Elon Musk has got to be the busiest man on the planet. Space X, The Boring Company, Tesla Motors and now introducing the Tesla Semi. At a reveal party hosted by Tesla and Elon Musk on Thursday night at their Hawthorne, California facility, an all-electric Tesla semi truck was unveiled. The claims are that it provides the most power and acceleration at the lowest cost per mile which I’m sure got the trucking industry’s attention.
Back in August Reuters stated the truck would likely have half the range that the Tesla announcement claimed. According to Tesla, their semi has a range of 500 miles. This is much more than Cummins and Daimler have estimated for their electric semi projects. A network of solar-powered megachargers is planned that will allow the truck to reach a 400-mile range in 30 minutes.
Four independent motors on the rear axels provided enough power to haul loads up to 80,000 pounds, which is the legal limit on US Roads. On the performance side, the truck itself without pulling a loaded trailer will go from 0-60 in 5 seconds. With a fully loaded trailer carrying a load weighing 80,000 pounds, it will go from 0-60 in 20 seconds. It can travel at 65 mph up a 5% grade. It consumes less than 2 kWh per mile and the cost savings in fuel is estimated at $200,000+.
We Don’t Need No Maintenence
Musk claimed that their semi could go a million miles without a breakdown. Of course, this claim can only be supported once these vehicles have been on the road for several years. If true, this will be a testament to Tesla quality. Either way, Tesla is so confident that they are guaranteeing that their Semis will not break down for a million miles.
This is not an autonomous vehicle. It will require a driver with a CDL which I’m sure is good news for all the truck drivers out there. Tesla claims this is the safest truck ever. It includes Enhanced Autopilot that helps to avoid collisions. It also has a centered driver’s seat that provides maximum visibility and control. This truck also has a low center of gravity that provides rollover protection.
Musk says when you factor in all the costs related to running a truck, this truck is 20% cheaper to run than current diesel trucks on the road today. A $0.07 per kWh compared to $2.50 per gallon of diesel fuel. There is no transmission, no differential, no combustion engine, no emissions and since the Megachargers are solar powered, these trucks basically run on sunlight. The EPA reports that trucks are responsible for 27% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. With trucks like these on our roads, we can look forward to improved air quality. Production of the Tesla Semi will begin in 2019.
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At the end of the truck presentation, there was “one more thing”. Elon Musk rolled out their new Roadster. A $200,000 sports car that can go from 0-60 in 1.9 seconds. It includes a 200 kW battery that can travel over 600 miles on a single charge. It is expected to become available in 2020.