CyberTruck Solar Option - Power, for Life.

CyberTruck Solar Option - Power, for Life.

Cybertruck captured the imagination of millions, and in just days, a quarter million pre-ordered.

It’s an amazing machine for the money, that’ll spawn all kinds of imaginative applications, beyond just driving it.

If you park it at your off-grid ranch, you’ve got like 100-200 kWh of energy storage.

That’s like 10+ powerwalls, for less money, plus you get a bulletproof, ai-robot, 6-passenger hauler - all included.

This new machine is a very big deal. More than their other vehicles, it multiplies Tesla’s impact on society.

Effectively, drive it up to your homestead, and you have you own power plant, with self-propelled installation.


So how much on-board solar should you be able to order, integrated with the vehicle?

Elon’s quick calculus is that the vault cover surface area is good for 15 miles/day. More, with fold-out wings.

If you study the angle of the tail of the truck, it’s already perfect for solar.

Just park the rear facing south. It’s crazy-good.


This thread can give crowd-sourced input to Elon on the specs that matter to us.

1. How much solar generating capacity is the sweet spot to aim for? (Say, in miles per day)

2. For fold-out wings, what’s the best config you can imagine? (How it deploys)

The thing already looks like a spaceship has landed, it should automatically deploy and start soaking up sunwatts when you arrive.

Pretty awesome what’s happening now.

Weigh in with your suggestions, and give Elon a strong tailwind to wish him Godspeed.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

A couple starter-mix options -

1. Basic - solar cladding of vault roll-up cover for 15mpd

2. MaxPak - folding wings for maybe 6X area, or 100mpd.

MaxPak is a “BackPack’ that fits over the bed.

A few inches thin, to keep the sleek form of CyberTruck.

Self-deploys when you arrive, and the sun is shining.

Self-packs at dark, or when you want to drive off.

With some clever origami, you can extend well up over the cab greenhouse, and to both flanks.

The center leaf can also auto-lift for cargo access.

MaxPak made light enough to detach, and self-stand, to keep harvesting back at the ranch while you‘re out and about.

The opportunities for this new CT platform are incredibly exciting.

And when you make batteries, ai-driven vehicles, and solar PV, Tesla is uniquely equipped for this mission.

Wall Street has no clue how catalytic and powerful this new platform is.

People who don’t buy trucks will buy CT instead of an SUV.

A quarter million crowd votes already instinctively sense where this going.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Talk about smart-summon -

CyberTruck cameras can also scope your property, and sun-seek dynamically to optimize harvest location / orientation during the day.

Basically an intelligent, sun-harvesting, robot.

So cool.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Upping my order, think I will need more of these.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Dynamic air suspension can also intelligently crouch when needed during the day to optimize incident angle.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Best substrate is likely thin mono-sheets of Tesla glass.

PV silicon weighs next to nothing, and bonds as with roof tiles to each sheet.

Matched thermal coefficients is really nice, and the tempered glass is very durable.

Expanding frame can be laterally nested stainless steel ball-slides.

Total 6-sheet pack should be surprisingly compact and light weight.

This is about as fun as it gets for engineers.

We’re lucky to be living now.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Backpack config preserves entire 100 cu-ft covered cargo bay capacity, even when attached and driving (stowed).

Top sheet active in stowed config while driving, for harvest in motion.

Backpack can fasten to existing side rail t-slots.

Aim to keep mass < 150 pounds, so two guys can readily lift it off when you need tall load capacity.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Backpack config decouples design of bed from design of pack, to keep project on fast track to market.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

If you get the visual ballet right, then aunt-deploy will be visually quite mesmerizing.

It’ll make the deployed CT and even bolder form, that provides larger shelter from the elements.

A great midterm newsworthy PR demo to tweet when pack proto is ready.

And a great post-sale accretive revenue stream, since it can be installed after initial purchase.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Aunt = Auto.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

To simplify qa of rolltop, maybe basic 15mpb is just single sheet panel, that is removable, and has lift struts for hatchback-like cargo access.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Drifting off to sleep now, so stream of consciousness feed signing off.

Fascinated to hear what others will dream up.

sbeggs | 27 novembre 2019


Glad I ordered one, thanks for the creative stream of consciousness, @Mark K!

