Tesla has stated that the Cybertruck’s unique vehicle design was at least partially in search of excellent aerodynamics. Going as far back as early 2019, Elon Musk claimed that the upcoming electric truck could potentially hit a drag coefficient (Cd) as low as 0.30.

 

Roughly four years later, the final production-ready Cybertruck hit the streets with an official Cd of 0.34. This is a very respectable number in the pickup sector, even if it is not quite as slippery as Cd numbers released by Chevrolet and Rivian

While recent simulations seemed to support Tesla’s claims, the best way to confirm Tesla's numbers is by testing a production Cybertruck in a wind tunnel. Independent test results are unlikely to match the official numbers exactly, but the results should be in the general ballpark. 

That’s exactly what the i1Tesla YouTube channel set out to do when they took the electric pickup to A2 Wind Tunnel in Mooresville, NC. The facility has played host to a variety of vehicle types including race cars, trailers and even bicycles. The Cybertruck was one of the largest production vehicles they ever tested.

Tesla Cybertruck Coefficient of Drag Test in Wind Tunnel

After putting the truck through its paces and analyzing the results, the Cybertruck was determined to have a drag coefficient of 0.384. This clocks in slightly higher than the officially touted Cd of 0.34. However, the testing team stressed that different wind tunnel setups can result in slight variations of these numbers. 

“No two wind tunnels are exactly alike,” the representative from A2 Wind Tunnel explained. “If our wind tunnel was a lot larger, we may have gotten much closer to the numbers that Tesla claims to get.”

Because of these potential variances, he explained that their results do not necessarily refute Tesla’s numbers. They are simply providing an additional estimate based on a different testing environment. The vehicle wrap also does not impact the results since it does not alter the textured surface of the vehicle. 

This analysis did not limit itself to ideal driving conditions either. The team simulated other potential driving scenarios as well. As you might expect, the best results are seen when the truck is set to a low driving height with the Tonneau cover closed and the mirrors removed, averaging 0.382 Cd. The worst results unsurprisingly come back in the Extract high driving mode, with an estimated 0.535 Cd. 

Get the InsideEvs Newsletter
Sign Up Today
Tesla Cybertruck Coefficient of Drag Test in Wind Tunnel - Bed Test

For comparison, here are the numbers provided by other EV truck manufacturers:

  • Rivian R1T - 0.30
  • Chevy Silverado EV - 0.33
  • Ford F-150 Lightning - 0.44
  • GMC Hummer EV - 0.50

The tested results of 0.384 may not be as strong as the official Cd of 0.34. But under either analysis, the Cybertruck still sits nicely between the Silverado EV and F-150 Lightning in the above list.

If you’re interested in the complete results, be sure to check out the table provided at 10:40 in the video.

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@insideevs.com