The Tesla Semi has been revealed. Production of the fully electric, 500 mile range lorry is due to begin in 2019.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the truck last Thursday in Hawthorne California, with an acceleration capability of 0-60 mph in 5 seconds. Fully loaded with 36 tonnes of cargo, the truck is able to hit 60 mph in 20 seconds, which trumps its diesel powered rivals by around 40 seconds.
Musk claims the lorry's energy recovery systems are capable of recovering 98% of kinetic energy to the battery. A new high speed charging solution called the Megacharger will 400 miles of range in just 30 minutes. This can be installed at origin or destination points, much like the existing Superchargers which can be found at service stations.
Tesla refrained from going into further detail about the drivetrain and battery but did provide details about the advanced autonomous technology to prevent jack-knifing of the trailer. Onboard sensors will detect instability, adjust torque sent to each wheel and independently actuate all brakes. Additionally surrounding cameras will reduce blind spots, alerting drivers to safety hazards and obstacles. The truck also introduces a new Enhanced Autopilot system with emergency braking, lane keeping, lane departure warning and event recording.
Alongside all the performance and safety benefits, Elon Musk also detailed the massive savings that can be made by opting for electric.
"Owners can expect $200,000 or more in savings over a million miles based on fuel costs alone".
It is fair to say that not everyone working in the HGV industry is completely convinced by the advent of electrical trucks as of yet. Members of TruckNet UK have some interesting comments about the new developments.
You can reserve the Semi now for $5000, with production due to start in less than two years.