Tesla has finally revealed their first ever electric Semi truck. Being a Tesla, the Semi’s biggest feat is 0-100kmph sprint time of mere five seconds (without a trailer, obviously). Hauling a load of 80,000 pounds (36 tonnes) and the Semi will still reach the same mark in 20 seconds, boasts the American carmaker.
The Semi is powered by four powerful motors on the rear axle. The motors are derived from the Model 3 and hence have been validated to last more than a million miles. As with the usual issue of recharging, Tesla says that is not a problem since the Semi comes standard with Megachargers. This high-speed DC charger can add about 640 kilometres of range in just 30 minutes of charging. The chargers can be installed at the starting or destination points and along the driving route, so that the driver can charge the truck during loading, unloading, and during breaks.
Tesla says that the Semi can climb a 5 per cent gradient at a steady 105kmph, where a conventional diesel truck maxes out at 72kmph on the same gradient. The Tesla Semi requires no shifting or clutching for acceleration and deceleration. Its regenerative braking recovers 98 per cent of kinetic energy to the battery, basically giving it an infinite brake life.
Although smaller in dimension compared to the massive diesel semis, the Tesla truck looks clean, modern and stylish. The cab of the Semi is futuristic in typical Tesla fashion. So you have two large screens on either side of the steering wheel. The centre-driver configuration has a minimalistic cabin since everything is controlled through those screens. There are ample of safety and connectivity hardware for the driver. There are surround-cameras to minimise blind spots. Tesla’s Autopilot is present as well with automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping, lane departure warning, and event recording.
The Semi’s onboard sensors can detect instability and react with required torque to each wheel while independently actuating all brakes to prevent jackknifing. Its windshield is made of impact resistant glass. The battery is reinforced to prevent it from exploding on impact and also allow a low centre of gravity. With fewer moving parts than a conventional truck, the Tesla Semi requires less maintenance as well.
Tesla is already taking the reservation for the Semi for 5,000 USD. However, production is promised to commence only in 2019.