Tesla, at an event held in Hawthorne, California which was also live streamed on the company’s website unveiled two new all-electric vehicles – Tesla Semi and the Tesla Roadster. Present on stage was Elon Musk, CEO Tesla giving more details about the new upcoming products.
The futuristic Tesla Semi is an engineering marvel and could change the logistics industry in a good way. It has been designed to deliver higher performance and efficiency compared to a diesel powered truck. A glimpse of a pickup based on the Semi truck was also shown.
The Tesla Semi truck without any load can reach 0-60 mph in just 5 seconds whereas it would take 15 seconds for an equivalent diesel truck to reach the same. The Tesla electric truck can also reach the 60 mph figure from zero while pulling a max load of 80,000 lbs in just 20 seconds. The Tesla truck can continuously do 65 mph on a 5% grade whereas a similar diesel truck would be able to do a max speed of 45mph.
The Tesla Semi has been designed similar to a bullet train to have the best aerodynamics. It has a low drag co-efficient of 0.36 Cd which is even lower than that of a Bugatti Chiron (0.38 Cd). The floor of the truck is also flat to aid airflow. The side flaps map to the trailer being pulled whether it is a new or an old one, the flaps will open up and fill the gap and improve aerodynamics.
Talking about the range Elon Musk said that the Tesla electric truck can travel up to 500 miles at highway speeds with max gross vehicle weight. This range is lesser than almost 80 percent of the routes which are around 250 miles. Also, the truck can be charged within 30 minutes for a range of 400 miles.
The Tesla truck is powered by 4 independent motors. The company claims that there will be no break down for at least a million miles since the number of components has been reduced. There is no transmission, emissions scrubber or differentials on this truck. Also, there is no wear while braking hence there is no need to change brake pads. The company also said even if the motors break down the truck will be able to move on with at least two of the four motors.
Talking about the driving experience, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, said it has to be one of the easiest and smoothest truck to drive, it is almost similar to driving any other Tesla car. The driver position is in the center which along with the large glass house area helps to provide all-around visibility. The cockpit is easy to enter and exit and has two touchscreen systems placed on each side which provide all the necessary details and functions at the tip of a finger.
The Tesla Semi is equipped with Thermonuclear Explosion Proof Glass. The reason for it is that even a crack on the windshield could make it illegal to drive the truck hence incurring a loss to the operator due to the downtime. Such small attention to detail is what makes the Tesla Semi a game-changing product.
The Tesla truck is also said to be one of the safest trucks, it will be equipped with enhanced Autopilot as standard and gets Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping and Forward Collision Warning. Due to the battery pack placed on the floor, the truck has a low center of gravity thereby minimising the risk of a rollover.
The Tesla Semi is also able to tackle one of the biggest and dangerous problem of Jackknifing. Since the motors operate individually, the torque on each of them can be controlled and hence it is impossible for the truck to jackknife, claims the company.
Talking about the economics of operations, Tesla says their Semi truck is almost 20% more cost-effective right from day one, this claim can only be verified once the trucks start rolling on the roads. The company has also promised to supply electricity at a lower rate of 7 cents per kWh and will also setup Tesla Megachargers all around the globe. These chargers are powered by solar energy so technically the trucks will get their power from the sun.
The company has started taking orders for the Semi truck with a reservation amount of $5,000 USD per truck. Walmart is said to have already placed an order of 15 Tesla trucks. The production for the Tesla Semi begins in 2019.
2019 Tesla Semi Electric Truck Images: