December 14th, 2019 by Steve Hanley
In a filing with the California Air Resources Board, Tesla claims its proposed Cybertruck, the electric pickup that looks like it escaped from the set of Lost In Space, should be classified as a “Class 2B-3 medium-duty vehicle,” according to a report by the Mercury News. What does that mean exactly?
Let’s begin by identifying what other pickup trucks carry the Class 2 designation. The Ford F-250, Dodge Ram 2500, Nissan Titan XD, and GMC Sierra 2500 all fall into that category. Class 2B trucks have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of between 8,501 and 10,000 pounds, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
“While we have not yet begun production of the Cybertruck, we expect it to have a towing capacity of 7,500-14,000+ lbs., and it should very likely qualify as a ‘Class 2B-3’ medium-duty vehicle,” Sarah Van Cleve, Tesla’s senior managing policy adviser, wrote in a letter sent to CARB.
According to Carmax, the Ford F-250 can tow up to 14,000 pounds while the Chevy Silverado 2500 can lug 14,500 pounds around. The Dodge Ram 2500 is rated at 14,650 pounds and the GMC Sierra 2500 can tow up to 15,600 pounds. In other words, the Tesla Cybertruck will be able to go toe to toe with medium-duty Class 2 trucks from the Big Three automakers in load carrying capacity and towing capability.
Van Cleve added in her letter that Tesla has “already received more than 250,000 orders for the Cybertruck,” which confirms the numbers Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out in the days following the Cybertruck debut in November.
There’s a codicil to the Cybertruck story. California is pushing truck manufacturers to offer more low-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks but has granted Class 2 trucks an exemption from the so-called Clean Truck rule until 2027. Tesla is urging CARB to end that exemption sooner, a move that would not only lower carbon emissions in the Golden State but also benefit Tesla when production of the Cybertruck begins.
That vehicle by definition will have no tailpipe emissions as all, something the other medium-duty pickup trucks on the market won’t be able to say. That could give Tesla a sizable competitive edge in the California market.
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