Elon Musk Says the Tesla Cybertruck Will Be Able to Float 'For a While'

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the company's imposing new electric vehicle, the Cybertruck, will be able to float—although that is definitely not recommended for extended periods of time.

The headline-grabbing pickup, first revealed last November, is not expected to enter production until at least 2021, but Musk himself has been spotted multiple times behind the wheel of an early model on public roads—showcasing its hulking stainless-steel frame and angular aesthetic design.

Musk has previously said the Cybertruck would be Tesla's last product reveal for a while, noting 2020 would instead be focused on "mostly unexpected technology announcements."

But this week, the technologist revealed a rather surprising specification regarding the large truck's buoyancy, claiming on Twitter that it will be able to float "for a while."

Musk was responding to a comment asking if Tesla's engineers had considered the wading depth of the Cybertruck. "I hunt and fish and sometimes need to cross streams. Can I do it without damaging the truck?" a user asked, earning a reply from the founder that attracted over 1,500 likes.

It's not the first time the topic of water-proofing has been brought up. Back in 2016, the tech entrepreneur claimed that Tesla's Model S electric vehicle "floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time" and could gain thrust from wheel rotation. "We *def* don't recommend this," he said.

At the time, Musk had been reacting to a video that showed a Model S successfully "swimming" down a flooded tunnel in Kazakhstan, as reported by tech website The Verge. Electrek noted battery packs in Tesla vehicles are sealed, but cases of flooding would likely impact insurance and warranties.

On Twitter this week, Musk also expressed his personal excitement for production on the futuristic pickup to begin, writing in another update: "Aargh, I'm dying to make Cybertruck like yesterday!!"

It remains unclear if the Cybertruck production schedule will be impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, which has forced the company to seek rent reductions, reduce operations at U.S plants and temporarily furlough some staff members. Tesla has been contacted for additional comment.

"While we are continuing to keep only minimum critical operations running, we expect to resume normal production at our U.S. facilities on May 4, barring any significant changes. Until that time, it is important we take action to ensure we remain on track to achieve our long-term plans," wrote Tesla's North America HR executive Valerie Workman in an email obtained by CNBC earlier this month.

According to the email, any employees unable to work at home and not assigned to critical work onsite have been furloughed without pay. The plan came into effect on April 13. "This is a shared sacrifice across the company that will allow us to progress," Workman wrote.

Elon Musk
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the all-electric battery-powered Tesla's Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty