No one would blame you for not paying much attention, letting the news of the Tesla ATV slip by. Tesla has so much going on currently with their massive factory expansions, full-self driving developments, and not to mention, a whole three vehicles (Roadster, Semi, Cybertruck) in their pregnancy stages. The Tesla Quad might just end up as a small speck in the grand scheme of all things Tesla, but can it change the ATV game?
It wouldn’t surprise me if some of you might not even have been aware that a Tesla Quad was unveiled. The Tesla Quad Bike was revealed alongside the Tesla Cybertruck, which unsurprisingly overshadowed whatever limelight the Tesla ATV would have had. Given that it was revealed towards the end of the Cybertruck presentation and initially was stated to be an option for the electric truck, the electric ATV did have an ‘eh, why not?’ vibe about it as it seemed like something Tesla scrounged together quickly as a fun project.
But, might this new Tesla ATV serve as a catalyst to have other adventure vehicle brands bring in electric ATVs of there own? It would definitely help the broader electrification goal, but if it doesn’t succeed at that, at least it contributes to Tesla’s ‘S3XY CARS’ (Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, ATV, Roadster, Semi) meme.
Not much is known about the Tesla ATV aside from what we saw with our own two eyes, and even that could be subject to change. The design is the only thing that we have any idea about and who knows if that is even final. Anyways, the Tesla Quad comes with a design that is not too unlike the Cybertruck that it was unveiled next to.
Keeping with the same design language as the Cybertruck, the Tesla ATV is wrapped in sharp angles and what looks to be the same body material as the Cybertruck. The Tesla ATV also makes sure to feature a very similar light bar in the front also seen on the truck. Overall, the Tesla Quad looks like the perfect compliment to the Cybertruck, which makes sense given that it will initially only be available to be paired with the Cybertruck, once that makes its way into production.
The Tesla ATV however, does indeed look like an ATV, while the design might be dripping in Cyberpunk goodness, it is not so radical of a design that you wouldn’t be able to immediately tell what it was. In fact, people more well versed in ATVs than me have pointed out the resemblance the Tesla ATV has to the Yamaha Raptor. This points to the possibility that Tesla will not go out of their way to build an ATV from scratch (as that might seem to be a waste of time, money, and resources) and instead will use an existing ICE ATV like the Raptor as their base for new body panels and electric motor. Some are even saying the motor shown on stage is identical to the one used by Zero Motorcycles.
The design as a whole is great if you are into the angular, cold, cyberpunk aesthetic. Even if you are not a fan of the Cybertruck and it’s imposing almost brick-like design, you might have better luck with the Tesla ATV design as it really isn’t as big of a departure from the traditional look as the Cybertruck was.
I seriously doubt that the Tesla Quad will be trying to meet any sort of high expectations upon release. I imagine that most people understand that the futuristic electric ATV is nothing more than a fun side project for Tesla and at the end of the day will function as an expensive toy for most people who buy one.
That doesn’t mean that it will fail in providing another avenue for people to electrify their lives, but with only about 230,000 ATVs being sold in 2015, it will not have the same impact as electrifying the automotive sector.
With all the being said, news of the Tesla ATV has been tight-lipped and your guess is as good as mine regarding any other specifics surrounding the electric ATV. I do however imagine that Tesla will bring something that is as competitive as can be.
As of this current moment, the Tesla ATV cost is unknown, but we would hope that it would be in the same realm as other ATV prices. Taking a cursory look through the ATVs offered by makers such as Yamaha, Can-Am, and Polaris, we see that the average ATV looks to be in the $8,000-$10,000 range, with some going up all the way to $15,000.
Unfortunately, that does not really make coming up with a hypothetical price any easier, as we do not know how much of the Tesla ATV is actually being constructed by Tesla. As I stated before, it seems that it is being based of the Yamaha Raptor for the body, but it also seems like the electric motor itself is also coming from a third-party.
A recent video from Rich Rebuilds chronicling the building process of the CyberQuad involved Rich sourcing an electric motor from a Zero Motorcycle. After pouring over pictures of the Tesla ATV that was shown at the Cybertruck reveal, he noticed that the motor looked very similar to the electric motor he took from the Zero Motorcycle. According to him, the motor design is rather unique and given his experience tinkering with Teslas, there might be some merit to his claims. If it does end up being true, did Tesla use a third-party motor only because it was a prototype, or will we see the production version also use a Zero motor in an effort to save on production costs for what will ultimately be a low volume vehicle?
It’s still unknown, but whether Tesla decides to go in-house on a lot of components for the production version will dictate the pricing heavily. Tesla likes to be aggressive with pricing, but I still believe that the Tesla ATV will be more expensive than the average gasoline ATV even if they decide to go third-party with a lot of components. I am expecting a price around the $10,000 mark.
As we said, we don’t know the Tesla ATV price, but we at the very least have a better idea of when it will release.
Musk via Twitter that they are aiming to have it comes out at the same time as the Cybertruck.
We’ll aim to have it come out same time as truck. Two seater electric ATV designed to work with Cybertruck will be fun! Electric dirt bikes would be cool too. We won’t do road bikes, as too dangerous. I was hit by a truck & almost died on one when I was 17.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 8, 2019
As of the writing of this article, the Tesla Cybertruck tri-motor and dual-motor versions are expected to start deliveries at the end of 2021. I guess we will be able to see if Tesla can meet that delivery window when reservation holders are asked to finalize their orders.
