Tesla’s Latest EV Radically Changes Trucking

Tesla’s Latest EV Radically Changes Trucking
Automotive

If Tesla can deliver, long distance truck transport is set for a revolution

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 22 november 2017

After a couple of delays, the Tesla Semi made its debut with a pair of the trucks driving through some airplane hangers near Tesla’s Design Studio in Hawthorne, California. Elon Musk stepped out of one of the sleek trucks and welcomed the large crowd.

The presentation of the Semi was fairly brief. Musk started by describing the truck’s performance with the acronym ‘BAMF’ (Google it). The Tesla Semi was compared to a diesel truck common on the roads today and the stats are impressive.

  • Empty 0-60 in 5 seconds vs. diesel 15 seconds
  • Fully loaded with 80,000 pounds 0-60 in 20 seconds for Tesla vs. nearly a minute for diesel
  • 65 mph up 5% grade at 80,000 max weight vs. 45 mph for diesel

Musk framed these numbers in terms of operating cost. Time on the road is money to a truck driver and the Tesla Semi’s performance advantage means less time wasted.

The design of the cab was carefully considered to cheat the wind as much as possible. The Tesla Semi has a coefficient of drag of .36, Musk noted that the supercar Buggati Chiron has a .38 cd. The aero efficiency also helps improve range and the Tesla Semi is capable of 500 miles at maximum weight traveling at highway speeds. Musk said that 80% of routes are 250 miles or less. This means a driver could do delivery and return without needing to recharge.

Tesla intends to build a global network of solar powered Megachargers that could provide 400 miles of range for 30 minutes of recharge time. The price of electricity would be predictable rather than fluctuate like diesel does. The half hour recharge span is also the average time it takes to unload a trailer or make a mandatory rest stop. These were also cited as ways to improve the operating costs of the trucks.

On the road, where a typical diesel truck costs $1.51 per mile, Tesla estimates its electric Semi will average $1.26 by itself. Musk said convoys could become common taking advantage of the autopilot feature built into each truck. This would further reduce the operating cost for trucks following in the line to $.85 per mile, which is cheaper than shipping cargo on a train.

The interior was designed to be driver focused, even if the truck is driving itself. The center seating position gives the driver a panoramic view and better side visibility. The controls have been simplified and consolidated to twin redundant display screens.

The Tesla Semi is powered by four motors in the wheels that can independently react and prevent jackknifing. It also has a driver monitoring system that can call emergency services and automatically safely bring the truck to a stop.

Production of the Semi starts in 2019.

As a surprise, Tesla debuted its next generation Roadster, the car that started the company. The new roadster has a set of mind boggling stats of its own. As things are now, it will be the fastest production car with a 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds. Tesla says the top speed is 250+ mph and it has a range of 620 miles meaning it could go from LA to San Francisco and back without recharging.

The exterior has more aggressive styling than any prior Tesla model. The car doesn’t sacrifice convenience as the interior has four seats, two more than the original. Musk summed up the intention of the Roadster to “give a hardcore smackdown to gas cars.” It is scheduled to go on sale in 2020.

Tesla

After a couple of delays, the Tesla Semi made its debut with a pair of the trucks driving through some airplane hangers near Tesla’s Design Studio in Hawthorne, California. Elon Musk stepped out of one of the sleek trucks and welcomed the large crowd.

+Automotive
+autonomous vehicles
+Design
+electric vehicles
+Google
+Luxury
+Seamless Delivery
+Sustainability
+technology
+tesla
+travel
+USA

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