Elon, Elon, Elon.
Yes, you are a genius. You make electric cars cool and private space travel possible. It’s also possible you’ll force Twitter to reveal just how many bots there are on its platform, perhaps an even more impressive accomplishment.
You aren’t the kind of individual who needs to embellish his accomplishments. And yet, here we are again, laughing at your assertion that Tesla’s overhyped Cybertruck will act as a boat.
Will it? Well, no other mainstream passenger vehicle ever sold by a major automotive corporation has had the seafaring capabilities Musk claimed the Cybertruck would in a tweet last week:
Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren’t too choppy
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 29, 2022
“Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren’t too choppy,” Musk wrote:
Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 29, 2022
“Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel,” refers to both SpaceX’s Texas launch site and South Padre Island, which is separated from the site by a shipping channel, according to ValleyCentral.com.
This isn’t the first unexpected claim Musk has made about the oddly designed, much-delayed Cybertruck, Tesla’s entrant in the EV truck market.
During its 2019 unveiling, as CNBC noted, “CEO Elon Musk claimed the car was ‘bulletproof’ against a 9mm handgun. But when he got Tesla’s chief designer to throw a metal ball at one of its armored windows, audible surprise could be heard as the glass smashed — twice.”
Whoops. And it wasn’t like people forgot about this gaffe:
WARNING: The following tweet contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
Will be as waterproof as it will be bulletproof. pic.twitter.com/gaGXxN2qMV
— Bullshit Exposed (Zero Tolerance for Warmongers) (@BS__Exposed) September 29, 2022
This was hardly the only mockery that Musk’s tweet got from social media users, who felt this was again a case of Musk overhyping what the Cybertruck is capable of.
One user pointed out that “technically all cars can serve as a boat ‘briefly'”:
technically all cars can serve as a boat “briefly”
— Ordinary Things (@ordinarytings) September 29, 2022
Another wrote: “perfect so when the doors won’t unlock everyone inside drowns.”
perfect so when the doors won’t unlock everyone inside drowns.
— Ally Maynard (@allymayn) September 29, 2022
And, as another Twitterer noted, Musk and Tesla have been having, um, other problems lately:
Tesla just set a whole PG&E power plant on fire. Lmao. pic.twitter.com/QYahRXHMfw
— Czarina (russian asset) (@fishontherun2) September 29, 2022
But hey, if Musk can promote his product like this, so can Brad Freeman — whoever he is:
It must be fun to be able to just say whatever you want about product roadmap with seemingly no material consequences.
I’m working on a time machine. Estimated arrival spring of next year.
— Brad Freeman (@StockMarketNerd) September 29, 2022
Whatever Musk claims, most users weren’t willing to give him the benefit of the doubt:
dogg you can’t even make a car trunk rainproof I’m not drowning my family in a coffin from an N64 game
— jack (@jackalltogether) September 29, 2022
And, as EV-centric publication Electrek pointed out, this isn’t the first time Musk has made claims about the seaworthiness of a Tesla vehicle.
“A few years ago, the CEO said that the Model S could almost be used as a boat after a Tesla Model S was spotted driving (or swimming) through a flooded tunnel – although the CEO made it clear it wasn’t recommended,” Electrek reported.
“In 2020, he did say that people would be able to turn the Cybertruck into a boat, and some plan to take that to a whole new level,” Electrek noted, adding that a company is producing a conversion kit that would turn the vehicle into a catamaran, if necessary.
“But now, it sounds like the Cybertruck is going to come with an undercarriage ‘waterproof enough’ to be able to float, and with the propulsion from the wheels, drivers should be able to get around slowly in calm water.”
Maybe that really will be the case when Cybertruck finally enters production in 2023, as it’s projected to do.
Still, this is the first time the feature has been mentioned and considering the prototype made its debut three years ago, that’s a long time to keep that bombshell under wraps.
Also, Musk isn’t talking short distances, either. As Electrek noted, the shortest overwater route from Starbase to South Padre Island is about 1,100 feet over the Brazos Santiago Pass (depth: 42 feet).
There’s no off-road vehicle that can traverse that much water and, no matter what Pete Buttigieg might tell you, EVs aren’t magical. Tesla may be responsible for some leaps in EV technology, but this would be an unusually impressive one.
It’s also one that Musk didn’t need to make claims for without providing proof. The biggest problem with the bulletproof window self-own was that nobody was buying a truck based on bulletproof windows — unless, of course, Musk was mining the niche market of Mafia dons.
The point was that the windows could withstand chips from rocks. A demonstration of that would have sufficed.
But, no: Elon Musk made a claim he couldn’t back up and he’s still paying for it.
Perhaps the Cybertruck will work as an amphibious vehicle. If it does, excuse our skepticism, Elon. You’ve been the boy who’s cried wolf about this truck before, and these tweets certainly seem to fit the pattern.
However, few truly amphibious vehicles have been made; all have had small markets (militaries, tour operators, that sort of thing) and most aren’t particularly good on land or in water.
If Tesla’s made the first one that works well, hats off to you, Mr. Musk. Until we see it in action, however, I don’t think we can exactly call your claims bulletproof.
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