Pedestrian safety concerns mean that it will be difficult to get the Cybertruck on European and Chinese roads

January 15, 2024 at 19:01

 Musk Admits It’s ‘Very Difficult’ To Make Cybertruck Road Legal For China

Tesla will face have a hard time certifying the Cybertruck for use on China’s roads, as acknowledged by its CEO, Elon Musk, on his platform, previously known as Twitter. Although the company may still show the truck in the Chinese market, one of its largest and most important in terms of volume, regulatory hurdles seem to hinder its sale there.

Elon Musk described the process of making the Cybertruck road legal in China as ‘very difficult’ in response to a post by X user @ray4tesla, who was sharing a rumor suggesting that the automaker would be showcasing the new electric pickup truck at its stores in China.

He predicted that ‘many would be stoked to see the real thing.’ Indeed, the truck’s unique design has generated a lot of attention, and Musk appeared to endorse the idea, hinting that the company ‘could send some prototypes over for display.’

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Read: Tesla Cybertruck’s Sharp Edges And Rigid Body Raise Pedestrian Safety Concerns

 Musk Admits It’s ‘Very Difficult’ To Make Cybertruck Road Legal For China

However, his post implies that the Cybertruck’s that the unique design of the Cybertruck could also present challenges in selling it in the massive Chinese market, in which Tesla is locked in a heated battle with BYD for sales dominance. While the American company retained its position as the world’s largest EV manufacturer by volume in 2023, BYD outsold Tesla in the fourth quarter of the year. Many experts predict that the Chinese automaker will take the title of the world’s largest EV manufacturer in 2024.

While Musk didn’t go into the reasons for the difficulty in making the Cybertruck road legal in China, Tesla admitted that pedestrian safety regulations may make it hard for the truck to qualify for road use in Europe.

Even American safety experts like Adrian Lund, former president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), are concerned about the risk the truck poses to pedestrians. He admitted that he had not seen the crash test data, but said that the worried about the truck’s so-called exoskeleton.

“The big problem there is if they really make the skin of the vehicle very stiff by using thick stainless steel, then when people hit their heads on it, it’s going to cause more damage to them,” Lund said.

Others have expressed concerns about the vehicle’s crumple zones, its weight and power, and its sharp angles. The European Transport Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that advocates for road safety, released a statement saying it hoped Tesla would not introduce the Cybertruck in Europe due to the risk it says the truck poses to pedestrians and cyclists.

While it remains unclear how many markets Tesla will be able to sell its new electric truck in, it has admitted that there will be major difficulties in two of its large markets. That may limit sales, but given how difficult it is to produce the stainless steel truck, Tesla may not mind.

 Musk Admits It’s ‘Very Difficult’ To Make Cybertruck Road Legal For China