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Tesla Beats Ford in Tug of War. Why Ford Is Right to Be Upset. – Barron's, Google News


              


                  

                  

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            Tesla       CEO Elon Musk decided to pick on             Ford Motor‘s       popular F – 150 During theCybertruck launch– and Ford isn’t happy about it.

During his (reveal event) in Los Angeles, Musk played a “tug of war” video showing a Cybertruck pulling an F – 150 with ease. It was a fun video. Ford (ticker: F) isn’t laughing, and it might be challenging the Cybertruck to an apples-to-apples pull-off. Musk tweeted “bring it on” in response to the suggestion. The winners in this truck war are investors, who will learn a lot about truck design as well as physics.

      

               

“Apples to apples” is the key phrase in this debate. Investors and onlookers don’t know which Cybertruck configuration was used or which F – 150 was battling Cybertruck in Tesla’s video. Configuration and conditions matter a lot. Here’s what investors need to know to evaluate who might win thetruck wars.

Configuration

Tesla (TSLA) is offering the Cybertruck in three configurations: a one- motor rear-wheel-drive option, a two-motor all-wheel-drive option, and a three-motor all-wheel-drive option. A three-motor all-wheel-drive Cybertruck is a $ 70, 000 vehicle with about 1, 000 foot-pounds of torque. (A foot-pound is a common unit of torque — or twisting force — that correlates to how much and how easily a vehicle can pull something.)

               

A base model F – 150 isnt comparable to the three-motor Cybertruck. A $ 70, 000 Ford truck is more like a F – 450 super-duty pickup. A truck like that can also generate about more than 1, 000 foot-pounds of torque — similar to the top-level configuration of Cybertruck.

               

Tires

A Ford F – 450 also has more tires — six of them, with four in the back. That matters. A lot. Torque, for instance, is no good on ice. Surface contact with the road is critical. That raises another point: Onlookers don’t know which kind of tires were on both vehicles in the Telsa-filmed tug of war. Neither Ford nor Tesla responded to request for comments about the tug-of-war or truck configurations used in the original video.

Curb Weight

Weight obviously matters when towing. What’s less obvious is Tesla sedans tend to be heavier than comparable cars because of the battery pack. The weigh and distribution of the battery weight is one reason Tesla model cars handle so beautifully. Complete specifications aren’t available for Cybertruck, but a Tesla Model X sport-utility vehicle is about 1, 000 pounds heavier than a base model Ford F – 150.

Driving

Most people tend to believe they are above average drivers, which, by definition , can’t be true. There is a lot of skill in maximizing car performance. Just ask a race car driver. Original tug-or-war onlookers don’t know how both trucks were operated. Electric motors have peak torque at zero rpm. Traditional internal combustion engines don’t. How the F – 150 engine is revved matters to pulling results.

“Tesla should have the advantage at zero rpm,” a retired automotive engineer tellsBarron’s. “Ford will have to rev the engine and pop the clutch like we did in the old days.”

Functionality

No one is going to buy a truck to pull a friend’s car backward. And no one has yet answeredBarron’squestion about boats. Tesla’s base warranty doesn’t cover deep water, presumably because of the battery packs. Many people with boats know launching the craft requires backing into the river, lake or ocean. Tesla hasn’t responded to multiple request for comment about warranties.

Of course, it is impossible to design a perfect comparison. The Cybertruck, for instance, seats six in its base configuration. There is more room in electric vehicles because there is no internal combustion engine taking up space. The batteries in an EV are typically in the floor. That’s one positive for EVs that consumers might not typically consider.

And aside from being wildly entertaining, the tow off is important for Tesla, Ford, and             General Motors       (GM). The two truck incumbents will be highly motivated to demonstrate their vehicles are as good or better than Cybertruck. Both will want to relegate the futuristic pickup toniche status.

Early results show Cybertruck might have wider appeal than many predicted. Telsa achieved a win, collecting more than200, 000 ordersfor its latest model. But with a reservation price of only $ 100, which is fully refundable, it isn’t clear what reservation-to-delivery conversion the EV pioneer will realize. What’s more, the top configuration — with three electric motors — won’t be available until 2022, according to Tesla’s website. Both Ford and GM should have all electric trucks by then.

Since the launch event, Tesla shares are down about 5.2%.Design disappointmentmight be responsible, but the stock is still up about 56% over the past three months. Ford shares have risen 3.3% since the Cybertruck launch event. The         S&P 500,        for comparison, is up 1% since the Tesla reveal gala.

Write toAl Root at[email protected]

      


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