Knowing how Tesla CEO Elon Musk tends to operate, we may be in for a publicity stunt next year as the Tesla Cybertruck makes its way across the channel from SpaceX's Starbase to South Padre Island. However, we're going to make it abundantly clear that intentionally using your Cybertruck (or any Tesla vehicle) as a boat is a terrible and dangerous idea. Honestly, intentionally using any car as a boat is likely to have dire consequences.
Elon Musk has noted that Tesla's vehicles can float, at least for some time, and won't necessarily take on water like a gas car. There's no intake, nor is there any engine to "hydrolock."
This means the EV could hypothetically operate for an extended period of time without losing power. However, it doesn't mean you should test it out unless you want your expensive electric car to end up at the bottom of a channel and risk your life. In the past, Musk published a few tweets like the following:
With all of that said, Musk actually tweeted that the "Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat." He added that it will even be able to cross "rivers, lakes, and seas that aren't too choppy." The parts about "briefly" and "not too choppy" are scary. However, the tweet was published a few weeks ago, and despite many warnings about the dangers involved, the tweet still exists:
The trip from SpaceX's Starbase to South Padre Island is less than 500 meters, according to Teslarati. The crossing could take about 15 to 25 minutes while traveling at just 3 to 10 knots. Based on the footage we've seen of other Tesla vehicles successfully navigating flood waters, Musk could probably get the electric truck to pull it off. However, the fear would be that others would attempt similar feats.
As the story goes, Musk responded to Starbase fan RGV Aerial Photography with some more crazy ideas about the Tesla Cybertruck and its potential "seaworthiness."
As you can see, Musk notes that the Cybertruck would need a propeller, and he mentions that a creative wheel hub design may help. However, the CEO doesn't say anything about actually offering these as options. Perhaps Tesla could put something together for a one-off vehicle to prove the possibilities, but it would be likely to cause negative reactions from safety officials and the media.
Musk's tweets on the subject have already led to warnings. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources tweeted the following:
At this point, all we can do is wait and see what Musk has up his sleeve. In the meantime, DO NOT USE YOUR TESLA AS A BOAT, and don't make any future travel plans that will require you to cross a body of water with your upcoming Cybertruck.