Darthamerica | 27 novembre 2019

I wonder how much of the area behind the c pillars to the tail gate could be used for solar. That could offset the criticisms about not having access to the bed from the sides. Even if it was just enough to run the A/C and keep the cabin cool while you work in the sun or power the outlets, that would be useful.

gaboksi | 27 novembre 2019

i want a jib crane that can lift at least 250lb. it could be hidden in the wall that i can pull out whenever i need it.

a vertical hole along the wall if the trunk that i can mount a mast for a wind turbine

andy.connor.e | 27 novembre 2019

I want the deployable solar arrays that give ~45 miles per day. And the truck needs to have at least a 220V - 50A outlet on board so that it can actually behave as a true powerwall for a household. Sorry but for $18k for 2 powerwalls, i'd rather pay an extra $5k-$10k on the truck to have the same functionality. I dont really care all that much about losing power if im not home right now.

SamO | 27 novembre 2019

Off gridding is an epic feature that I realized a year ago when Elon tweeted about 220V power out being available for tools. Works just as well with a cabin in the woods or a tiny home or any number of remote applications (military, fire fighting etc).

The full impact is only limited by our imaginations.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Andy - yeah, that’s the deal. When you start looking at the CT as an energy-independence hub, the economics are a no-brainer. Crazy good. Even folks who don’t need a vehicle can justify it.

Samo - yes, all of the above. And the ultimate adventure platform too. You could literally cross the outback, and make your own fuel as you roam.

BadgerErickson | 27 novembre 2019

Wall Street KNOWS how powerful this unit is, believe me!

This ONE vehicle is having tsunami affects on many segments, all at once; automotive, oil&gas, utilities, YouTube hits, savings accounts, we come!

brown7228 | 27 novembre 2019

2 door with 8' bed or what ever the bed length come out to with existing configuration. More room for refrigerator and stove built in.

brown7228 | 27 novembre 2019

When will you move to solid state batteries because that's when I will buy a Tesla. coming soon is not good enough. That's the key to explode the market. | 27 novembre 2019

@brown7228 - Are you willing to pay 5x for solid-state batteries? Willing to gamble how long they may last? Do you mind having 1/2 the range of other EVs? Seems like they are at least 5 years out and so many unknowns.

Tesla has never stated they will have solid-state batteries, but a couple of other players have announced. One, Dysan, closed it's doors to a planned EV with solid-state batteries. Toyota had some talk, but no EV seems to be in the works from them as Toyota seems to still be focused on fool cells. Not sure what you expect or why to wait for some mythical battery when lithium-ion works fine today.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Solid-state glass electrolyte batteries will just widen the gap further. BEVs are already objectively better than gas.

All the more reason to never buy another gasoline car, from now on.

Delay replacing your gas truck until CT ships. Drive them both and the decision is easy.

More immediate downward sales pressure on Ford and GM to get on with it, or perish.

If you need a car now, get a BEV. Model 3 is a fantastic value.

Amazing time in history. | 27 novembre 2019

On solar, my guess is while it sounds good, it's going to be so much more expensive than house solar. It seems far more like a gimmick than practical - but I can see some usefulness in rare applications. Let's say it is a $5K option for 15 miles range/day when the back of the truck is facing south in full sun for the entire day. How long are you willing to hunt for a parking place that has no trees and lets you position the car for the sun? Are you willing to wash the car every few days? Dirt and dust accumulate fast on cars and will diminish the output significantly. Of course, you'll get no energy on cloudy, rainy, snowy days.

I also worry about the complexity of having glass slats, all wired up in the removable roof, and meeting automotive standards for environment, strength and durability. This is not easy stuff, although Tesla has surprised us before.

I'd love for this to work as it seems so seductive. Practically, it doesn't make all that much sense. I expect once the numbers are run in detail, Tesla will abandon the idea.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

And though it’s glaringly obvious, no gas car can produce its own fuel, in the wilderness.

This contest is no longer even close.

Innovative platforms like CyberTruck are blowing this wide open, accelerating the transition.

Change is coming faster than we can fully comprehend.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

TeslaTap - all great things are hard, but Tesla does not shy from challenge.

Backpack solar array is far simpler than their other work in batteries and motors.

It doesn’t need to cost appreciably more than it’s rooftop counterparts.

At 50-100mpd, demand will be so high it will drive volume, and hence low price.

Nobody saw the stainless steel exoskeleton coming, but it’s on its way now. It’s shockingly better at the job.

The combination shock of crazy good specs, at very affordable prices, is killer.

That’s the secret sauce for fast disruption, and Tesla is doing it.

sbeggs | 27 novembre 2019

Love your idea of the 8’ bed, two seater, and cooking and cooling capability.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Sbeggs - yes, that will be a natural. Same body and wheelbase, just different config.

If the second row seats can come out, and the back of the bed can flip flat, they could even all be the same model.

Got to sort out the conflict with the rolltop vault cover, since it descends below bed to stow, but there’s some ways to reconcile it with long payload load access.

For special loads, it should be possible to remove rolltop from open edge at liftgate.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

BTW - the 2-seater is already really a 3-seater.

sbeggs | 27 novembre 2019

@Mark K,
Yes, I thought that just as I wrote 2 seater.

saxxon | 27 novembre 2019

An 8ft bed option with flat side rails and hooks for tie downs.
Dual Rear Wheel - 30k towing option.

Then I can retire my 23yr old V10 Ram 2500. But not as it stands, can't do the work with the bed as it is.

Mark K | 27 novembre 2019

Rooftop solar - 2019 average = $3/watt, less rebates, 20 watts peak/sq-ft

CyberTruck cover = 7’ x 5’ = 35 sq ft

Assume 5 peak hours per day typical in southern zones.

20 x 35 = 700 watts peak = 0.7kW

700 x $3 = $2.1K for rooftop install, less rebates

0.7 x 5 hours = 3.5 kWh per day

3 miles per kWh ——> 10.5 miles per day avg

With better efficiency, more like 15 mpd

So a MaxPak at 6X area would be 6 x 0.7 = 4.2kW

More like 6kW at Elon’s efficiency estimate.

So equivalent rooftop cost would be like $18k installed, before rebates.

But onsite install costs are much higher than factory fab for MaxPak bolt-on component.

So < $10K for 6kW MaxPak option should quite doable.

Remember that actual PV cells are less than $0.30 / watt at component level.

So the $3 is 10X cell cost, due to install labor markup and packaging overhead.

High volume in factory is way better cost efficiency.

Hence, I think the CyberTruck option would actually be a better deal to get your PV.

At 0.3/watt x 6K = $1.8K cell cost. Add $1K for deployment hardware, and it could be <$5K at good G.M.

Bottom line, a disruptively efficient way to add 6kW to you solar capacity.

Bring it on.

Mark K | 28 novembre 2019

Andy - 50 amps at 220V for the onboard inverter would be a good base spec.

For full-on ranch power applications, option is to provide a built-in 200 amp service panel would be awesome.

At factory-fab efficiency, cost would be even less than installing a stationary 200 amp service panel.

Donbrowning | 28 novembre 2019

Photon harvesting process opportunity is most exciting. Add on adventure situations may be overwhelming as time goes along. I'm excited. It may be possible to harvest and compound dollars through equity investment in Tesla and associated equities. We'll see, and report in this forum. A double order is showing exponential payoff in our early opportunity models.

andy.connor.e | 28 novembre 2019

In hindsight i think thats what makes sense. But to at least start, i dont mind NOT having things like dryer and A/C with power backup. Buying this truck and being able to not have to get powerwalls for my house would be quite a great incentive.

SamO | 28 novembre 2019

Just add the powerwall to your house and you have the gateway to power your home once your stationary battery is depleted.

andy.connor.e | 29 novembre 2019

Solar roof is already going to cost $48k. Not sure if i can add another $10k to that. The estimator online wants me to add 3 powerwalls which brings it to over $70k. So i dont know if the roof and powerwalls would be worth getting like that.

Mark K | 29 novembre 2019

Andy and Samo - I know his is thinking different, but -

For close to the same price, you could buy 2 CyberTrucks, and solar wings.

Leave one at home to run things.

Basically trades installation costs, for a second vehicle. And about 200kWh of storage total.

If you’ve got the land, just drive it up, and you could live grid-free.

Canadian preppers are already all over it, and in love with CT.

Mark K | 29 novembre 2019

his - this

Mark K | 29 novembre 2019

And once fsd is solid, you can do road tripping with 2nd CT ‘following the leader’ like a peloton.

One can be config’d inside like a bulletproof bedroom base camp , and the other for exploring.

Sounds crazy now, but it’s all coming faster than we can fully absorb.

CT is a fundamental building block for free lifestyles.

Making fuel where you go is unprecedented.

