So, here it is. The much anticipated Tesla’s answer to trucking, the Tesla Semi, is finally revealed. I am not going to lie. I have not love a semi this much until now. Now, I am not a Tesla fanboy, btw, but this thing here is super sleek and the technology it has to offer would be the yardstick of the future of semis. While aesthetically fabulous, it is, however, secondary. What’s impressive here is what it can really do. For starter, it is faster than your average car, making 0-60 in 5 seconds without a trailer and way, way quicker than any diesel-powered semi.
Even if it has a trailer with maximum allowable gross of 80,000 lbs, it will only take Tesla Semi 20 seconds to make the 60 mark. Something with diesel variant cannot only dream of, or dare not dream at all. That’s not all; Tesla claims its Semi can take on 5 percent grade comfortably at 65 mph, a figure which the company said is 20 mph faster than its diesel counterpart. And the range? 500 freaking miles. Mind blown. And that, according the horse’s mouth, its measured with max gross weight at highway speed. This efficiency is made possible by a drag coefficient better than that of a 2 billion dollar supercar, the Bugatti Chiron. Which is, btw, 0.36, versus the Chiron’s 0.38.
Design details that pretty much made Tesla Semi the supercar of trucks included a completely flat underside that allows unhindered airflow under the vehicle, an aerodynamic bullet-shape form and side flaps that can map to whatever trailer it is pulling, old or new. Driving the Tesla Semi are four indecent motors at the rear wheels and being independent, the vehicle can continue functioning even when two motors. In addition, an independent front suspension ensure drive comfort as the driver sits right smack in the middle of cabin as he commandeer this semi of the (near) future.
In a way, Tesla Semi is the Formula 1 car of Semi because, center drive. It has wide doors to enable ease of ingress and egress and with an expansive cockpit, it comes with an expansive field of view offered by a thermonuclear explosion-proof windshield that you will probably never have to change. And no change means, no downtime. Another boon is, Tesla Semi comes standard with all hardware required for trucking, including dual touchscreen, seamless integration with Fleet Systems, et cetera, which will save operators cost of add-ons and also make the truck cabin completely clutter-free.
Like any Tesla vehicle, Tesla’s first semi is loaded with safety features, including automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping, forward collision warning, and lowest center of gravity (thanks in part to the battery system under the floorpan) that minimizes rollover risk. In the event that the driver suffers a medical emergency, the truck will not stray off its lane and eventually comes to a halt. The truck will even reach out to emergency services to get the help that the driver need. Now, folks, that’s the future we are talking about.
With the independent driving motors and the vehicle’s dynamic adjustment of torque on each motor, Tesla said it has completely eliminated the possibility of jackknifing in a truck. But really, how this really pans out remains to be seen. A few other notables include 400 miles range with just 30 minutes of charging when charged with Megachargers, “guaranteed” low electricity rates (as with other Tesla), auto-pilot as standard, regenerative braking that puts energy back into the battery system during braking, app-connected (also as with other Tesla), and the guaranteed that the truck will not break down for a million mile. Yup. That’s right, a million mile. A bold claim which we are eager to see how it plays out when Tesla Semis are put to real world test.
And oh, did we mention that it has a little trunk in the front? Sweet. Tesla Semi is open for reservation now. But you won’t be trucking around in this green, performance semi until 2019 when it begins production. Skip ahead for the video of the official unveiling.
Images: Tesla Motors.
via The Verge.