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The math behind the Tesla Cybertruck dragging a Ford F-150 tells a different story

Jason Fenske’s Engineering Explained YouTube channel makes videos diving into the math behind the cars we love—and sometimes the cars we love to hate. With the Tesla Cybertruck's reveal came a video showing a tug of war handily won by the new EV. Ford was quick to call out the video and call for an “apples to apples” comparison, but can the Ford F-150 actually do better?


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/11/26/math-behind-tesla-cybertruck-dragging-ford-f-150-tells-different-story

Tesla truck looks like one of those wooden carved cub scout racers… or a really bad homemade DeLorean.

Tesla roadster is a stylish design… other things not so much. Model S, X and 3 hit middle of the lump of soap look common to most models right now (granted without the anime add-on bits some cars like Camry and Civic) are suffering from.

No real world application of tug-of-war for most people so the ad is dumb and should be ignored.

Pickup Truck (PT) Barnum

It’s funny to me how someone as smart as Elon Musk could approve a video that is so, dare I say it, dumb.

'I think most people who have a basic understanding of how mechanical things work can see that it wasn’t a fair match but I don’t think it was a dumb stunt at all. It has definitely attracted considerable attention to this new product/model. The average truck buyer is going to go for the all around conventional pickup anyway. This was aimed at the high end customer who will buy this truck to make a statement or as a status symbol. I will be totally shocked if I ever see one hauling anything with a beat up bed etc… Maybe some day they will be more mainstream but I don’t think they are there yet by any stretch.

An honest to goodness coal burning truck. Woot!

I’ve seen a few “was it fair” articles loaded with filler, while never once mentioning AWD vs /2WD. Combined with the certain extra weight of the Tesla there’s really no point debating beyond those two facts.

It is odd that a company capable of creating some very beautiful sedans could produce an 8th grader’s study hall paper plane. I am an old duffer lucky enough to have owned some sublimely designed vehicles. None were different simply to be different. They were inspired. This, at the end of the day, seems like another Musk raised middle finger.

I think my mind is made up. I would NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER etc…
even consider such a hideous looking flying wedge of ugliness and impracticality.
How much is that battery replacement ? NO ONE ever discloses that little secret.

Well I was really into this little lesson of math that I can understand, everything went sour at 10:09 into the video. THE GUYS A GEEK! However he is right about the Tesla marketing of the look of the truck, which in my opinion could possibly put the company out of business. But maybe not.

I was not impressed with either Tesla Truck or Musk. Musk did an extremely poor job of presenting the vehicle which in turn degraded the Tesla Truck. Musk was out to be a showman, but only showed the arrogance of being wealthy and spending his money on a pipe dream of converting F-150 Ford Customers over to electric vehicles.
Now, where is the energy going to come from to power the generators that provide the electric to charge those batteries? Some where, some place, some how our dependence on oil is still needed.

One other aspect of the test that Jason didn’t delve into is that if the pull really was up an incline, that could further give the Tesla an advantage given that even more of the F-150’s weight would be over the non-driven wheels. Anyone who has driven a pickup truck with an empty bed in rear-wheel drive under low-traction conditions knows how easy it is to create wheel spin.

Even though Ford’s “1,000,000 lb” test is also a bit of showmanship, at least there’s more validity to the marketing behind that (i.e., strength of the chassis, etc.). Tesla’s test was flat-out rigged and they know it. In the end, though, it’s not going to change anyone’s mind about what truck they buy or don’t buy.

Oh it never ends does it? I’m still working on who has the better box! ford or Chevy? Maybe put the C.E.O.'s in a ring and settle it without harming the peasants. Just like ancient Warlords, the smut will be flying.

The whole megilla is a diversion to bury the major question about Tesla’s truck: How does the windshield get washed/cleaned? Who will be able to do it? The gulls here are all excited over the first one to hit town - they’re in full practice mode . . .

I liked Ford vs Ferrari better…

Good job explaining the physics. more people should study up then maybe we would see less people fall for this type of advertising. remember GM pulling a 747 back in the day with a pickup on a TV ad. You could do a video at the boat launch and maybe we would see less trucks and SUV s launched after the boat hits the water.

I don’t care how ECO friendly, or powerful it is, as a person that is not a fan of the products that come out of the Ford Motor Company but does like Teslas, I will say this “I would rather be seen pushing a Ford than driving that Tesla.” and that is all I have to say about that.

I thought the truck was very refreshing and would have been extremely boring to be just another familiar design around an ICE engine and transmission. I think and hope we will probably see more innovation from all truck makers when they go electric and have different design goals. The fact that solar panels on the bed would self charge the vehicle at 15 miles per day and 30-40 miles per day with extensions (and more as solar and batter technology improves) was pretty cool. Let’s not kid ourselves about work trucks, most pickups on the road are hauling nothing that doesn’t already fit in the pockets of the driver.

I have read plenty of hater posts since the intro of Elon’s newest creation. It must be hard to start out with many “strange” ideas, hire the right people to complete them and then introduce them to such negativity for one reason or many.

Let’s see so far…He said he’d make an electric car. MANY people said he couldn’t. Not only did he do it, but so far I’d say he is killing the electric car market with top rated cars, of any model. Next he said he’d make rockets. Well, that didn’t seem to take him long. NASA has been in business how long and I never saw one of theirs land back on a launch pad yet.

Renegade type people always get bashed for being different. Let the man free I say, it certainly has woken up the electric/rocket vehicle markets. Maybe competitors will work harder now to make better stuff themselves. Kinda like how the Japanese caused U.S. MFG.'s to stop putting out such crap in the 80’s.

Musk is many things, if I could only use two words I would say wily and arrogant.

Wily to see emergent demand for non ICE, and see that governments were going to subsidize this venture heavily with cap and trade credits (big source of Elon cash) and the somewhat mindboggling incentives on high-end consumer purchases of luxury cars. Wily to sell high-margin luxury EC cars to justify placing the supercharger network (many pundits have been saying for years that Tesla is not a long-term mass # car company, it is a leverage play to control the supply network. Aka Elon isn’t really caring about making cars he wants everyone else to make cars that need his supercharger network). Wily for getting away with a lot of vaporware promises and long, long times for things happening (mass sales of cheaper model) for such a nimble business flush in cash and vision…

Arrogant for not caring that people would question some of the above, for building rockets that basically ruin an eco-pretensions of his overall legacy, and just the way he often is presented.