I fully expect burning man to be teaming with them.

Mark K | 29 novembre 2019

Donbrowning -

Yes, your equity analysis is logical. Think of CT as an analog to the ‘photomultiplier’ effect.

A ‘cascade’ of cash, triggered from the photon harvest being made easier by this new CT platform.

There is significant financial upside to early understanding of the equity impact of the market waking up from CT. Tesla will soon be well-positioned to rapidly expand to many more energy/transport industry segments.

SamO | 29 novembre 2019

Great idea Mark K but simple solar panels and powerwall is plenty to run backup, WiFi, and keep the pipes unfrozen.

You don’t need solar roof or multiple power walls unless you are designing a multi thousand square foot off grid residence.

Mark K | 29 novembre 2019

Samo - yes, cheapest starter setup is monthly rental of 6kW system and one powerwall.

But if you’re buying a vehicle, or contemplate more storage, that’s where CT as hub this gets surprisingly better.

Mark K | 29 novembre 2019

Cost comparo -

Powerwall - 13.5 kWh for $6.5K + $1.1K equipment + install cost. At 6.5 / 13.5 ——> about $500 / kWh

CyberTruck - 100 kWh (est) for $40K base. ——> about $400 / kWh

Prices will change over time, but here’s my thinking -

1. Tesla will be battery-production constrained for the event horizon.

2. Tesla buys 3rd party cells for PowerWall now, which are less advanced, but sufficient.

3. Tesla will use its most advanced cells for vehicles, where cost, size, weight, and life are all critical.

4. The best Tesla cell technology will be reserved for their vehicles.

5. They will sell as many vehicles as they can make, so powerwall will remain 3rd party cells for event horizon.

So, I reckon that if you need a lot of storage, low cost Tesla vehicles, that can share power, will continue to be the best deal for some years.

Another reason I love the CyberTruck.

Mark K | 29 novembre 2019

One more thing - I don’t just think the CT aesthetic has grown acceptable ...

After the first hour of shock, I concluded that it is actually ... beautiful.

It is design genius, at its most exalted practice of the art.

- It delivers exactly the emotion that this utility buyer most wants - brawny, tough, and practical.

- It distinguishes this truck from all others

- It provokes discussion of the future, makes people rethink their assumptions, and consider Tesla.

This is not only design genius, it’s business strategy genius.

It repositions all competitors as running in slow-motion by comparison.

It is hard to point to another industrial entity that exemplifies this better than Tesla.

Though I am a fan, this is not fan-talk. It’s reality.

They earned it.

Tesla-David | 1 dicembre 2019

Great thoughts @Mark K +1000

andy.connor.e | 1 dicembre 2019

Only other entity that i can think of that compares to Tesla is SpaceX.

Mark K | 1 dicembre 2019

Andy - Exactly.

And look how fast stainless steel-think totally altered the design path for StarShip in a matter of months.

This is what I love about Elon’s company’s culture - they have very low inertia to change.

Once they discover something better, they jump on it.

That defining difference predicts who will dominate aerospace and ground transport.

The stock market will eventually realize this.

Mark K | 2 dicembre 2019

The more I think about it, the more it looks like Tesla can absolutely own a fantastic new segment -

“Self-energized vehicles.” SEV’s.

If any company is well-equipped to own that space, it’s Tesla.

So do you want to buy a hungry maw that eats hundreds of dollars a month, or a car that makes its own fuel?

Average commutes are 40 miles per day, so that’s the threshold. They’re close.

When Tesla hits that, they’ll have created the SEV class of autos.

CyberTruck is a great platform from which to achieve this first.

Large planar surface areas, and plenty of sensors and neural net compute power to actively make it happen.

Don’t forget that you continue to harvest when you’re on the freeway.

It comes down to superior engineering and imaginative design.

Who’s good at that?

And who’ll keep buying other cars, when the new one fuels itself, for free?

Done right, this is disruption on top of disruption.

CyberTruck may just be the vehicle that achieves the auto equivalent of ‘escape velocity’.

This is exciting.


cadha13 | 2 dicembre 2019

My round trip for my commute is 18 miles a day. It's very close to what I can charge per day with the truck by itself and New Mexico is very sunny and warm. Optimal conditions for the use of CT and my only expense besides the initial cost of CT would be tires for the next decade.

sbeggs | 3 dicembre 2019

Flagged kibo