Why the Tesla Cybertruck won’t be legal in Europe

Tesla Cybertruck wouldn’t be legal in Europe

Tesla Cybertruck wouldn’t be legal in Europe

The Tesla Cybertruck will require “strong modifications to the basic structure” to be legal for sale in Europe, according to a German TUV safety certification expert.

While the Cybertruck has orders into the hundreds of thousands from prospective buyers across the world, when exactly it will be sold outside America – if indeed it can be – remains unclear.

Because the Cybertruck is classed as a light duty truck in the USA, it gets exemptions from many safety regulations, including for pedestrian safety. That’s not the case in Europe, however.

Tesla Cybertruck wouldn’t be legal in Europe

“The front of the vehicle must not be stiff,” explains Stefan Teller, expert at SGS-TUV Saar GmbH.

“The bumper and bonnet must be able to absorb energy to protect the pedestrians,” meaning those “strong modifications to the basic structure,” would be necessary. Teller follows that for type approval, the Cybertruck would need to be compliant with 50 to 60 different regulations. 

Looking back to the reveal of the Cybertruck, much was made of how stiff and strong its rolled stainless steel structure and panels were. Great for sledgehammers, but potentially deadly for the occupants and unwitting pedestrians…

Tesla Cybertruck wouldn’t be legal in Europe

Regulations require that new cars deform in very specific ways, depending on the nature of an accident. For the occupants, the car needs to basically disintegrate in order to dissipate energy. For pedestrians, a car needs to be able to cushion the blow in the event of an impact.

With the Cybertruck, “nothing is deformed in the event of an impact; instead, enormous forces act on the occupants. Airbags then no longer help”.

On this basis, “It will not be possible to sell it in this country as a mass-production vehicle on the basis of a type approval,” Teller says. “It is still a big task for Mr. Musk.”


  1. Regulations should adapt for AI cars, laws can’t block progress, that’s simply stupid. If, by the release date, the systems prove reliable and clever enough to prevent any such speculated crash, it’d be wise for EU to certify it as safe. If progress were slowed because the EU regulations are tailored for a world 30 years ago, the EU would very soon prove to the world that it’s actually not as progressive as it thinks of itself.


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