How does an electric truck, claimed to be “nearly impenetrable” by its maker, and built with “ultra hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel,” fare in a crash test? New pictures from a drone flyover might have some initial clues.
Drone pilot Joe Tegtmeyer released images of a crash-tested Tesla Cybertruck from a flyover above the Gigafactory Texas. The pictures are unclear, and the aerial rear-three-quarters angle isn’t particularly revealing of what was possibly a frontal offset test. But some details are visible.
The front airbags are deployed, the sharply raked windshield is severely cracked, but not completely shattered, and the doors are knocked off their hinges. The frunk appears to have absorbed the impact and is severely bent – although that’s not necessarily a bad sign as crumple zones in the front and rear are designed to crush and absorb the impact energy.
The drone pilot claims that this was the first verified crash test of the Cybertruck, but it’s certainly not the first time Tesla has tested the structural strength of its EV. In September 2023, images of a Cybertruck that went through a ditch rollover test emerged on social media.
The safety results of that test were unclear as well, but the prototype’s roof was bent, airbags deployed, and several exterior parts like fender flares were seen lying in the EV’s bed.
Tesla had also teased an official Cybertruck crash test, but it soon took the video down. It showcased the Cybertruck in a full frontal impact test, and they cut the clip right before the EV was about to hit the crash barrier.
However, the damage seen above isn’t indicative of any conclusive results. When agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute Of Highway Safety (IIHS) conduct their comprehensive tests with dummies, and a plethora of sensors, we’ll have a better idea of where the apparently “impenetrable” Cybertruck stands compared to other EVs.
As a reminder, Tesla’s current line-up has earned top safety ratings in American and European crash tests. Most recently, both the 2023 Model Y and Model 3 earned IIHS’ highest Top Safety Pick+ award. The Model X and Model S have also earned 5-star NHTSA ratings in the past. Tesla would likely be gunning for similar results for its electric truck.