Tesla’s New Electric Semi Truck – Tesla Semi Electric Truck Prototype Review
The Tesla Semi is an all-electric battery powered class 8 semi-trailer truck prototype which was unveiled on November 16, 2017. It has planned its production in 2019 by Tesla, Inc. Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that there need not be any compromise made by the people just to drive an electric vehicle. The wanted to show that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than oil powered cars. Tesla not only builds all-electric vehicles, but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage products.
The Tesla Semi Electric Truck was unveiled at a press conference on November 16, 2017, where Elon Musk, the Tesla Inc. CEO, provided additional specifics. He did not reveal the price for the Semi, but did cleared a fact the it would cost 20cents less per mile in operation than a diesel truck. The prediction of course depends upon the charge of electricity at the specific location.
On March 7, 2018, Musk announced that the Semi was being tested with real cargo, hauling battery packs from Nevada to California. And confirmed on August 24, 2018 that it has traveled by itself for a week to arrive at the J.B. hunt headquarters in Arkansas.
Tesla Semi Electric Truck Specifications
Tesla semi is already the one of its class Semi-truck to run fully on the electricity. The specifications and the cost of operation in unmatched from other Electric Truck manufacturers like Volkswagen Group, Einride, Thor Trucks, Cummins, Daimler AG, Nikola Motor Company, Toyota, BYD, Kenworth, Proterra Inc. and Uber. There is a sense of competition between these companies about the manufacturing of the most suitable Electric truck for all terrain and weather condition.
The specification of Tesla Semi is as follows:
|0-60mph (no load)||5sec|
|0-60mph (fully loaded)||20sec|
|Speed up a 5% grade||60mph|
|Mile range||300 or 500 miles|
|Powertrain||4 independent motors on rear axles|
|Energy Consumption||Less than 2kWh per mile|
|Maximum Load capacity||80,000lbs|
|Expected base price (300mile range)||$150,000|
|Expected base price (500mile range)||$180,000|
|Expected Founders series price||$200,000|
|Founders series reservation||$200,000|
As it is just a prototype and not the production model, full specifications are not even available on the official website of the Tesla Inc. Furthermore, it utilizes the 4 independent electric motors derived from the Model 3. The charging is the best part, it can be charged for usage up to 400 miles in about half an hour. The battery can charge up to 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes using a solar-powered “Tesla Megacharger” charging station.
Tesla Prototype and Plans
The Tesla Semi Electric Truck would be able to maintain a speed of 65mph on a 5% grade. The company would offer a warranty of a million miles or 1.6 million kilometers. In the prototype shown, the driver’s seat was located in the center of the cab. There were touchscreen displays on the either side of the steering wheel, and no instrument panels. The windshields are explosion-proof.
According to the Tesla, Semi will be equipped with enhanced autopilots as standard equipment that would provide semi-autonomous capability. It uses more radar devices and cameras than Tesla cars, to enable the vehicle to stay in its lane and have a safe distance from another vehicle on highway. It will have emergency braking and will warn the drivers of any potential hazards near the vehicle.
Tesla also said that technology with active safety controls would detect and prevent jackknifing. Musk speaks of his idea that the system would eventually allow several units to operate in an autopilot mode led by a truck with a driver that would be very much cheaper alternative to the use of rail transport. At present the platooning is only legal in 8 states of USA and that too require drivers inside the them. So, according to the Musk’s plan, for this to happen, there must be changes made to the legislation.
Also Read: Ather 450 Electric Scooter
Tesla Semi Unknown Facts
The fact about the battery being used is still unknown to the people. Although at the event, of its display, we had a glance of 8-pin charging port, which gives us some idea about there being 4 battery packs adding more weight to the vehicle’s overall weight. Due to such condition, the Semi under rough assumption will weigh somewhat 2Tons more than the standard day cab big truck in Class 8 category.
Batteries would be only concern as per the assumptions made by the company. If the claim for the fast charging of 400 miles in 30 minutes, the charger has to be of 1.6MW which is not possible because the result would be arching in the battery pack, so the charging has to be split up into multiple battery pack.
Though the market doesn’t seem to be ready for the electric truck yet because of the technologies necessary for the operation and development of newer battery. Tesla has always been known for its innovation. Existing truck manufacturers have been pushing rival electric projects. Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Cummins, the Indiana-based engine building specialists, have already revealed electric trucks intended for long-range operations while other companies have had plans ready to in few weeks.
Tesla has already gained its fame from its electric vehicle line-up. The vehicles from Tesla are well known to give you full-pledged experience of gasoline vehicles, sometime beating them in user-experience as well with its all-electric vehicle and staggering technology. It would be a great thing to watch how the Semi maintains the same level of satisfaction from the users that we have seen from the previous Tesla vehicles.
The use of Tesla Roadster as payload in the SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy mission, the Tesla got a new recognition as in automation and it has been planning to make the road vehicles safe for the automation as well.
Hence, Tesla Semi Electric truck prototype has successfully completed it multiple test runs done with and without assistance and soon be produced for mass sale on 2019. We just need to wait and watch, what the technological advancement has to benefit we humans more.