May 18, 2024

Things are not looking good for Tesla’s Cybertruck, with at least one design expert saying that nothing short of a total redesign will save it.

The Cybertruck is Tesla’s revolutionary electric truck that was unveiled to much fanfare. Unfortunately, reality has not lived up to the hype, with the launch of the truck repeatedly pushed back due to production issues.

Adrian Clarke, a professional car designer that now writes for The Autopian, told Fast Company that the Cybertruck’s issues stem from its panels, which are nearly impossible to build to the necessary specifications.

Musk has been demanding unrivaled precision and tolerances, saying that “all parts for this vehicle, whether internal or from suppliers, need to be designed and built to sub 10 micron accuracy. That means all part dimensions need to be to the third decimal place in millimeters and tolerances need [to] be specified in single digit microns.”

Unfortunately for Tesla, that level of precision is nearly impossible, according to Clarke.

“Is totally infeasible for production. Body panel tolerances are measured in whole mm to allow for variance in assembly and the tolerance stack!”

Clarke also went on to highlight that Musk’s proposed tolerances don’t take into account the thermal expansion and contraction that occur in a vehicle, both during manufacturing and in daily operation.

Clarke says the normal manufacturing process is also going to cause problems when creating the panels.

“They always have an amount of curves in them because they have to be able to hold the shape when the part comes out of the press.” In contrast, flat panels are “going to vibrate and they’re going to have massive problems stamping those panels and having them keep their shape.”

As Fast Company goes on to highlight, Tesla has been plagued with quality issues, some of which have led to lawsuits. Based on how the Cybertruck is currently shaping up, it doesn’t look like that status quo is about to change any time soon.