Cybertruck Boat Claim Is Back. It’s a Package Now.

Your Tesla Cybertruck will be able to serve as a boat, the company now says. You’ll just have to spring for a package of modifications to make it happen.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk waded into a sea (we had to) of internet mockery a little over a year ago when he tweeted that the company’s long-planned Cybertruck would be able to “serve briefly as a boat.”

Arguably, most things can serve briefly as boats, including cars of all types. But only a few have ever been built as actual amphibious vehicles. But Musk insisted the Cybertruck would be able to “get from Starbase to South Padre Island” in Texas. That would require crossing about six miles (about five nautical miles) of ocean.

The claim never appeared in any Tesla marketing materials. A handful of owners have since taken possession of their Cybertrucks, and some have populated internet message boards with notes that the truck’s warranty doesn’t cover certain kinds of water damage.

But Musk apparently intends to go ahead with the boat thing.

The impetus, this time, came from comedian Jay Leno. Leno tested the Cybertruck for his Jay Leno’s Garage web series alongside Lars Moravy, Tesla’s vice president of vehicle engineering. Moravy told Leno the truck “almost floats” and joked that owners might get away with just adding an outboard motor to it like the famous Top Gear Toy(b)o(a)ta.

In response, Musk tweeted that Tesla would soon “offer a mod package that enables Cybertruck to traverse at least 100m of water as a boat.” It’s mostly, he said, a matter of upgrading cabin door seals.

Though that might sound unbelievable, it probably isn’t.

Electric vehicle-builder Rivian’s R1T pickup advertises an astounding fording depth of 43.1 inches. But the company’s engineers told MotorTrend that’s not the point at which the truck shuts down from water damage — it’s the point at which it floats.

Boats, of course, need to do more than float. They need to float in a controlled direction on purpose. We’d venture to guess that Tesla engineers would need to do more than simply re-seal the doors to make that happen.

To be truly seaworthy, the Cybertruck would likely need an undercarriage streamlined like a hull, significant sealing for doors and tires, and a means of propulsion in the water.

But that could all be achievable with a modification package. It might be an expensive one. But Tesla already sells a piggyback extra battery for the Cybetruck for the price of a small car. Why not a boating package, too?

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