Tesla Cybertruck Won't Be Legal In Europe

Trucks / 16 Comments

Some major changes may be needed for that pointy body.

The Tesla Cybertruck is a vehicle shrouded in controversy. Every detail about it has been scrutinized including its strange styling, massive size, and so-called "bulletproof" windows. We've already seen how massive the truck is during real-world driving when Tesla CEO Elon Musk knocked down a road sign while leaving a restaurant. Such a large truck would likely be difficult to drive in Europe but according to a report from Automobilwoche, it may not even be legal.

Stefan Teller, an expert responsible for homologation at SGS-TÜV Saar GmbH (a safety organization that makes tests for different automakers), says it is very unlikely Tesla could sell the Cybertruck in Europe as it appears now. The truck would need to have "have major modifications to the basic structure" according to Teller because "the basic concept of Tesla contradicts the common European security philosophy."

2021 Tesla Cybertruck Front Angle View Tesla
2021 Tesla Cybertruck Side View Tesla

"The occupants feel safe, but they are not," he said. There is a major difference between the self-certification standards in the United States and Europe's homologation rules. In the US, manufacturers build their cars to be roadworthy and they are checked by agencies on a random basis. In Europe, "50 to 60 regulations must be observed for vehicles," Teller said. How pickup trucks are tested also differs greatly in the US, where most light-duty models are exempt from passive safety and pedestrian protection.

"The front of the vehicle must not become stiff," Teller explained. "The bumper and [hood] must be able to absorb energy to protect the pedestrians." But the Tesla Cybertruck uses stiff stainless steel for its body, so "nothing is deformed in the event of an impact, instead, enormous forces act on the occupants. Airbags then no longer help either," said Teller. Therefore, the Cybertruck's body would be "a major obstacle to the security architecture."

2021 Tesla Cybertruck Front View Driving Tesla

Tesla could get around these European regulations by offering the Cybertruck as a specialty armored vehicle, but this would not be possible if the company plans to sell large volumes. As it is currently designed, the Cybertruck "will not be able to be sold in this country as a mass-production vehicle based on type approval. That is still a big task for Mr. Musk," Teller said.

2021 Tesla Cybertruck Interior Overview Tesla
2021 Tesla Cybertruck Front Angle View Tesla

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2021 Tesla Cybertruck Front Angle View
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2021 Tesla Cybertruck Front View Driving

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