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Tesla launches competition to design Cyberquad electric ATV’s battery pack

Tesla has launched a new competition to design the Cyberquad’s battery pack as the automaker appears to literally be crowdsourcing R&D for the electric ATV, though it’s more likely a recruiting effort.

When Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck in 2019, CEO Elon Musk had a little “one more thing” moment on stage when they brought out the Tesla Cyberquad, an electric ATV, to show the payload capacity of the Cybertruck’s bed. At the time, it wasn’t clear whether Tesla planned on making the electric ATV available, but Musk later confirmed that it would be an option for Cybertruck buyers.

We haven’t heard much about the vehicle program since then, but it is not overly surprising since it has been linked to the Cybertruck, which has been delayed to 2023.

But now with the Cybertruck coming next year, Tesla is going to have to start working on bringing the electric ATV to market. It looks like the automaker is now doing just that, but it is taking a very surprising approach.

Through its official Weibo account in China, Tesla announced the launch of “the 2022 World Power Battery Conference Power Battery Integration and Management Technology Challenge”:

Tesla is calling for teams to submit designs for a battery pack designed to fit in the Cyberquad and equipped with 2170 cells. The automaker insinuates that the best design could actually end up in the electric ATV, but it is also giving out prizes for the best designs – they are going to be giving out up to RMB 200,000 (~$30,000 USD) in prices.

Tesla is calling for submissions not just from student teams, but any “innovation and research teams” can submit their designs for the Cyberquard battery pack. The competition will end in July.

Electrek’s Take

While the automaker obviously doesn’t outright say it, it does insinuate that the best designs could need up in the electric ATV. It looks like Tesla is literally crowdsourcing R&D for the Cyberquad, but I think it’s more about recruiting than anything else.

However, it does show that Tesla might be looking to develop the Cyberquad in China, which would be surprising since Musk recently said that it would be produced at Giga Texas along with Cybertruck.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if both the Cybertruck and Cyberquad end up also being produced in China at some point.

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