New Tesla Semi Truck Revealed – It Can Haul 80,000 lbs For 500 miles
New Tesla Semi truck with lower cost of ownership
Published November 17, 2017
Looking to reinvent the whole trucking business, Tesla revealed an all-new electric Tesla Semi truck. This could be a make it or break it moment for the company. It could also be the most important new kind of tech for the trucking business in generations.
Apart from the looks, general specs, and cabin arrangement, what trucking industry mostly seeks is a lower cost of ownership – from the start to the end. And that was the main focal point for the development. While Elon Musk did not specify all the features of the truck, he did say that the Tesla Semi will cost $1.26 per mile on 100-mile routes compared with $1.51 for the most efficient diesel trucks. This equals to a 20 percent more efficient and cheaper ride. If the Tesla Semi really delivers these savings and Tesla factory manages to meet intended production numbers, the Tesla Semi truck could mark a massive departure from the usual trucking experience.
However, apart from revealing all the advantages one may gain after buying the truck, Tesla actually needs to deliver the hardware.
Nuts and Bolt For the Tesla Semi shared with other Tesla cars
Screens inside, four e motors, handles, dash features and luxury hardware – all sourced from the Tesla Model 3. Yes, motors, you’ve read that right. Tesla Semi truck features four electric motors. Extrapolating from what we know from the EPA and Tesla official specs, one Model 3 motor probably delivers around 258hp. Multiply by four and you get 1.032hp. Double the power of a conventional diesel-powered truck.
Now, the most daring thing about the Tesla Semi truck are the batteries. While Elon Musk did not reveal their capacity, we do know that they are three feet high and they span from the front to the back wheels. Massive batteries for sure. Tesla reinforced the batteries to keep them safe in case of a crash. They won’t explode or catch fire.
More range than expected
A big one – Tesla promises 500 miles of range at speeds of 65 mph with a full load. Considering this is a Class 8 Heavy Duty vehicle, the full load could mean a 53 feet long trailer and 80,000 lbs of load. Now, that is something. However, diesel trucks can cover more than 1000 miles with a full tank and load like that. That may well be the biggest problem the Tesla Semi faces. See, drivers would spend more time at charging points than if they drove other conventionally powered trucks. Elon Musk promised that the experience will be seamless as with Tesla cars. He also noted that they could recharge batteries for additional 400 miles in only 30 minutes. That, however, will be possible only with “Megacharger” charging station. They are yet to be built.
Obviously, even if Tesla manages to build a network of “Megachargers” to support a few of the most popular routes before 2019 when the truck is bound to enter the production phase, it still leaves them with the problem of limited range.
Interestingly enough, the truck is fairly quick. Without the trailer, it will hit 60 in five seconds. YES, FIVE SECONDS. Quicker than an M3 E46. With a full load though, it will reach 60 in 20 seconds. Not bad, is it?
Cabin Is Simple, Comfortable and Hyper-Tesla-Looking
Elon Musk had the McLaren F1. That car had a freaking central seat at the front. The new Tesla Semi truck has the same. Only, we can call it the Captain’s chair. And it is surrounded by two 15-inch monitors (sourced from the Model 3). Considering that there are not any buttons on the inside – save for the turn signal stalk, the screens will allow the driver to operate all features of the vehicle. This includes navigation, data logging (for hours of service), blind spot monitoring, and other. The system is fully integrated with Tesla’s newly developed network for truckers.
Now, the screens will most certainly allow drivers to operate the Enhanced Autopilot. Obviously, long-haul trucks are most likely to adopt self-driving capabilities. The Tesla Semi truck will most definitely break the ice in this regard.
Without a diesel motor, transmission gear, recycle systems and what not, the Tesla Semi has a whole lot of space up front. This means that the driver has been moved all the way front. Specially laminated and reinforced glass is placed just in front of the driver’s seat. This one won’t chip or crack and it is shaped to provide the Semi with the best possible aerodynamic characteristics. Elon Musk even noted that the truck has better aerodynamic efficiency than some sports cars. Astounding.