Even though the way the Tesla Cybertruck looks and the fact that it’s electric are two of its biggest selling points, it still needs to be practical and usable. So it needs to have a usable bed, for instance, and a way to keep your belongings safe in the bed, and that can be achieved by using a simple bed cover.
But since we’re talking about a Tesla here, the optional Integrated Tonneau Cover, is going to have a twist - it will also be a solar panel that provides electricity when deployed, or rather a series of 110 separate solar cells. According to a patent filed by Tesla with the US Patent Office,
When the tonneau cover is deployed to cover the bed and the solar electric cells that make up the slats are facing the sun, the battery within the electric vehicle can be charged by solar electric cells.
When the truck bed cover is in a closed position, it is configured to recharge the battery pack, the closed position of the truck bed cover enabling the plurality of solar electric cells to face a sun.
Elon Musk tweeted back in November of 2019 that the photovoltaic tonneau cover will provide the Cybertruck with as much as 15 miles of extra range per day, and that if you were to also add the fold-out solar wings, those would generate up to 40 miles-worth of electricity daily too. We also see no reason why the roof of the Cybertruck couldn’t also be used as a place for another big solar panel.
We’ll have to wait and see which of these features make it on the final vehicle, but we don’t know how long we have to wait. Deliveries of the Tesla Cybertruck were slated to begin sometime in the latter part of 2021, but rumors suggest that the launch could be pushed to 2022.