Tesla has been describing the Cybertruck as a pickup truck to compete with the Ford F-150 and other light-duty trucks, but now a new CARB filing from Tesla says that it will be a “medium-duty truck,” and therefore, it should have a gross vehicle weight rating over 8,501 pounds.

In a filing about Tesla’s thoughts on California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) new Advanced Clean Truck rule to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission, medium- and heavy-duty (MD and HD) vehicles, Tesla made a rare new comment on the Cybertruck:

Further, Tesla just recently announced the development of its first pickup truck, the Cybertruck. As of November 26, less than one week from the launch of the Cybertruck, Tesla already received more than 250,000 orders for the Cybertruck. While we have not yet begun production of the Cybertruck, we expect it to have a towing capacity of 7,500-14,000+ lbs., and it should very likely qualify as a “Class 2B-3” medium-duty vehicle.

That may come as a surprise since Class 2B medium-duty vehicles are classified as having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 to 10,000 pounds.

Here are the US truck classes and examples for each (via Wikipedia):

US truck class Duty classification Weight limit Examples
Class 1 Light truck 0–6,000 pounds (0–2,722 kg) Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, Honda Ridgeline FWD
Class 2a Light truck 6,001–8,500 pounds (2,722–3,856 kg) Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, Dodge Dakota, Honda Ridgeline AWD
Class 2b Light/medium truck 8,501–10,000 pounds (3,856–4,536 kg) Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500, Ford F-250, Nissan Titan XD, Ram 2500
Class 3 Medium truck 10,001–14,000 pounds (4,536–6,350 kg) Isuzu NPR, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 3500, Ford F-350, Ram 3500, Ford F-450 (pickup only)
Class 4 Medium truck 14,001–16,000 pounds (6,351–7,257 kg) Isuzu NPR-HD, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 4500, Ford F-450 (chassis cab), Ram 4500
Class 5 Medium truck 16,001–19,500 pounds (7,258–8,845 kg) Isuzu NRR, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 5500, Ford F-550, Ram 5500, Peterbilt 325, International TerraStar
Class 6 Medium truck 19,501–26,000 pounds (8,846–11,793 kg) Chevrolet Kodiak C6500, Ford F-650, Peterbilt 330, International Durastar
Class 7 Heavy truck 26,001–33,000 pounds (11,794–14,969 kg) ACMD, GMC C7500, Peterbilt 220 & 337, Ford F-750
Class 8 Heavy truck 33,001 pounds (14,969 kg) + Autocar ACX, Autocar DC, International WorkStar, Freightliner Cascadia, Kenworth T600, Kenworth T660, Kenworth T680, Orange EV T-Series Electric, Peterbilt 579, Peterbilt 389 — Semi-trailer trucks fall into this category

In the medium-duty truck category, the Cybertruck’s load and towing specs are not as impressive, but its price and other performance specs are still more than competitive.

Some people might think that it would be fairer to compare the Tesla Cybertruck to the Ford F-250 and other medium-duty trucks, but it’s not necessarily the case.

Tesla Cybertruck might not actually be heavier than most F-150s, but it has a much higher GVWR pushing it into the medium-duty truck category.

According to the automaker, all variants of the Cybertruck have a payload capacity of 3,500 pounds:

It means that the Tesla Cybertruck variants weigh anywhere between 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.

In comparison, the GVWR of the 2019 F-150 models ranges between 6,100 to 7,050 pounds, and the payload capacity ranges between 1,485 to 2,311 pounds.

Tesla argued with the CARB that medium-duty pickup trucks should be included sooner in their Advanced Clean Truck rules:

More specifically, the Advanced Clean Truck rules should not exclude pickup trucks until 2027, as currently proposed in the rules. Pickup trucks, which compromise over 60% of the Class 2b-3 segment, should be included as soon as the broader MD/HD zero-emission truck requirements begin in 2024. It is very much possible to electrify Class 2b-3 pickups, and excluding them until 2027 would delay the transition of this very large segment of vehicles to zero-emissions technology. Many major auto manufacturers, new and incumbent, have announced electric pickup trucks that will be ready over the next several years, and others will likely be close behind.

Tesla says that it aims to bring the Cybertruck to market in late 2021, while several other pickup truck manufacturers, like Ford and GM, have announced similar timelines.

Here’s Tesla’s full letter to CARB:

View this document on Scribd

Electrek’s Take

This actually makes sense based on the payload capacity.

I suspect that Tesla’s Cybertruck variants with smaller battery packs, the RWD and Dual Motor AWD, are likely on the lighter side and closer to the weight of a Ford F-150.

As for the Cybertruck Tri Motor, I think it might be closer to a traditional medium-duty truck in terms of weight.

It will be interesting to see when we get the official numbers, but I suspect we won’t see that for maybe another two years.

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