Elon Musk Says Cybertruck Is Also A Boat (Kinda)

Cybertruck, Tesla's delay-loving, no-longer-under-$40,000Bond car-truck lovechild EV is adding a remarkable new trick to its arsenal. In the meme-loving and occasionally outlandish words of company chief Elon Musk, the Cybertruck will "serve briefly as a boat." In case you had any doubts, Musk tweeted that the electric truck "can cross rivers, lakes, and seas that aren't too choppy." If you've paid the pre-order fee to book one, it's time to be excited, because the upcoming car is apparently good for land as well as aquatic picnics. Plus, if you happen to harbor interstellar dreams, prepare for a ride on Mars, too, because Musk also promised that the Cybertruck will land on the red planet in the near future.

For the rest, Musk's latest Cybertruck claim goes beyond his vaporware-quoting reputation. It's hard to imagine a beefy vehicle like the Cybertruck floating, even for a brief spell. Per Tesla's filing, (via Electrek) before the California Air Resources Board's (CARB), the Cybertruck should fall in Class 2B-3, a medium-duty vehicle, which means the car's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) falls anywhere between 8,500 to 10,000 pounds. Musk is betting that the Cybertruck's waterproofing capabilities will allow it to fleetingly double as a boat. We'll have to wait until he explains the precise fluid dynamics and flotation principles that are at play here to practically get the Cybertruck to "serve briefly as a boat."

Time to catch fishes, or spot a hoax.

The idea of a car being able to float across a river isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, though. In the 1960s, the aptly named Amphicar 770 did just that. Rocking a pair of propellers under the rear engine, the vintage trailblazer could cruise at 70 mph on land and 7 in the water, which also explains the model number. You can watch one in action in this video.

In the meantime, rival-in-chief Rivian has shown on camera that its R1-series electric SUV can make it through a few feet of water. However, the EV upstart still advised driving cautiously through deeper water and did not use the phrase "serving briefly as a boat." How exactly the Cybertruck will manage to float across a shallow lake remains to be seen when it truly becomes available for purchase.

But just in case Musk's latest tweet turns out to be another troll-job on his not-so-favorite-now social media platform, dreams of cruising like a king in a nearby lake while chilling inside the Cybertruck won't be dead entirely. A company named Cybercat Catamaran plans to sell an easy-to-assemble kit that turns the hulking EV into a, well, catamaran. The company also has plans for an even more ambitious hydrofoil kit that is estimated to cost as much as the truck itself.

Musk's Cybertruck claims have fallen flat before

The Cybertruck has been backed by some pretty bold claims ever since its inception. Unfortunately, its inability to live up to some of those claims, at least at the time, has led to some moments of embarrassment for the Tesla founder. The most famous example involves the Cybertruck's windows. They're constructed with Tesla's own "armor glass," which is made from borosilicate and allegedly bulletproof.

However, when the glass was being publicly demonstrated, it did not live up to the hype. A sheet of the armor glass seemed to easily survive having a steel ball dropped on it from a reasonable height. But when that same ball was pitched at the Cybertruck's driver's side window from close range, the glass shattered. Musk seemed to laugh the failure off, jokingly suggesting that the throw may have been "a little too hard" and pointing out that while the glass was shattered, the ball did not "go through" the window completely. The ball was then tossed at a rear window, which shattered in a similar manner, leaving Musk to suggest there was "room for improvement" as far as the truck's windows were concerned.

Tesla has even more ambitious projects on the horizon

While a bulletproof, floating truck that can transport people across the Martian surface sounds ambitious, it might not be the most outlandish project Tesla is currently working on. Last month, Tesla showed off a prototype of its "Optimus" robot — a commercial, AI driven, humanoid robot that Musk is hoping to one day sell for less than the price of an average car. The first glimpse of the "Tesla-bot" the public saw wasn't a robot at all. It was a human in a costume representing what people could one day buy if Musk's plans come to fruition. The Optimus, which was unveiled in September, looked less impressive and had pretty limited functionality.

It is human-shaped, can independently move each of its fingers, and is powered by the same AI Tesla's cars use for their "Autopilot Full Self Driving" feature — which incidentally hasn't gotten a public release yet either. The software itself has also made some interesting mistakes, so it's yet to be seen if the Tesla Bot, like self-driving cars and the bullet proof space truck/boat, will ever phase into reality.