Bluntness, not kindness.

Insider's Perspective

On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a surprising new claim: that the long anticipated Cybertruck will be able to "serve briefly as a boat so it can cross rivers, lakes and even seas that aren’t too choppy."

Whether Musk was joking or not, former Tesla engineer Matt Brown had a few choice words about Musk’s decidedly outrageous statement.

"Having worked at Tesla, I can say with some confidence that the design engineers are hearing about this requirement for the first time here," said Matt in a tweet.

Brown, who goes by "Superfast Matt" online, has credentials in the automotive space. In addition to Tesla, he's worked at Apple and NASCAR, in addition to occasionally writing for Jalopnik and running a YouTube channel.

When asked if it would be possible for the Cybertruck to actually cross a lake, Brown was pretty blunt: "Possible, but it will almost certainly add cost and limit usability in other areas."

Given the limited practicality of amphibious consumer cars in the past, that sounds about par for the course.

Laying Down the Law

Musk putting his engineers on the spot wouldn’t be surprising, given his allegedly grueling management style.

In July, Musk made a huge deal about employee attendance, sending out a tyrannical email demanding everyone work a minimum of 40 hours per week in person — or else. But reporting from earlier this month found that Tesla’s workplaces weren’t equipped to accommodate all the returning workers, lacking enough parking spaces and even desks for all the employees. Morale had apparently dropped so low that one-tenth of workers were absent on any given day.

This also is far from the first time Tesla engineers have gone behind Musk’s back to publicly decry their CEO. Notably, some nineteen Tesla engineers went public last year claiming that Musk had misled the public on Autopilot’s safety.

So is Musk having his engineers scramble to get this thing to double as a boat? If he is, it might be worth to sort out those massive, potentially leaky, panel gaps first.

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