Ask Nathan: Will Floating Teslas Become a Thing, Off-Roading Electric Vans and Team TFL’s Hobbies?

There's a new interesting Musk tweet making the rounds

(Cybertruck Images: Tesla)

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Are we going to see floating Teslas in our future?
  • What about an off-road all-electric van?
  • What does the team at TFL Studios do as hobbies?

The first question is in regards to Elon Musk’s tweet about floating Teslas.

Q: (Via: So are we going to get a fleet of floating Teslas now?

Just saw Elon’s tweet on how the Cybertruck can float and I was wondering if that will be a new direction to go. Floating Teslas in our future. What do you think?

– Tim.L

A: I can see it now, a feet of floating Teslas patrolling the Caribbean. Maybe not.

A few things first. Elon Musk is capitalizing on the excessive flooding from Hurricane Ian, AI Day, and keeping the Cybertruck in the consciousness of buyers. It’s all about timing, and getting those clicks on social media. He is very good at this.

Here’s the reality: If you’re building an amphibian, everything changes. From licensing, insurance and DOT requirements. Look, even California has a special licensing section for amphibians (24.010 Amphibious Vehicle/Vessel Dual Registration (CVC §9872.5). It would have be designated a “sea worthy vehicle” by a variety of states, and would be subject to maritime restrictions as well.

Considering how delayed the Tesla Cybertruck already is: imagine how much longer it will take jumping over these hurdles to make it sea-worthy/legal?

If Tesla could get past these obstacles – it would be epic.

Forget the logic of legalization, insurance, safety requirements and whatnot for a moment. The engineering needed to make something seaworthy is daunting, and a variety of companies have tackled it by using dual drive systems, hydraulics and heavy-duty servos. The most successful amphibians appears to be Gibbs amphibious vehicles which uses a retracting running gear system. It’s heavy and complicated, and they use an impeller which is (usually) hooked up to a separate transmission, or motivator.

Using the tires to move and steer is doable, unfortunately, it’s slow and awkward. The Cybertruck might be able to use a system that can counterrotate the wheels for more precise steering and movement. On top of that, for a vehicle that will most likely weigh more than two tons, it better be buoyant and well sealed. If it can remain afloat with the bed and interior filled with water – I would be impressed.

First thing is first my friends: we have to see the Tesla Cybertruck actually head to production before we see if it can float.

– N

The next question comes from a fan who sent me a link to a website for an ORV electric van – which looks cool, but…

(Images: Potential Motors)

Q: (Via: Why can’t people build something this cool for the whole world to drive?

Look at this electric van Nathan! If auto builders made stuff like this that was affordable for real people maybe we wouldn’t be so against switching to electric cars!

– Dexter T

A: This is a cool looking vehicle, but there are a few things you should know.

This is the Potential Adventure 1. It’s a vehicle that is not yet in production, and is looking for investment to get the ball rolling. It looks like they are at a testing phase with a test mule, which is more than many competitors can say. Unfortunately, this is not an economy vehicle. Not only that, but it’s not built for highway use.

Most notably, it isn’t exactly cheap as they are are asking $136,000.

Keep in mind: this is no mere off-road side-by-side disguised as a van, it looks like a serious transport that can go almost anywhere. Still, I find it odd that the maximum off-road range is 100 miles. If it does make it to production, it will pack a hell of a punch. Potential Motors says it will make 604 horsepower and 737 lbs-feet of torque, which is a LOT coming from something so small.

Now, there are a few other startups that are building off-road vans as well. Some look more legit than others, but it’s always hard to tell what’s vaporware and what isn’t. Check out their website and tell me what you think.

– N

The last question comes from a young fan who wants to know what we all do with out off time.

Q: (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) My son Ethan wants to know what you guys do when you’re going crazy with making a million car videos!

No one can keep up with TFL and the ton of videos you make. And they are good too!

Anyway, my son asked what you guys do for fun.

– Allan and little bean

A: Thanks for the compliment!

Initially, I thought about making up a few things like, “Tommy spends time fighting in underground Muay Thai matches.” That would be fun, but, because of you’re little guy’s request, I’ll spill the beans:

  • Roman: Attends and participates in Iron Man competitions. Collects old cars.
  • Tommy: Is connected to a few classic car groups and participates in drives. Collects old cars.
  • Andre: Boats and camps with his family every chance he gets. Collects old eastern-European cars.
  • Alex: Races and wrenches on his motorcycles. Spends time with his dog. Collects old/small bikes.
  • Kase: Lots of out-door adventures (like climbing) and wrenches on his vehicles. Collects old cars.
  • Brendan: Spends time with his young family, and works with cars. Collects old cars.
  • Me (Nathan): I write, fish and have a few side projects for fun. (Occasionally) I collect old cars.

I only included our on-camera staff on this list. Once I get the green light to add our other team-members, I’ll give you some additional insight on those guys as well.


– N

Speaking of old cars…