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Published on July 8th, 2020 | by Jesper Berggreen

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Tesla CyberVan — Gigantic Untapped Potential

July 8th, 2020 by  


The development around Tesla these days is kind of mind boggling. Shares are soaring in sheer anticipation of a profitable Q2, and the hype around the company is underlined by red satin shorts going on sale with a not-so-subtle middle finger to anyone who has not believed in Tesla the last decade or so.

Screenshot from shop.tesla.com — production constrained like every other Tesla product!

I have been grappling with the scale of potential for Tesla, and lucky for me many a writer here at CleanTechnica does that too, and if you’re wondering what Tesla as a global company will end up being worth in 10 years or so, you have probably looked into all the things Tesla does for a living: cars, solar, and energy storage, as well as what it will be doing going forward: more solar, more storage, more cars, trucks, semi trucks, vans. …

Vans? CyberVans!

In my own thought process around Tesla as a multi-faceted company, I found myself dwelling a bit on the word “Van,” and another word combined with it, “Cyber,” resulting in: “CyberVan.” Then my googly itch came on, and shortly afterward I was convinced that this little word has huge potential all in itself.

What? No stories on CyberVan on CleanTechnica? That ends now…

“CyberVan” is getting only 57,000 hits on google as I write this, and googling “Tesla CyberVan” is only giving 7,000 hits, dwarfed by googling “Tesla CyberTruck,” which is giving 14.7 million hits! Something is looming here … and this rendering posted by “thisbraad” on Reddit comes to mind:

Tesla Mobile Service Cybervan from cybertruck

However, as obvious as a Tesla service CyberVan would be, it does not give away the actual potential for this idea. It is huge, like really huge. Think about the versatility of the whole thing, from manufacturing to functionally, it would be able to sell in incredible numbers. This is not too obvious in North America, where trucks totally dominate in many businesses, but in Europe for example, high utility vans are everywhere. Worldwide, commercial vehicle sales keep rising and passed 26 million units in 2019.

The crude and simplified manufacturing process of the CyberTruck would make the manufacturing transition of CyberVans extremely easy, and diversity would be the next step. Wheel base, length, height, and a number of other metrics would literally be a question of changing the design on a computer and out comes stainless steel panels cut and bent in new dimensions. The same machinery can make vastly different body parts. Traditional stamping and riveting and welding on curvy designs would make this kind of versatility impossible.

The customer base is enormous. Think camper vans, small business contractors, big business fleets, minibuses, haulers, safari vehicles — heck, even new categories like high-speed-desert-limousines, and the list goes on and on. Any van you can think of — and have not yet thought of — today can be made on the same platform, the super tough and super cheap CyberVan shape-shifter platform.


The manufacturing cost and material cost would outperform any current manufacturing process of vans. The CyberTruck already has the potential of being ridiculously low priced in terms of versatility value. Now take away those off-road wheels and the ultra-high-performance suspension system and replace them with everyday heavy-duty steel rims and coil springs, and the price drops even further.

But still, with a van equipped with CyberTruck performance on the market, a choice for use as the so-called “Supertrucks,” like the ones used for adventures in Iceland, will also be a no-brainer, albeit a narrower market.

The Icelandic Ísar by Ari Arnorsson

On top of that, you will have unmatched longevity and sturdiness compared to all the competition. Super easy custom wraps for business and fleet visibility and other customization will make the choice of such an exoskeleton van very easy.

Listen to TeslaBruh’s very entertaining rant on this CyberVan idea. It’s like he had an epiphany, and was afraid Tesla would miss the opportunity. However, I have a feeling Franz and Elon discussed this secretly in the corner of the design studio long ago. In fact, I think this plan is so relatively simple to execute in a tech/manufacturing/design perspective compared to all the other things that have come out of Tesla that it is simply a question of production capacity.

My prediction: Out of nowhere a handful of useful designs of the CyberVan will hit the market, and once again the legacy giants will take a numbing blow to another one of their core businesses, this time decimating their stinking, boring, and painted commercial vans. (Do you know how much paint costs? Sandy Munro will tell you!)

Also take a look at these amazing renderings posted over at topspeed.com of what even slightly tweaked CyberTruck/CyberVan designs could look like:

Screenshot from topspeed.com

I think those designs make it very clear that the potential is huge. Note how different they look, how different they would function, and think about how incredibly simple the base design really is. You can weld things directly onto that vehicle! Let that sink in.

Bang For The Buck

Again, I have to emphasize my gut feeling on this. After starting to think about the concept of a CyberVan a few days ago, I see commercial vehicles everywhere as completely outdated and ready to be replaced by something like this, and it is frankly very surprising to me that no one has thought of this before. I mean, we were surprised when we saw the CyberTruck the first time, but even though we almost only thought of hunters, farmers, small contractors, and, to be honest, showoffs, many soon realized the CyberTruck’s huge potential in terms of functionality and price. The CyberVan potential is easily an order of magnitude bigger. Easy. 
 


 


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About the Author

Jesper had his perspective on the world expanded vastly after having attended primary school in rural Africa in the early 1980s. And while educated a computer programmer and laboratory technician, working with computers and lab-robots at the institute of forensic medicine in Aarhus, Denmark, he never forgets what life is like having nothing. Thus it became obvious for him that technological advancement is necessary for the prosperity of all humankind, sharing this one vessel we call planet earth. However, technology has to be smart, clean, sustainable, widely accessible, and democratic in order to change the world for the better. Writing about clean energy, electric transportation, energy poverty, and related issues, he gets the message through to anyone who wants to know better. Jesper is founder of Lifelike.dk and a long-term investor in Tesla, Ørsted, and Vestas.



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