert and I know that I’ll absolutely butcher it. But at the very core, the F-150 has more than enough low-end torque to handle itself. Torque isn’t the reason why Tesla “won” here.

But it’s hard to do the math to calculate the amount of force each truck can pull with because, well, we don’t know how much the Cybertruck weighs. Fenske assumes that it’s around 6,000 lbs at its lightest, which would give it a weight advantage over the F-150. But the F-150 also looks to be rear-wheel drive—meaning that the Tesla is able to accelerate with at least three times as much force as the Ford. It doesn’t really show anything.


Fenske then looks at how those forces would work on a pretty generous incline because... the video doesn’t really look like it’s, y’know, actually on much of a hill. Ultimately, even there, the Tesla still has a massive advantage over the Ford. The fact that the Tesla is heavier overall means that it’s going to have an advantage, even going up an incline. All you learn is that the Cybertruck is heavy.

Which isn’t even a good thing. The heavier the vehicle, the worse the handling and the more energy it takes to use it. And, as we know, using more energy is not really the point of an electric car.


All of this leads me up to the final conclusion: congratulations, Tesla. You played yourself.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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In these tug of wars, traction is king. You want a real towing test, take something like an 8000 lb trailer and line the trucks up side by side at the bottom of a long grade. Then race up the grade. Then turn around on the top and come back down. Truck that gets to the top first and is the quickest/least dramatic to stop at the bottom is the winner.

Because stopping is more important than going to me.   Yes, merging on the highway with a big load can be pants swallowing, but trying to stop when there is a sudden traffic jam after a long grade is pants filling.