As the Tesla Cybertruck nears production we are starting to learn more about some of the possible features the electric truck might have. Yesterday we saw the Cybertruck’s user interface (UI) shown off in impressive detail, showing features like trailer detection, an app store, and even controls for the camp kitchen.
In another patent filing published yesterday, we also get our first look at the design of a retractable cover for the Cybertruck’s tonneau cover that also has embedded solar panels.
As shown in the patent, the cover is mechanical and retracts along a series of rails and folds into an area behind the truck’s cabin.
What also makes the cover unique is that is can fold into a small area as seen in the drawings, but is also strong enough to stand on. When Elon Musk took the Cybertruck to Jay Leno, he triumphantly stood on the cover to show off its strength.
The patent further describes the cover protects the contents in the truck bed creates a weather proof seal. It also means owners won’t have to buy expensive cargo covers, sometimes which aren’t a perfect fit.
“However, not only may such aftermarket truck bed covers be difficult to install, they also may not fit exactly with the specifications of the truck beds of different models of trucks. If a truck bed cover does not have an accurate fit it can leak rain or snow through the gaps between the truck bed cover and the walls around the truck bed, and cause cargo damage. In addition, not only are many aftermarket truck bed covers difficult to install and inconvenient to use, but they also take up space in the truck beds and reduce the overall utility of the trucks.”
Most importantly, the cover has embedded solar cells. While the cells won’t provide enough energy to give the truck a meaningful charge, it will likely be enough to negate any vampire drain, and maybe enough to power any external tools connected to the truck.
“When the tonneau cover is deployed to cover the bed and the solar electric cells that make up the slats are facing the sun, the battery within the electric vehicle can be charged by the solar electric cells.”
You can read the full patent here.