Musk floats idea of boat mod for Cybertruck

Oh yes, please, get in the sea

Never mind that it is years late, hampered by production problems, and still not on the actual horizon: Elon Musk wants to turn the Cybertruck into a boat.

As seen in this short video clip shared on Monday, Tesla's veep of vehicle engineering Lars Moravy told former TV talk show host and car connoisseur Jay Leno that making the Cybertruck into a boat was one of Musk's original dreams. The Tesla CEO swiftly confirmed that plan was already in the works. 

"We are going to offer a mod package that enables Cybertruck to traverse at least 100m of water as a boat," Musk said in response to the video. "Mostly just need to upgrade cabin door seals." 

Yeah, that might not be all that's needed. "The vehicle almost floats. Maybe you have to add a little bit of extra buoyancy to keep it up," Moravy told Leno in the clip. "You know, if you're creative enough you could figure out how to put an outboard motor plugged into your outlet there, turn it on from the screen and go boating." 

"I mean, I haven't engineered that one yet," Moravy added, "but I'm sure you could do it, Jay." 

Musk has made similar pronouncements in the past, saying in 2022 that the Cybertruck would "be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes and even seas that aren't too choppy." 

Whether Musk's claims in any way reflect reality is unknown, and Tesla didn't respond to questions from The Register. We're still, of course, waiting on that full self-driving that was promised what feels like eons ago, and that cage fight, and that cave rescue, and so on.

That all said, the Cybertruck already has enough problems to deal with such that making it float reliably might not be the team's top priority.

During Tesla's Q3 earnings call, a month before the automaker started shipments of the boxy behemoth, Musk asked investors to temper expectations of the Cybertruck, which he said would take until at least 2025 to get to planned production levels of 250,000 vehicles a year. Tesla has claimed there have been more than a million Cybertruck reservations. 

"It's a great product, but financially it will take, I don't know, a year to 18 months before it is a significant positive cash flow contributor," Musk claimed. "I wish there was some way for that to be different, but that's my best guess."

Musk said Tesla "dug [its] own grave" with the Cybertruck, which has suffered from quality control issues. Since being released, it's also experienced serious price inflation, with the cheapest model starting at just shy of $61,000 - more than $20,000 more than the automaker had previously estimated its price to be, and with a lower range to boot. 

On top of that, getting the thing to float might be quite the challenge given its incredible weight - the top-end "Cyberbeast" trim package, priced at $99,990, weighs in at just shy of 7,000 lbs - nearly 3,000 lbs more than a Ford F-150. The weight of the vehicle has drawn criticism from automotive safety experts who are concerned it poses a threat to pedestrians and other travelers on the road.

Drive it into a lake and, well, it might be more of a hazard to its passengers - something sure to pique the interest of regulators. 

The US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently forced a massive recall of Tesla's Autopilot driver assist technology because Musk's and Tesla's tendency toward hype and a lack of appropriate safety features put people at risk - there's no telling the regulatory field day they'd have if the Cybertruck began to be marketed as being able to "briefly" serve as a boat.

You know, can't all vehicles briefly act as a boat? ®

In case you missed it... A Tesla driver was this month ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution for a crash that killed two people while using Autopilot. This is believed to be the first time US prosecutors have brought felony charges against a driver who was relying on an automated driving system.

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