Teslas’ commercial truck, known as the Tesla Semi, was unveiled in late 2017 as a game changer for the trucking and transport industry of the future.
Named by its maker as ‘the safest, most comfortable truck ever’, the Semi uses four independent motors and its über-aerodynamic design to transport even heavy cargo without the usual high energy cost.
Impressive acceleration and power are it’s hallmarks. A low drag coefficient allows it to cut through air resistance smoothly, even when loaded to near-full capacity.
Tesla Truck Specs
These claims bear out in the Tesla Truck’s specs. Carrying 36,000 kilograms, it achieves:
- Acceleration: 0 to 97 km/hr in 20 seconds
- Drag coefficient: 0.36
- Energy consumption: <3.2 kWh per km
- Speed on a 5% grade: 97 km/hr
The Tesla Semi comes in two models with varying ranges, one that will last for 483 kilometres and another with a longer, 805-kilometre range. It has a four-motor powertrain on its rear axles.
Tesla Truck Unveil
Trend-watcher website The Verge attended the Tesla Truck unveil on 16 November 2017. With all the hoopla of a rock concert, Elon Musk revealed his latest invention. Using several parts sourced from the Model 3, according to Fortune, the new truck was slated to begin production in 2019.
The truck will be a Class 8, which puts it into the category of the largest heavy-duty semi freight trucks on the market. As such, they will require huge chargers, called ‘mega chargers’, to charge the batteries after a trip. They plan to guarantee the vehicle’s drivetrain for a million miles—an impressive number.
It will be a standard fifth-wheel model. It will have two drive axles, each with two motors. These motors will be the same ones that power the company’s Model 3 sedan.
Tesla Semi Truck Interior
The interior will sit in a pushed-forward position, thanks to its lack of a transmission, engine, differentials, or other standard diesel semi parts. That gives the Tesla Semi Truck a roomier interior. It will have both a captain’s chair and a regular secondary seat.
Two touchscreen displays will feed information to the driver from two sides. Its built-in connectivity will integrate with the driver’s fleet management system, which will streamline routing, scheduling, and monitoring.
Tesla Truck Concept
The Tesla Truck concept is so futuristic that some sceptics at the unveiling ceremony thought it a joke. Yet, the design is solid, as is the engineering behind it.
Some of the features will be familiar to owners of Tesla passenger vehicles. The Semi will have regenerative braking, which will feed power to the battery when the driver takes his or her foot off the truck’s accelerator.
It will also have Tesla’s Autopilot feature. This feature employs cameras, sensors, software, and radar to provide advanced driver assistance. Not a true autopilot, but it will help the driver maintain proper speed for conditions, stay within their lane, and change lanes without assistance from the driver.
Tesla Truck Price
In the US, prices will range from $150,000 to $180,000. So far, there are no estimates on the Australian price since there is no current plan to introduce it in this country as of now.
Are There Electric Trucks Available on the Australian Market?
Although Aussie electronics experts estimate that the Tesla Semi won’t arrive in Australia until at least 2025, there are other options that do plan an Australian debut before then. Both Mercedes-Benz and Daimler/Fuso plan to introduce electric cargo trucks Down Under sooner than Tesla.
Although there are no electric semi-trucks currently available in Australia, there are Australian companies making their own impact on the small- and medium-sized truck market, according to an article by the ABC. SEA Electric, an automotive technology company based in Melbourne, has already delivered its first vehicle to the Aussie market
Bonus: the Tesla Pickup Truck – a possible large electric ute?!
Tesla also has teased plans to introduce a pickup version of the Tesla Truck after it introduces its Model Y crossover. Tesla founder Elon Musk has already drawn out most of the design and engineering specifications for the all-electric Tesla pickup truck, according to his 26 December 2017 tweet.
As far back as 2013, Musk had applied himself to the challenges of designing and building an all-electric truck. At a 2013 event for Tesla owners, he unveiled some of his thought processes. One of the features he considered was a suspension that adjusts the truck’s load dynamically, maintaining an even ride height and optimum angle of operation.
With that kind of on-the-fly suspension adjustments, the truck could avoid a common complaint among pickup owners, the rattling that occurs when the truck is empty. He plans to compete with the Ford F-150 with the new vehicle, aiming for an electric pickup of similar size.
Electric Buses Now Available in Australia
Along with electric trucks, an electric bus is now available for purchase in Australia. BYD Asia Pacific, a China-based firm, has already supplied their electric buses to use at the Sydney airport. These buses, called the Electric Blue model, can operate for 400 kilometres on a single charge.
With the advent of all-electric trucks on the horizon—and semi-trucks in the near future, Australian electronic vehicle enthusiasts have much to look forward to over the next few years.
Tesla Truck Unveil Video
Here’s a video of Elon Musk unveiling the new Tesla truck;
The Tesla Semi. Photos courtesy of Tesla. All Rights Reserved