Cybertruck ‘Release Candidate’ spotted supercharging, shows why we need V4


A Tesla Cybertruck labeled as an “RC Engineering Prototype” has been spotted supercharging in Las Vegas, showing why V4 superchargers will be needed as more vehicles get access to the supercharger network.

The Tesla Cybertruck is coming soon, and we’ve been seeing more and more pics and videos of it testing in recent days. We’ve seen it towing a trailer, with the frunk open and liner installed, and the components under the hood and the interior.

We’ve also seen it wearing silly wraps, looking like an F-150 or a Tundra. But now we’re seeing it in new clothes, with stickers on the side and rear that say “RC_BUILD ENGINEERING PROTOTYPE.”

In software, “RC” stands for “release candidate” and is used to designate an internal build of software that is basically the final internal version before release. It’s further along than the alpha and beta versions would be.

And so, this is the “final” version of the Cybertruck before going into full production, if Tesla’s stickers are to be believed.

In the video, we can see that the RC has several wires and sensors attached. Two are taped to the vehicle near the charging port (which makes sense if they’re testing supercharging), and one runs between the tow hitch area and the rear passenger window. The driver of the truck is an employee wearing a “McKinley Laboratory” T-shirt, though, as you might expect, he couldn’t say anything about what was happening.

The video, posted to YouTube by Tesla Uber Guy, shows the truck charging at a supercharger, but due to the truck’s size, the cable is looking a bit stretched. There’s still some slack in it, but not much, and you can tell that the truck is cheated to the right side of the parking spot to give a little extra room:

Anyone who has supercharged will know that the cables aren’t very long and don’t give you a ton of wiggle room when backing into a spot. You feel like you need to get quite close to the curb/charger in order to reach it. (Hmm, it sure would be nice to have parking sensors to help with that.)

But the Cybertruck compounds this problem by being a much larger vehicle and thus taking up most of the spot. Tesla says the Cybertruck will be the first sub-19-foot pickup with four doors and a 6-foot bed, but that’s still about 3 feet longer than a Model 3, and it will be wider as well. The Cybertruck’s charging port is on the wheel well, which is a little further forward in the vehicle than the ports that are placed beside the taillight in other Teslas.

This Cybertruck RC also has a tow hitch attached, which in the video looks like it’s very close to bumping against the “Tesla charging only” sign:

This chonky boi may have been able to supercharge just fine in this video, but it might be more difficult in a crowded lot (due to cheating to one side of the spot) or if the tailgate on the truck is down due to hauling things. In that case, V2/V3 superchargers seem like they simply won’t have enough slack to reach the charging port above the wheel well of the Cybertruck.

Luckily, the new V4 superchargers are rolling out, and one major improvement they come with is longer cables. Instead of the short cables on previous supercharger versions, the V4 includes a roughly 10-foot-long cable.

New V4 supercharger seen at IAA Munich, with longer cable wrapped around the station

And they can’t come soon enough. With the Cybertruck set to hit the road imminently, and with other manufacturers committing to NACS, there will no longer be one standard placement for Tesla supercharger spots – on the far left rear corner of the car.

Having more reach will allow cars to charge if their ports are in different places or on the “wrong” side of the vehicle. We’re already seeing some chaotic situations after Tesla installed the Magic Dock that allows other cars to use superchargers. So V4 can’t come fast enough.

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