Australia has emerged as the largest market for the rule-breaking Tesla Cybertruck outside of North America, but questions remain over whether it will ever make it to Australian shores.
In an interview with Auto News published on Monday, Tesla boss Elon Musk said the Cybertruck team did not design the outlandish – yet obviously very popular – Cybertruck to fit with EU rules.
“We made the exec decision to not make a world truck, so it does not comply with a lot of EU spec and stuff,” Musk told Auto News’ Daily Drive.
“We are fundamentally making this truck as a North American ass-kicker. Our goal is to kick the most amount of ass possible with this truck.”
This is important because Australian design rules (ADR) – imposed to protect a domestic manufacturing industry that no longer exists – are largely based on the EU rules, which could mean that the Cybertruck may be ruled out of Australia without significant changes.
Could Tesla be bothered? If not it would be a huge disappointment for thousands of Australian reservation holders, and a big revenue loss for Tesla – at last estimation, Australia is worth potentially $1.5 billion in Cybertruck sales.
After the Cybertruck’s unveil in November 2019, The Driven reported that ANCAP chief James Goodwin questioned whether the Cybertruck’s angular body and frontal rake would be safe enough for Australian roads.
But while Musk describes the all-electric Tesla Cybertruck as basically a “kick-ass” ute designed for the apocalypse, he also says that Tesla may consider making a smaller version to comply with EU (and therefore hopefully Australian ADR) rules.
“But that’s okay, we can always build a slightly smaller truck that does comply with EU spec in the future,” said Musk.
“There maybe some slight chance of getting some exceptions to the EU rules depending on who it’s classified.”
Here’s hoping this doesn’t mean a watered down version of the Cybertruck.
Although Musk also said, rather unsurprisingly, that no market research was done during the design process, its Mad Max aesthetics are surely what has given it so much appeal to the Australian audience.
Indeed, everything Musk says about the Cybertruck is exactly what ute-loving Australia needs.
“We want it to be something that is used to tow a boat, a horse trailer, pull tree stumps out of the ground, go off-roading and you don’t have to worry about scratching the paint because there is none,” Musk said.
“You’d just be smashing boulders and it would be fine.”
“It’s going to have the ability to access the battery pack, so you don’t even need a generator because it’s got really high power, like 240 volt as well as 110 high amperage.
“It’ll easily power any kind of power tool situation, it even has an air compressor built in [for if] if you are running a construction site.”
It’s all just ruddy excellent stuff, really. Here’s just hoping the Cybertruck, in some rebellious form, makes it here. But not because we need it for an apocalypse.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.