Elon Musk has taken leading American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to task over the reasons why the Tesla Cybertruck electric ute so easily pulled a Ford F-150 up a hill in that now famous video played during the Cybertruck launch late last week.

The initial response to the Cybertruck launch was focused on its wild “cyberpunk” design and its use of unconventional, and incredibly durable, cold-rolled steel using, but now it is the specifications including driving range and power that is  splitting opinion.

At the launch, Musk showed a video of a tug-o-war test between the all-wheel Cybertruck and and rear-wheel drive Ford-150, to prove it beat the fossil fuel pick-up hands down.

In the video, the Cybertruck, which Tesla says will have the ability to tow more than 6.35 tonnes in its most expensive tri-motor form, pulls an F-150 – which is pulling in the opposite direction – up a hill. And it looks to do it fairly easily.

But now there are claims that the test was not fair, according to Motor1.

deGrasse Tyson chimed in with his own highly educated two cents worth, saying: “Electric vehicles are famously heavy – over both axles. It’s all about the weight borne by spinning tires. That’s the source of traction, not the engine power.”

However, Musk disagreed.

“Electric motors also have insane torque. If we load both trucks to the max, electric still wins. Physics is the law, everything else is a recommendation,” said Musk.

deGrasse Tyson then insisted that traction is absolutely necessary if the torque is to do its job properly.

We all love Torque. But high Torque just spins a tire in place if there’s not enough weight to provide traction. Fully load the F150, giving highest traction to its rear wheels, then try to drag that up the hill. I otherwise agree: Load both to the max and the highest torque wins,” he said.

There is only one thing for it then: do an apples to apples comparison.

Enter Ford X VP Sunny Madra, who this morning (Australian time) offered to run such a test if Tesla would be so kind as to drop off a Cybertruck to Ford.

Musk, of course, replied: “Bring it on”.

But when, you may well ask? Looks like the ultimate tug of war will take place next week:

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