Tesla discloses Cybertruck design influences in fascinating new patent

July 27, 2021

Tesla has obtained today a design patent for the Cybertruck, and the patent application references several interesting prior designs that could have influenced Tesla’s unique design.

Today, Tesla was granted three design patents for the Model Y, Roadster, and the Cybertruck.

The latter is interesting because it features a radical design that has been controversial.

Some praise it, while others think it looks like garbage.

Either way, it generated many memes about where Tesla took its inspiration for the electric pickup truck.

But the design patent reveals some potential actual inspiration for the Cybertruck.

The Cybertruck design patent lists seven referenced patents dating back more than 40 years:

Patent Date Inventor
D253406 November 1979 Carabetta
4496184 January 1985 Byrd et al.
D307247 April 1990 Clenet
D308031 May 1990 Falero
D424012 May 2000 Gaytan
D432980 October 2000 Gaytan
D445397 July 2001 Gaytan

Now referenced patents are not necessarily added by Tesla. That’s one option. They can also be added by the patent examiners.

Either way, there’s a good chance that some of these designs influenced the Cybertruck.

The first one is a design by Vito J. Carabetta from 1979:

After some research, I couldn’t find any evidence that this was ever produced.

Another design referenced in the Cybertruck patent is from Avelino Falero back in 1990:

I also couldn’t find evidence of this exact design making it into a production vehicle.

Now on the wilder side, a design from Alain Clénet, a famed car builder who made a name by building neoclassic cars in the 1980s:


Clénet has built many vehicles, especially for movies and celebrities, I haven’t found evidence that this specific design was produced.

Unsurprisingly, the new Cybertruck design patent also referenced several patents for aerodynamic pickup bed covers.

Several ones were attributed to inventor Juan Javier Gaytan:

Tesla has integrated a similar design in the Cybertruck to improve aerodynamic performance.

However, it’s not entirely removable. There’s a retractable top cover, but the sides are actually integrated in the body, unlike in this design.

For the actual Cybertruck design, the patent credit Tesla’s head of design,

von Holzhausen, as well as many Tesla designers:

  • Ian Kettle (lead exterior design)
  • Sahm Jafari
  • David Imai
  • Ivan Lampkin

Here’s the full Tesla Cybertruck design patent:

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