What to Know About the Tesla Cybertruck's Range Extender
It increases travel range while reducing cargo space.
In 2019, Tesla predicted the Cybertruck would offer about 500 miles of driving range. The production model unveiled in 2023 can drive for up to 340 miles on a charge, so around 32% less than expected, but a range extender offered as an extra-cost option takes driving range closer to the 500-mile mark.
The Range Extender Sits in the Cybertruck's Bed
While some carmakers use an onboard gasoline-powered generator as a range extender, Tesla developed a second battery pack that fits in the cargo box. It's a big, rectangular module that looks like a toolbox, and the electricity stored in it zaps the motors to increase the Cybertruck's driving range.
This idea isn't new. Many older pickup trucks were optionally available with dual fuel tanks.
Tesla hasn't announced many details about the range extender, so it's unknown whether it features its own charging port, how much it weighs, or if the driver can switch from one battery pack to the other at the push of a button. Technical specifications, including the range extender's capacity, are also unavailable.
Pros and Cons of the Cybertruck Range Extender
Buyers have three Cybertruck versions to choose from: Rear-Wheel-Drive, All-Wheel-Drive, and Cyberbeast. Only the last two can receive the range extender.
Range for the All-Wheel-Drive and Cyberbeast trims checks in at 340 and 320 miles without the range extender. Those figures increase to 470 and 440 miles with the second battery pack. That's more than an hour's worth of extra driving on the highway and more time between charging stops while towing.
The range extender also gives Cybertruck owners more freedom to use the 120- and 240-volt outlets integrated into the cargo box. Devices plugged into these outlets draw power from the main battery pack, meaning running an electric chainsaw for a couple of hours would reduce the truck's driving range.
EV batteries are big and heavy, so putting a second pack in the Cybertruck's cargo box reduces space while increasing weight. Precise technical specifications haven't been released, but Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk reported the battery takes up about a third of the bed. For context, the cargo box measures about 6 feet long and 4 feet wide without the range extender in place.
The battery's size suggests it can't be easily removed.
The Range Extender May Cost $16,000
Pricing remains up in the air as well, though unverified reports claim Tesla will charge $16,000 for the range extender. If that's accurate, adding about 125 miles of range to the Cybertruck will cost nearly as much as a new Nissan Versa.
For context, the entry-level Rear-Wheel-Drive Cybertruck carries a base price of $61,000, though it's not expected to enter production until 2025. The mid-range All-Wheel-Drive and the range-topping Cyberbeast trims cost $80,000 and $100,000, respectively.