Tesla CEO Elon Musk has remarked on Twitter, confirming the company’s new Cybertruck material patent.
Unlike most cars produced today, the Tesla Cybertruck has captured consumers’ attention for its design and material choice. Most vehicles use a combination of aluminum and plastics to create many of the body panels on the vehicle. In contrast, the Cybertruck is made out of a stainless steel alloy that has now been revealed to be patented by Tesla.
As with many material patents, exact amounts of trace materials and chemistry are not revealed, which could give a better idea of the physical properties of the metal. Nonetheless, the patent outlines some of the major changes Tesla is making to make its material as strong as possible.
Foremost, as revealed by the patent name “Ultra-hard cold-worked steel alloy,” Tesla is reducing the cost of their material by using a cold-rolling process. This involves working and bending the steel without dramatic heating and quenching, the typical way hardened steel is formed. Second, also revealed in the patent’s name, the alloy focuses on hardness above all else, helping to prevent scratching and denting, though this does come with drawbacks.
With such a rigid material, as pointed out by many critics of the Tesla Cybertruck, the vehicle may have a hard time passing crash tests as the bodywork won’t crumple and absorb energy as easily as most vehicle body panels do. Second, Tesla’s corrosion-resistant and robust material, while technically incredible, is also incredibly costly, which may be represented in the truck’s price.
In response to the surfacing of the new material, Elon Musk answered quite bluntly:
The innovation revealed via the U.S. Patent Office follows some of the most detailed looks of the new Cybertruck since its launch. At Tesla’s HQ2 announcement at the end of this week, the Cybertruck made many appearances, both online and in person, both of which garnered incredible media attention.
With the Cybertruck headed toward production later this year, Tesla’s new patent shows that its engineers are working down to the wire to get the highly anticipated vehicle to the production line as soon as possible. But if the truck’s incredible body paneling indicates the quality of the rest of the Cybertruck, it could very well be a world-beater.