The ever-mysterious Tesla Cybertruck has recently been photogenic with numerous pictures of a driveable prototype interior along with snapshots of the anticipated 9,000-ton Giga Press that will cast new truck bodies.
While those with Cybertruck reservations have heard it before, we do appear one step closer to the eventual release of the Cybertruck.
Redditor u/IeZael recently posted details of his experiences during a tour of the IDRA Group’s facilities in Brescia, Italy.
IDRA, founded in 1946, has created some of the largest high-pressure die casting machines in the world. IDRA routinely hosts open houses to show off the latest die-casting machinery.
While Tesla is not the only customer of IDRA, it was pretty evident that the 9000t Giga Press is eventually destined for Tesla’s factory. The biggest giveaway? The color scheme of the device is identical to the Model Y’s Giga Press.
In addition, IDRA states that the machines “can be used for SUV and small trucks.” Elon Musk later confirmed that Tesla will continue to use IDRA’s presses, including the new 9,000-ton Giga Press for the Cybertruck’s body.
In addition to the open house photo montage, IDRA produced a fascinating video series detailing the assembly of the Giga Press.
What has garnered more attention this week for Cybertruck reservation holders is purported interior shots of a Cybertruck prototype. Released by KSBW, the photos show a rough prototype interior with a disassembled yoke.
Interestingly, the Cybertruck appearance was part of a press event for the PG&E Elkhorn Battery System in Moss Landing (which features Tesla batteries). It is unclear if Tesla intended for the interior to be photographed at the event (given the unfinished nature of the finishes).
The center display shows the new Model X (which may be the basis for the prototype’s systems).
The interior in this prototype certainly deviates from the initial renderings distributed by Tesla during the Cybertruck’s initial launch.
Instead of a center seat, a console is clearly visible. In addition, the appearance of an instrument cluster brings about the exciting possibility that the Cybertruck may feature dual displays, similar to the new Model X.
The Cybertruck is anticipated to be released in 2023.
Tesla’s new partnership with gas and electric company PG&E in California will give Powerwall owners the opportunity to earn money while giving energy back to the grid.
The virtual power plant (VPP) is a connection of distributed energy storage systems that work in tandem to give energy back to the grid to avoid dirty and costly peaker power plants. Essentially, when the grid is being strained, then the VPP can kick in and draw power from Powerwall owners enrolled in the program, and other distributed energy storage system owners, to use clean energy and avoid brownouts across the state.
Here are some of the advantages with this new VPP with PG&E:
Stabilize California’s Grid: The extra capacity your Powerwall provides could help avoid or reduce blackouts in a severe emergency. This way, Powerwall can keep the lights on for both you and your community.
Clean the Grid: Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid is in critical need of additional power. That is when the least efficient generators would typically come online.
Unite as a Tesla Community: Team up with other Powerwall owners who are accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy and help form the largest distributed battery in the world - potentially over 50,000 Powerwalls. As part of the VPP, your Powerwall will have an outsized positive impact on the grid over traditional demand response programs.
Maintain Your Energy Security: Powerwall will discharge during VPP events but won’t discharge below your Backup Reserve. Adjust your Backup Reserve to control your contribution while maintaining backup energy for outages.
Earn Compensation: Through the ELRP pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall provides during an event. You don’t have to change your energy usage behavior to participate.
In 2021, Tesla piloted a test VPP program in California for Powerwall owners to voluntarily opt-in without compensation. The test VPP program would then pull energy from the Powerwalls when the grids needed it.
“Become a part of the largest distributed battery in the world and help keep California’s energy clean and reliable,” reads a statement from Tesla. “Opt-in to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP) with PG&E and your Powerwall will be dispatched when the grid needs emergency support. Through the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall delivers during an event. Adjust your Backup Reserve to set your contribution, while maintaining backup energy for outages.”
With Tesla and PG&E’s new VPP program owners will receive $2/kWh, which is quite significant. For comparison, where I live in Southern California, Tesla charges $0.58/kWh for supercharging during peak hours.
According to Electrek, “they could earn anywhere from $10 to $60 per event or more for bigger systems.”
Tesla stated that they have roughly 50,000 Powerwalls that may be eligible for this new program.
In an interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the Cybertruck design has now been finalized. Musk didn’t get into details about the design, but gave a rough timeline for production of the Cybertruck.
With the design now "locked", he estimates production will begin “the middle of next year, roughly 12-months’ish” which would put the first Cybertruck deliveries in the second half of 2023.
Musk did not say when the final design will be revealed, but recent sightings of the alpha builds give us many hints as to what to expect.
When discussing the Cybertruck design Elon said they “got too carried with the…,” before pausing, hinting that they have added a number of new features not included on the original prototype.
While it's not clear what additional features Elon was about to mention, we have an idea of what is to come.
One of the most controversial additions has been the side mirrors, which are required by law, although Musk has said that they will be easily removable by owners.
Another controversial feature of the Cybertruck is the windshield wiper. While we have only seen the large single wiper, Musk did say that the final design would be different than what has been seen on recent builds.
Tesla did patent a laser beam windshield wiper, but we'll likely see something more traditional on the Cybertruck.
Another feature we could see on the final build are doors with no handles. At the Cyber Rodeo, Elon opened the Cybertruck door by pushing a button on the side of the truck. The doors also seemingly open and lock depending on proximity to the vehicle.
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