Tesla 2 person electric ATV will come at first as an option for Cybertruck
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2019
The wording of the above tweet does give hope for those people who want a Tesla ATV but aren’t in the market for a Tesla Cybertruck. The next concern will be how long will its exclusivity to the Cybertruck last before Tesla allows non Cybertruck owners to buy it (or even if Cybertruck owners can purchase the ATV after the fact). As of now, we don’t know when the Tesla ATV order books will open.
Once again, the specifications for the Tesla ATV are anyone’s guess. The electric ATV market isn’t exactly an expansive one (as you will soon see), so it is hard to judge what specifications are even acceptable. To have some foundation I have elected to look at what Zero Motorcycles offer as it looks like their powertrain might end up being what powers the Tesla ATV.
Looking through the lineup, we see motors that produce anywhere from 46 hp to 110 hp, city ranges of 82 miles to 179 miles, and battery sizes of 7.2 kWh to 14.4 kWh. Given that ATVs tend to be slower and less efficient than the average motorcycle, we can consider these specifications to be the peak of what Tesla could deliver and will probably be considerably less.
ATVs are not used for any sort of long-distance travel, so even if Tesla could deliver a range of ‘just’ 100 miles, then it will already be on par with a lot of gasoline-powered ATVs. If Tesla will indeed go with a Zero motor it would be cool to imagine sticking their 110 hp motor in the chassis, but considering the Yamaha Raptor makes a little less than 50 hp, it wouldn’t surprise us if Tesla will opt for the 46 or 70 hp option.
Looking at what Rich was able to achieve with his build, different sprocket configurations gave a top speed of anywhere from 68 mph all the way up to an insane 102 mph. The 0-60 mph was also insane as it was able to get down to 4.2 seconds on all-terrain tires and 3.9 seconds on street tires. The range wasn’t measured but Rich did state that given all the testing they did during the day, that he was confident that you would easily get a full-days ride out of the electric ATV.
So it’s setting a good precedence, but of course, we cannot be unsure if any of it will be applicable to the production version and what kind of decisions Tesla will make. The problem with speculating the specifications is that we do not know the price. If we knew the price it would be easier to estimate the targeted specs and vice versa, but we have neither. This Tesla Cyberquad could end up being a $6,000 toy making only about 30 hp and 40 miles of range, or it could go to $15,000 and have a 100+ mile range and huge motor to go along with it. If Tesla intends to match the Raptor then expect an 80-mile range, 75 mph top speed, and a 5-6 second 0-60 mph time.
Prior to starting this article, I was blissfully unaware of the absolute dearth in the electric ATV market. Frantic searching and thoughts of “this can’t be all of them” were met with a reply of, “yes, this is all of them”. As it turns out, the Tesla ATV will basically have no competition on the electric side of things.
Below was supposed to be a table of just electric ATVs, but seeing that having only three entries was too depressing, I included an electric UTV (like an off-road golf cart), as well as two popular gasoline-powered ATVs that I imagine, will be competitors to the Tesla ATV.
|Price||Range||Battery Size||Top Speed|
|DRR Stealth E-ATV||$8,499||35 miles||~4 kWh||35 mph|
|EcoCharger Lithium Prestige||$26,430||62 miles||~11.4 kWh||N/A|
|EcoCharger Eliminator II||$19,821||30 miles||7.2 kWh||N/A|
|Polaris Ranger EV (EUV)||$11,899||~50 miles||11.5 kWh||25 mph|
|Yamaha Raptor 700R (Gasoline)||$8,799||50-85 miles||2.9-gallon tank||~75 mph|
|Can-Am Renegade 850 (Gasoline)||$10,299||80-120 miles||5.4-gallon tank||~75 mph|
To my surprise, there are no electric ATVs being produced by any of the large manufactures. I guess given the relative low-volume of ATV sales, it doesn’t make much sense for them to go through the effort of redesigning everything. What few electric ATVs not made for kids that I could find were from EcoCharger and DRR.
Interestingly enough, all three competing electric ATVs seem to be built more for utility. All the models offered have flat fronts and rears to accommodate railings to be used with hauling around anything that can be tied down. This is in contrast to the sport ATV archetype that the Tesla Cyberquad (as well as the Raptor) is going with as it’s aggressive fairings do not leave much room for anything to be tied to. While Tesla has marketed the Cybertruck as capable of fitting in at construction sites and other outdoor workspaces, it seems that the Tesla Quad is fully meant for joyrides.
Also, let’s all cross our fingers that the Tesla Quad will be closer in price to the DRR and gasoline ATVs rather than the EcoCharger ones, because I think a $20,000 electric ATV will be a hard sell, especially for something that will initially be an add-on to the Cybertruck.
So that’s all we know thus far, and unfortunately, it’s not much. The Tesla ATV is still shrouded in mystery and it seems like we will have to wait until next year before we hear any more news about it. The success of the Tesla ATV could have Tesla branch out to other off-road vehicles such as electric dirt bikes like Musk mentioned in a prior tweet. Who knows, maybe a Tesla bike or even a Tesla dirt bike is in the works and ready to be unveiled soon. Road bikes however are off the menu due to Musk having an accident in his early years, but I don’t think that will stop fans from making a Cyberbike of their own to fill that gap.
How do you guys feel about the Tesla Quad? Do you have high expectations? What do you think the price and specs will end up being? Let us know down in the comments below.