Tesla Cybertruck “missing” 6th seat may be partly driven by safety

The Tesla Cybertruck is closing in on its initial production, and little by little, details of the all-electric pickup truck’s production version are emerging. During Investor Day alone, photographs taken by the event’s attendees showed some interesting characteristics of the Cybertruck production beta. Among this was the vehicle’s five-seat configuration, which will reportedly be pushed to production.

Following Investor Day, early TSLA investor and EV advocate Matthew Donegan-Ryan shared on Twitter that the Cybertruck pre-production unit showcased at the event was about 5% smaller than the vehicle’s original prototype, which featured a six-seat configuration. The early TSLA investor also noted that all Cybertruck variants would only be available with a five-seat setup. The information was reportedly shared by Tesla staff. 

If the early TSLA investor’s information proves accurate, then it would mean that the Cybertruck would be able to carry fewer people than comparable pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado, both of which come with a six-seat option. With this in mind, it was no surprise that some Tesla enthusiasts and a number of Cybertruck reservation holders shared their disappointment at the apparent removal of the pickup truck’s sixth seat

That being said, other EV advocates have suggested that the Cybertruck’s “missing” sixth seat might very well be due to the all-electric pickup truck’s safety. In the original Cybertruck prototype, the front middle seat directly faced the vehicle’s large touchscreen. It might be quite tricky to optimize the front middle seat for safety. The airbag placement alone would probably be challenging. 

Best-selling pickup trucks like the F-150 and Silverado have six seats, and such vehicles’ safety ratings are pretty good, with the former’s 2022 variant receiving a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. Tesla’s focus on safety, however, is on a whole different level. Thus, if it were difficult to ensure that the front center seat is as safe as the pickup’s other seats, then it would not be surprising to see Tesla discontinue the feature. 

Of course, removing the front center seat also cuts down on the Cybertruck’s production cost, which is beneficial to Tesla. Thus, at least for now, the Cybertruck’s five-seat configuration might be a win-win for both consumers and the electric vehicle maker. Those who were looking forward to ferrying five other people (or large pets) in the Cybertruck, however, would understandably be disappointed. 

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