July 26th, 2020 by Paul Fosse
After Elon Musk mentioned that Tesla was working on a couple more vehicles, a compact car and “high capacity” vehicle, my mind started to race about how this van-like vehicle could use all of the technologies that Elon has mentioned in various interviews. First, let’s cover the basics that I’m 99% sure the vehicle will have. I got some of these ideas from one of my Cybertruck articles. After that, I’ll take things in a little different direction than our previous “Tesla Cybervan” article.
- All electric, zero emissions, quiet
- Excellent handling
- Distinctive styling
- Leading safety
- Seating for 10 to 15 adults
- 400 mile range
- Leading efficiency, about 100 eMPG
- Ultra low maintenance costs
- Full Self Driving capable
- Over-the-air updates
- Tesla App Store enabled
- 15,000 pound towing capacity
- Purchase price competitive with vastly inferior gas vans, Total Cost of Operation a fraction of competition
Now, just out of that box, it would be a very desirable vehicle for those with large families or for operating a large-capacity robotaxi or intercity shuttle. Just as a base vehicle, it could sell up to a million a year, as people (especially Americans) like a vehicle that can haul their belongings and tow their toys. The Off Road Edition adds the following features:
- Adjustable air suspension with 15 inches of ground clearance and excellent approach angles
- All-wheel drive
- Off-road tires
The Camping and Home Office option would have the following features:
- Solar panels on the roof, and deployable solar panels for use while parked. This vehicle could function for long periods without a need for charging, whether you are driving around or using it as a home.
- Tesla heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) system that is highly efficient and uses the Octovalve, which can optimize the thermal temperature between the van’s major thermal components:
- Battery pack
- 2 or 3 zone passenger compartment
- Refrigerator — the waste heat from the refrigerator would be used to heat components that need the heat
- Oven — uses waste heat if available
- Power generator — if excess waste heat is available, it would be used to generate electricity
- Thermal storage tanks — these tanks would be used when the temperature is good at the moment but expected to be too hot or cold in the future (by checking the Tesla weather app and the vehicle owner’s calendar to see what locations he will be traveling to over the next few weeks). You may not need to heat at the moment, but may need it this weekend when you go to the mountains to go skiiing, for example.
- Evaporative cooling option for more efficient cooling in low humidity environments
- Ability to create fresh drinking water from the air using the HVAC heat pump
- Murphy bed for sleeping
- Home office setup for working
- Mobile internet connection using Starlink Global Internet Service
- Mobile toilet and shower option. Of course, this toilet and shower would convert the wastewater to clean drinking water.
- Microwave oven
- Mobile clothes washer and dryer. Of course, it would harvest the waste heat from the dryer and the water from the washer and dryer and convert them to clean drinking water.
Those options would mean it can replace a house for many people. You would need a place to park your van, but it doesn’t really need any hookups for water, power, or sewage like a traditional RV. I listed a $99 a month charge for HOA for the fee to park it somewhere. This is much less than RV parks charge, but since it needs fewer hookups, RV parks would have to lower their prices for Tesla Vans. Instead of buying a car and a house, you could buy this van and use it as your home and car.
Special Options For Getting Around
The Tesla Cybervan would also be designed to navigate in the tunnels built around the world by The Boring Company to avoid the heavy traffic in many urban environments. For longer distance travel, you could take your Cybervan on a HyperLoop tunnel at about 600 MPH or on a SpaceX Starship to go anywhere on the globe in about 30 minutes.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Option really adds some far-out capabilities. With this option, you can load it into a SpaceX Starship and it will be airtight so you can take your vehicle to the moon or Mars. It will have air locks so you can get in and out of the vehicle. This version will cost a lot more and not have the regular doors since you couldn’t use them in those harsh environments.
I’ve had a lot of fun speculating about how the Cybervan could combine the features of the HVAC system, The Boring Company tunnels, SpaceX Starlink internet service, HyperLoops, and SpaceX Starships for Earth, Moon and Mars targeted flights. What do you think I got right or wrong? What ideas do you have for the Tesla Cybervan?