Now that the Tesla Cybertruck has undergone its first deliveries, the all-electric automaker is starting to gear up with official add-ons new owners can buy. One of those accessories is called the Range Extender, and—like the name suggests—it’s meant to give the Cybertruck a usable range closer to the 500 miles originally promised when the concept truck was revealed back in 2019. But how expensive and how heavy will such a pack be?
One large concern voiced around the internet is just how easily Tesla’s Range Extender can be lifted in and out of the Cybertruck’s bed due to its size and weight. After all, batteries are heavy and an extra 28% range boost would mean a good amount of added weight.
Documents sourced from the EPA suggest that the Cybertruck’s main battery has an estimated 123 kWh usable capacity. This brings its overall efficiency to around 2.75 miles per kWh of onboard battery storage.
The Range Extender is said to add around 130 miles of additional range to the Cybertruck’s stated 340 miles, which means that it will need around 47 kWh of usable storage. That’s about 575 4680 cells, or 450 pounds in just batteries. The unit will also have added weight for the pack construction and other embedded components.
For reference, a Tesla Model 3 Long Range battery pack weighs approximately 1,060 pounds and consists of 4,416 2170 cells weighing in at 68 grams each. This works out to 662 pounds of cells, or about 63% percent of the pack weight.
The Cybertruck’s Range Extender is likely a bit more efficient in weight given its form factor and packaging. A conservative estimate would place the pack somewhere in the neighborhood of 550 to 600 pounds, though more rugged construction or a higher count of cells could easily raise the weight considerably higher.
Tesla’s Range Extender is expected to cost around $16,000, or $123 per extra mile of range. That number was spotted hidden in the source code of Tesla’s site just after the accessory was announced alongside the Cybertruck last week.
It’s worth noting that this accessory could simply exist in order to ensure that the Cybertruck is priced within the constraints of the federal EV tax credit’s pricing requirements. Tesla originally promised 500 miles of range in the Cybertruck, which is only remotely achievable with the Range Extender. So by lowering the cost of the Cybertruck by equipping it with a smaller battery pack, more customers may be able to apply federal tax incentives to lower the net cost of their vehicle.
If Tesla’s 4680 packs cost around $100 per kWh to manufacture, which is $30 or more over its target cost, there is plenty of profit baked into the $16,000 pack. In fact, this figure would mean that Tesla could be making more than $11,000 per Range Extender sold—or perhaps even more if the cost per kWh is closer to Tesla’s target cost.
Officially, CEO Elon Musk says that the pack is intended for customers who are taking “very long trips” or “towing heavy things up mountains,” and how that pack might sit in the bed with a full-size spare—which one might want to bring on those trips—isn’t exactly known yet.
So is that extra range worth the additional cost or strain of loading and unloading? Well, at the end of the day, that’s up to the consumer. Those towing heavy trailers, taking long trips, or venturing off into remote areas with fewer chargers may say yes.
But in this case, it quickly turns the $99,990 tri-motor Cybertruck into a $115,990 triangle-on-wheels—a lot more than the $69,900 figure promised back in 2019.
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