While stainless steel cars have been seen in the past, they aren't very common. However, that is about to change with Tesla's release of the Cybertruck. Some people are worried about safety with a stainless steel body.
There are potential problems that come along with it. Stainless steel is an alloying element of carbon, chromium, iron, and others that was first used in the 19th century. Because it is resistant to corrosion, it has been used for various purposes, including cookware, surgical instruments, and jewelry.
What is Stainless steel car?
The more chromium in a stainless steel alloy, the more corrosion-resistant it is. In theory, stainless steel sounds like an excellent material for building vehicles. The alloy's strength makes it appealing for car construction as it would provide drivers additional security during a collision, right? It may surprise some, but stainless steel poses a few safety concerns regarding its use in vehicle production.
These vehicles are no longer available (for good reason)
Over the years, manufacturers have slowly become aware of all the potential challenges and dangers of producing stainless steel vehicles. Looking back at the 20th century, we can find several attempts by major manufacturers to offer the public a shiny, corrosion-resistant ride.
In 1936, 1960, and 1967, Ford collaborated with Allegheny Ludlum Steel to produce 11 classic stainless steel cars. In the 1980s, the DeLorean DMC-12 - featured quite prominently in Back to the Future - caused a stir. So, why have there been so few stainless steel vehicles produced overall? The answer lies in two main areas: production difficulties and safety concerns.
Wisconsin Metal Tech explains that manufacturers face many challenges when it comes to producing vehicles with stainless steel. Stainless steel is expensive and difficult to form into different shapes.
It's also just hard in general, damaging the dies used in production and adding to manufacturers' production costs. The material also doesn't look appealing unless treated or painted correctly, which is a challenge.
Even though there are challenges with manufacturing vehicles out of stainless steel, safety concerns are more important. Stainless steel is also rigid to qualify for crumple zones which we rely on in front- and rear-end collisions. That means that drivers and passengers will be left to absorb the crash's impact, which could be deadly. Additionally, the material's weight makes vehicles more of a hazard on the road.
Tesla Cybertruck is made out of stainless steel
Despite concerns about the market, Tesla is pressing ahead with plans to release its own stainless steel electric truck, the Cybertruck. The release of the Cybertruck has been delayed twice, and it is now expected to come out in 2023.
Tesla's version of an electric truck bears little resemblance to your typical pickup truck, due in part to its striking triangular design, narrow windows, and thin strip of headlights. Some may see Tesla's unique design for its new truck as an advantage, setting it apart from the rest of the competition.
However, some view the truck's over-the-top appearance as likely to drive consumers away. Only time will inform whether Tesla can overwhelm the challenges of stainless steel production and the safety considerations around it to produce a vehicle that will have staying power in the market for years to come.